In the latest installment of the legal battle between game developer Activision and Manuel Noriega, the studio fired back at the former dictator of Panama and stated that his lawsuit has no basis, Game Spot reported.
Noriega sued the developer over his depiction in the 2012 game "Call of Duty: Black Ops II." The former dictator claims his likeness was used by the studio without his permission.
In a document filed by Activision on Oct. 8, the studio stated that Noriega's depiction in the game was transformative, which means he was portrayed in a fictional light.
"Noriega barely acknowledges Activision's showing, which establishes that he entire 'Black Ops II' game is transformative of Noriega's name and likeness," the studio wrote.
The company added that under this condition, Noriega's appearance in the game is protected under free speech laws.
Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani is part of Activision's legal team. While fighting for the studio, Giuliani noted that the case will have a significant impact on historical fiction of Noriega wins, according to Contra Costa Times.
"Manuel Noriega had no more than an inconsequential appearance in 'Call of Duty' and isn't entitled to anything for his role as a brutal dictator," the former mayor stated. "If successful, this case would obliterate the entire genre of historical fiction."
Giuliani previously pointed out that if Noriega emerges victorious, other political figures, or their descendants, might get the idea that they can easily go after television shows, movies, books or video games that depicted them.
With this potential threat against the historical fiction genre, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) expressed its support for Activision regarding its case against Noriega, Business Wire reported.
"This case is an impermissible, unwarranted and unconstitutional attack on art," Rich Taylor of the ESA said. "Video games enjoy the same liberties as documentaries, biographies and biopics."
"The full cannon of entertainment is filled with fictionalized accounts of individuals and events and video games continue that long tradition," he added.
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