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Judge dismissed former dictator of Panama's case against Call of Duty

Manuel Noriega.jpg

Manuel Noriega in Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Manuel Noriega, the ex-military ruler and former dictator of Panama (1983 to 1989), sued Activision because a character based on him appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. According to Noriega, Activision used his image and name without permission and portrayed him as “a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state."

Judge William H. Fahey of the Los Angeles Superior Court  dismissed the case based on the First Amendment's freedom of speech right. ""This court concludes that Noriega's right of publicity is outweighed by defendants' First Amendment right to free expression,"

In Black Ops II, Noriega's character assists the CIA in capturing a Nicaraguan terrorist, but later turns on the Americans and the hunter becomes he hunted. The real Noriega did in fact work with the CIA from late 1950 to 1980. Noriega has also been involved in drug trafficking, murder, racketeering, and money laundering.

 

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York represented Activision against Noriega told BBC News that "This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win. his is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world."

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive of Activision Blizzard, told BBC News that "Today's ruling is a victory for... global audiences who enjoy historical fiction across all works of art."

Noriega is currently in jail for the crimes he committed during his time in power - including the murder of critics.

If the case was not thrown out, then it would've meant that any political could object to the use of their appearance in not only video games, but in all mediums of entertainment and art.

Source: BBC News

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