(CN) – The rock band No Doubt can continue its lawsuit against Activision for the way the group was portrayed in the “Band Hero” video game, a California appeals court ruled.
The band sued for fraud because, during “Band Hero” game play, their characters can be made to perform songs by other bands, as well as the two No Doubt songs the band approved for use in the game.
Also, lead singer Gwen Stefani can be made to sing in a male voice, while her male bandmates can be made to sing in female voices.
Activision, which created “Band Hero” as a spinoff of its 40-million-selling “Guitar Hero” franchise, filed a motion to block No Doubt’s lawsuit.
The trial court denied Activision’s motion, and California’s second appellate district in Los Angeles affirmed on Tuesday.
Activision is not protected by the First Amendment, according to the ruling, because it produced literal reproductions of the No Doubt members, not artistic reinterpretations of them.
“The game does not permit players to alter the No Doubt avatars in any respect; they remain at all times immutable images of the real celebrity musicians,” Justice Norman Epstein wrote on behalf of the court.