Manuel Noriega Lawsuit Against Activision Dismissed

A lawsuit filed by Noriega against Activision's use of his likeness in Call of Duty has been thrown out by the California Superior Court.

Back in July, former Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, filed a lawsuit claiming that Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II used his name and likeness without permission, and that he is owed for lost wages. 

Today, a California Superior Court judge threw out the case, making this a huge victory for not only the video game industry, but the entertainment industry overall. Activision vigorously maintained that its use of Noriega in the game was "transformative," thereby protecting it by way of First Amendment rights. 

Former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who was the law firm partner representing Activision in this case was extremely pleased with the court's dismisal of this case: 

"This ruling is an important victory and we thank the court for protecting free speech. This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win. This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world."

This case will make it clear to the families of other notorious villains such as Osama bin Laden, Sadaam Hussein, Fidel Castro, and others, that the US First Amendment is still alive and kicking, and suing over their "likeness" will get them nowhere.

Now that we have this suit behind us, guess this will not bode well for Lindsay Lohan and her lawsuit against Rockstar Games' use of her "likeness" in GTA V... 


mchiu is an old-timer, falling in love with video games since the introduction of Pong. Nowadays, his passions in gaming center around social and political issues, game development, promotion of games as an art form, promotion of games as sport, and the business and economics of games.

Published Feb. 8th 2018
  • mchiu
    Yeah... this is not only great for the game industry, but just America in general, since it sets precedence for any similar lawsuits in the future.

    Technically, ATVI didn't really do anything though... I think this was more of the work of Giulani and his team of lawyers! ;-p
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    I'm glad Activ won... for once I am happy with something they have done. But this will be the ONLY time! haha
    This who lawsuit thing was stupid anyway, so glad it ended.

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