Imprisoned Manuel Noriega sues Activision for using his name, likeness

Former dictator Manuel Noriega is suing Activision for using his name and likeness in "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," released in 2012.

Published Wed, Jul 16 2014 2:46 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:15 PM CST

Imprisoned former dictator Manuel Noriega, 80, is suing Activision Blizzard for using his name and likeness in "Call of Duty: Black Ops II." The game was released in 2012 and features a character named Manuel Noriega assisting the CIA, and then the character betrays the U.S. later in the game.

Imprisoned Manuel Noriega sues Activision for using his name, likeness | TweakTown.com

Noriega, the former leader of Panama, is serving a 20-year sentence in Panama, after already serving prison sentences in the United States and France. He is seeking damages and lost profits, claiming his character helped boost game sales. There have been a few high-profile lawsuits regarding video game character likeness, but this one will prove to be especially tricky to prove:

"In the U.S., individuals have what's called the right to publicity, which gives them control over how their person is depicted in commerce including video games," said Jas Purewal, interactive entertainment lawyer, in a statement to BBC. "But Noriega isn't a U.S. citizen or even a resident. This means that his legal claim becomes questionable, because it's unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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