No Doubt Sue Over Band Hero Deal Gone Wrong
Picture: No Doubt on tour 11th July 2009
NO DOUBT are taking legal action against the creators of BAND HERO in a bid to have their likenesses removed from the release of the new videogame after manufacturers reportedly failed to stick to their agreement.
The Don't Speak hitmakers signed a deal with Activision bosses to feature as avatars singing three No Doubt tracks, but, in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Gwen Stefani and her bandmates claim the company reneged on the deal by allowing the digital stars to "sing, dance and perform over sixty songs" from all kinds of artists, "transforming No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act".
The quartet, comprised of Stefani, Tony Kanal, Adrian Young and Tom Dumont, are particularly incensed that Stefani's computer character can sing in a male voice for renditions of tracks like the Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Woman.
The court documents state: "While No Doubt are avid fans of the Rolling Stones and even have performed in concerts with the Rolling Stones, the Character Manipulation Feature results in an unauthorised performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice choir boasting about having sex with prostitutes."
And the stars fear the use of unauthorised songs will taint their pop image: "Activision has deceived and confused the public into believing that No Doubt authorised the use of its name and likeness for the Character Manipulation Feature of Band Hero and that No Doubt approves and endorses the appearance of its members individually performing songs that are wholly inappropriate and out of character for No Doubt."
The band is seeking to withdraw its endorsement of the game, a spin-off from the popular Guitar Hero series, and the stars are requesting an injunction prohibiting "the unauthorised use of No Doubt's name and likeness" in Band Hero, in addition to unspecified damages.
The band’s manager Jim Guerinot tells Rolling Stone magazine that Gwen Stefani and her bandmates were "mortified" to discover their avatars in the new videogame could be used to sing songs by other artists.
He says, "They’re just like, 'What? We didn’t sign up for this.'"
No Doubt are suing Activision bosses for fraudulent inducement and breach of contract.
In legal documents, the group reveals it raised concerns with Activision bosses, who refused to correct the game.
The band states, "An Activision executive asserted that (changing the game) would be too expensive and would jeopardize their revenue."