Litigation

Video Game Did Not Invade Celebrity’s Privacy

Actress Lindsay Lohan lost in her invasion of privacy suit against a gaming company in the Court of Appeals of New York.  Lohan had sued the developers and marketers of a commercially successful videogame called "Grand Theft Auto V" (GTAV) claiming that two scenes in the game were her character "look-a-like" and misappropriated her "portrait and voice."

Though the Court set important precedent by concluding that an avatar, that is, a graphical representation of a person, in a video game or like media, may constitute a portrait within the meaning of New York Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51, with regard to invasion of privacy claim, Lohan did not fare well in the ultimate outcome.  As to Lohan’s case, the Court affirmed dismissal of her complaint upon concluding that the GTAV character simply was not recognizable as Lohan inasmuch as it merely was a generic artistic depiction of a twenty-something woman without any particular identifying physical characteristics and it was undisputed that defendants did not refer to Lohan in GTAV, did not use her name, and did not use a photograph of her in the game.

Lexis Advanced subscribers can access the full opinion at:   Lohan v Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 721 (N.Y. Mar. 29, 2018)

Lexis subscribers can access the full opinion at:  Lohan v Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 721 (N.Y. Mar. 29, 2018)

  

Author:  Gabriela N. Nolen, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor

 

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