Lindsay Lohan Loses In GTA 5 Lawsuit (Again)

Actress-slash-burnout Lindsay Lohan’s drawn-out suit against Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive fizzled out today after a New York court rejected her appeal.

Lohan brought the lawsuit four years ago, taking issue with GTA V featuring a young woman named Lacey Jonas. Jonas is a white woman with strawberry blonde hair who, in one image, wears a red bikini and flashes a peace sign — reminiscent of a photo of Lohan doing the same thing:

Big whoop right? Well get this, it was actually part of the original complaint; “The Plaintiff has been using the peace sign hand gesture for years before and after its use in the video game.” Fame, must be nice, wasting precious time insisting that her “unequivocal” similarity to Lacey Jonas, a minor character in GTA 5, entitles her to compensation.

“[…] Lohan’s respective causes of action under Civil Rights Law § 51 “must fail because defendants did not use plaintiff[s’] ‘name, portrait or picture’ ” (see Costanza v Seinfeld, 279 AD2d 255, 255 [1st Dept 2001], citing Wojtowicz v Delacorte Press, 43 NY2d 858, 860 [1978]). 

[…] Even if we accept plaintiffs’ contentions that the video game depictions are close enough to be considered representations of the respective plaintiffs, plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because this video game does not fall under the statutory definitions of “advertising” or “trade” […] “(l)ike the protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas” and deserve First Amendment protection]). This video game’s unique story, characters, dialogue, and environment, combined with the player’s ability to choose how to proceed in the game, render it a work of fiction and satire.”

In 2016, a five-judge panel ruled that the suit had no merit. Today, New York Court of Appeals rejected Lohan’s appeal, too, referring to Grand Theft Auto‘s as Jonas character a “generic. . . twenty something woman without any particular identifying physical characteristics.” Ouch.

That said, the court did find that computer-generated images, like avatars or NPCs, can be legally called “portraits.” It’s just that Jonas wasn’t a portrait of Lohan, the court decided.

~ by Fionnlagh on March 29, 2018.

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