Maroon 5 singer sues Activision over Band Hero likeness

By Steve Watts, Aug 05, 2011 7:45am PDT

Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine is suing Activision over the use of his likeness in Band Hero, the latest of a handful of suits against the company from musical artists. The suit was filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday, claiming fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, violation of common-law right of publicity, and unfair business acts or practices.

Levine says that he didn't agree to allow his avatar to sing songs besides his own, or in other voices.

Levine allowed his likeness rights and performance capture for the song "She Will Be Loved," but the game allows his avatar to be used for any of the game's 60 songs. The suit claims that the other songs "would not have been chosen by him for recordings or performances," reports Reuters. Worse yet, those performances use other people's voices, "including female voices." The horror!

The filing also alleges that Activision sought permission from other artists for the expanded use of their likenesses, and to make matters worse, paid other artists a higher fee than they paid Levine.

If this all sounds incredibly familiar, that's because two years ago the band No Doubt sued Activision for the same brand of unauthorized likeness use in Band Hero. Months earlier, musician Courtney Love threatened a similar suit over the appearance of deceased rock icon Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero 5.

At the very least, Activision won't be attracting new lawsuits anytime soon. The music game franchise is on indefinite hiatus, and hasn't announced any more Hero games in production. The company is currently working on reinventing the series, but hasn't shared plans.

Shacknews has contacted Activision regarding the suit, and will update as more information becomes available.

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