The lawsuit that Lindsay Lohan filed against Take-Two Interactive for appropriating her likeness in Grand Theft Auto V has finally come to an end after nearly four years.
In 2014, Lohan filed a lawsuit arguing that GTA V character Lacey Jonas was modeled after her without her permission – a claim that Take-Two denied. In late 2016, the case was thrown out when a New York court ruled in favor of Take-Two, stating that the video game doesn’t fall under the statutory definition of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade’ and hence, doesn’t fall under the state’s publicity laws. However, Lohan filed an appeal.
While New York’s Court of Appeals has concluded that computer-generated images can be legally considered portraits, it has upheld that the images in question do not resemble Lohan. A panel of judges wrote in their decision that they see Jonas’ character as a “generic” depiction of a woman in her 20s.
Here, the Jonas character simply is not recognizable as plaintiff inasmuch as it merely is a generic artistic depiction of a “twenty something” woman without any particular identifying physical characteristics. The analysis with respect to the Beach Weather and Stop and Frisk illustrations is the same. Those artistic renderings are indistinct, satirical representations of the style, look, and persona of a modern, beach-going young woman. It is undisputed that defendants did not refer to plaintiff in GTA V, did not use her name in GTA V, and did not use a photograph of her in that game.
In view of the above, the Court of Appeals has concluded that the case was rightfully dismissed in 2014.
[Source: NY Courts]