Avatar sings up a storm

You have got to love this little snippet from cnet news online which shows just how messy things can get when technology and media clash:

“Although several artists have been depicted in music games like Guitar Hero in the past, Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt is having some trouble with its own likeness in the newly released Band Hero game from Activision.

According to a court filing obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the band sued Activision over a feature in the title that provides gamers with the opportunity to have band members perform another artist’s songs.

The lawsuit specifically takes issue with the ability for gamers to have No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani perform the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women. The suit claims that it “results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes,” the LA Times is reporting, citing documents filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday. The suit also claims that No Doubt objected to the “Character Manipulation Feature,” but Activision refused to remove it.”

Full story here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10391715-17.html?tag=mncol;txt 

Technology is an amazing enabler of talent.  But when our games can have an impact on the real world reputation of a singer, it does get you thinking.  I wonder what Gwen really objects to?  That it’s not her material or that she’s singing as a man?  I suspect we’ll never know!  

From a legal perspective, it’s interesting to see how the law is being applied to these new buisness models and it’s an area which I expect to grow in importance as technology develops.  We’ll all be interacting in 3D with avatars in the next 10 years or so.  And Second Life will have nothing to do with it.



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