Los Angeles Superior Court Judge dismisses 'Call of Duty' lawsuit

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 2012

Disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's lawsuit over his inclusion in a 2012 Call of Duty video game has been dismissed by a judge who determined the game's use of his likeness is protected by the First Amendment.


Ex-dictator Manuel Noriega had filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Activision for his portrayal in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Activision subsequently filed a motion for dismissal using a California statute meant to protect against costly litigation. Judge William H. Fahey of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of the motion. Activision hailed the decision as a victory for free speech.

Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against the creators of the "Call of Duty" video game franchise has been dismissed

 According to Noriega, Activision portrayed him as “a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state" as a way of achieving a more realistic product to increase sales. Noriega is looking to recoup lost profits and seeking damages.

Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against the creators of the "Call of Duty" video game franchise has been dismissed

This ruling is an important victory and we thank the court for protecting free speech,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who acted as co-counsel in the case. “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.

Activision claimed Noriega's case was different because he only appears in about six minutes of the six-hour "Black Ops II" game, wasn't used in any marketing material and was not a musician with protected creative work.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge dismisses 'Call of Duty' lawsuit

 If creative rights have to be sacrificed, they shouldn't be sacrificed for a person like Noriega, nor should anyone have to send millions of dollars down to a Panamanian jail because this mad man is making an absurd claim," Giuliani said outside court in Los Angeles earlier this month.

This ruling is an important victory, and we thank the court for protecting free speech," Guiliani said in a statement sent to the Daily News.
This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning, and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win," he said.
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.
A lawyer for Noriega argued that his client deserved the same protection afforded to singer Gwen Stefani in a prior dispute with Activision.
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