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Manuel Noriega Call Of Duty Likeness Suit Dismissed

by Mike Futter on Oct 28, 2014 at 09:23 AM

The suit filed by former dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega against Activision over Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been dismissed. Noriega filed the suit earlier this year over the use of his likeness in the game.

Noriega, who is serving a 20 year prison sentence in Panama for crimes committed while he was in power, sought lost profits from the publisher. Activision hired the firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP, to represent them, with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani handling the case.

Activision filed the motion to strike the complaint in September, citing California’s Anti-SLAPP statute. This section of the law is specifically designed to protect freedom of speech in situations such as this. The publisher also pointed out that Noriega was present in a very small portion of the game as one of over forty-five characters.


Our Take
It is no surprise that Activision was victorious in its defense. Noriega’s lawsuit ignores protections against lawsuits over the appearance of historical figures in historical fiction. The first amendment protects the use of Noriega and other figures in works of fiction on stage, screen, in books, and in video games.