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Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Judge Sides with No Doubt

By Kamika Dunlap on April 21, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Grammy award winning rock band No Doubt has won the first round of an ongoing of lawsuit against Activision game giant over right-of-publicity and a breach of contract lawsuit.

A judge has sided with No Doubt in the rock band's claim that it did not give permission to the game giant for the band members' likenesses to be used in songs other than their own in the Activision game "Band Hero," the Los Angeles Times reports.

No Doubt filed lawsuit against Activision last year alleging that Activision exceeded the contractually approved use of the group's avatars. The group claims that the game giant made it possible for their avatars to be "unlocked" and used in more than 60 other songs that came with the Activision game.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kenji Machida issued a tentative ruling, rejecting Activision's freedom of speech arguement in the broader use of No Doubt avatars.

However, the judge said that Activision had the right has the right to appeal the ruling.

MTV reports the suit reads, "Activision has deceived and confused the public into believing that No Doubt authorized the use of its name and likeness for the Character Manipulation feature of 'Band Hero.'"

No Doubt argued that Activision breached their contract and the group did not approve the broad use of their image.

In general a breach of contract can occur by:

  • the failure to perform as promised;
  • making it impossible for the other party to perform; or
  • the repudiation of the contract (announcing an intent not to perform)

Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and his former Nirvana band mates also threatened legal action against Activision last year claiming they did not approve of Cobain's likeness in the game.

In the case involving No Doubt, Activision has stated it will go forward and appeal the court decision.

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