The authoritative online resource for in-depth analysis & discussion of the Right of Publicity.

Courtney Love To Sue Activision Over Kurt Cobain’s Inclusion in Guitar Hero 5

September 16, 2009 No Comments »
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It should be apparent to even a casual observer that video games seem to be causing a lot of litigation lately.  The latest entry is Courtney Love’s stated intention to sue Activision for its inclusion of Kurt Cobain’s image and likeness (i.e. his Right of Publicity) in Guitar Hero 5.  Apparently, Guitar Hero 5 is the first to include some of Nirvana’s signature songs.  The songs are not the real issue, however, because an avatar of Kurt Cobain can also be accessed and used to perform other songs besides just the Nirvana material.  This scenario creates the possibility that Cobain can be manipulated to perform songs that the real Kurt Cobain might have preferred to never perform.  A few years ago, Courtney Love sold her share, or at least majority share, in the Nirvana catalog.  The answer may lie in that transaction, and whether it included the right to license and commercialize Cobain’s name, image and likeness.  There is at least a chance that the agreement allowed such use, especially if it is in context of licensing the music.  Let the debate over unforeseen consequences begin!  Here is one link to the topic:

http://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/sidebar/909182374/27033295/courtney-love-to-sue-over-guitar-hero-5.html

http://www.rightofpublicity.com

http://www.LuminaryGroup.com


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