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Manuel Noriega suing Activsion over his portrayal in 'Call of Duty Black Ops II'

Former dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, is suing Activsion for using his name and likeness without his consent in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Call of Duty wiki

Manuel Noriega served as the commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces along with the de facto head of state from 1983 until his removal from power during Operation Just Cause. After his downfall; he was tried in America and served 15 years in prison before being extradited to France were he was tried and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2011; he was extradite back to Panama to be tried for his crimes against humanity.

In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Noriega appears as a minor villain who helps Raul Menendez (the main villain) avoid being captured by a Special Operations Group by faking his death. Later in the game, the player is part of a squad that participates in the hunt for Noriega during Operation Just Cause.

In the lawsuit that was filed on July 15, Noriega claims that Activsion did not have his permission to use his likeness while the game depicts him as a "kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state."

However according to the opinion of entertainment lawyer Jas Purewal stated in BBC News, he may not have much of a case. While Americans do have a right to publicity and the control of their image in the media, Noriega has no grounds to sue since he isn't a US citizen or resident.

This is not the first lawsuit filled by a public figure for an appearance in a video game. Lindsy Lohan filled a lawsuit against Rockstar Games alleging the character Lacey Jonas in Grand Theft Auto V is based on her.

Noriega is also not the only historical figure to appear in Black Ops II. David Petraeus, Jonas Savimbi and Oliver North appear in the game as major supporting characters.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the ninth game in the series and was released on November 13, 2012 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game broke record sales by generating over $1 billion in 15 days, beating the record of 16 days set by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

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