Activision, creators of the smash hit Call of Duty games, have officially filed a response to the lawsuit brought against them by former Panamanian military Dictator Manuel Noriega.
Noriega sued the company in July 2014 for featuring him in their 2012 game Call of Duty: Black Ops II, claiming he is owed money for likeness rights as well as claiming that the game portrayed him as a "kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state" responsible for "numerous fictional crimes".
Jas Purewal, an active entertainment lawyer had previously stated that "In the US, individuals have what's called the right to publicity, which gives them control over how their person is depicted in commerce including video games,
"It all focuses upon the American legal ability for an individual to be only depicted with their permission, which in practice means payment of a fee.
"But Noriega isn't a US 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."
Activision's response has been to call for a motion to strike, this legal action calls for the case to be dismissed under California's SLAPP statute. The SLAPP statute is a state provision to protect freedom of speech and spurious lawsuits. This has been filed by Activision on the grounds that the minor inclusion of a Noriega character in Call of Duty: Black Ops II is protected free speech.
The Superior Court will consider the matter at a hearing on 16th October.