If there’s a man to be in “misery” right now, it’s probably Adam Levine – lead singer and guitarist for the popular band Maroon 5. Levine claims the use of his likeness in 2009’s Band Hero was in breach of a contractual agreement with Activision – which was initially supposed to be a simple cameo appearance.
Levine stated that the agreement was for his likeness to be used for the song “She Will Be Loved,” which was featured within the game. However, gamers can take Levine’s character and use him to play any song, regardless of genre, content, or gender.
Sound familiar? That’s because No Doubt sued Activision for the exact same thing in 2009.
Following in their legal footsteps, Levine’s official papers state he is suing Activision for fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, violation of the common-law right of publicity, and unfair business practices.
While Activision attempted to counter-sue No Doubt for unrelated reasons, judges recently decided to uphold No Doubt’s original complaint – meaning that the band will proceed in suing Activision for restitution and damages. Likewise, it seems like Adam Levine will follow down the exact same road, likely with the same amount of success.
Pictured: Levine, possibly singing like Taylor Swift.
Levine stated that his likeness is certainly used in songs which “would not have been chosen by him for recordings or performances,” which should come as no surprise considering the Rolling Stones’ single Honky Tonk Woman is about having sex with prostitutes – which isn’t exactly the kind of thing you’d want to see your face unwillingly singing on-screen.
Though it is apparent that some artists were approached to sign-off on allowing their likeness for multiple songs, it seems Levine was not consulted on the issue. Making matters even worse for Activision, the legal filing claims that Adam Levine received a smaller payment than these artists, meaning he has another point to bring up in court.
Activision has yet to respond – at least publicly – to Adam Levine. Though the Band Hero series is on a hiatus, you’d think they would have tried to avoid any future legal repercussions after the Guitar Hero 3 incident with Guns ‘N’ Roses. Regardless, we hope the matter is solved quickly so both parties can return focus to more productive matters.
What do you think about Adam Levine’s claim? Do you think he has a point? Have you used his avatar to sing girly-pop songs?