Surprise: Court Allows Lindsay Lohan's Suit Against Take-Two Interactive To Go Forward

from the bwah? dept

Somehow and for some reason, the head-scratching lawsuit between actress Lindsay Lohan and Take-Two Interactive continues to move forward. If you’ll recall, in 2013 Lohan began asking her lawyers about suing Take-Two over what she claimed wrongly was a direct depiction of herself in the game Grand Theft Auto 5. The character in question is clearly a composite parody of all kinds of Hollywood starlets, in part composed of references to Lohan’s antics, and in part composed of references to other starlets’ antics. Which is ultimately entirely besides the point, because the depiction is parody in nature and that really should have been the end of all of this. Except Lohan’s legal team moved forward with the suit, and even amended it to include as much paperwork as possible, all while asserting that her legal claims could get around the statute of limitations on bringing the suit because Take-Two had manipulated the cover image for the game, which featured a bikini-clad girl Lohan also claims is a depiction of herself, in order to fit it on the DVD the game was shipped with.

It seemed for all the world like a case destined to be tossed at the court’s earliest convenience, which of course is why the judge instead has proudly proclaimed that the suit can move forward.

On Friday, New York Supreme Court judge Joan Kennedy wrote she must make all inferences in Lohan’s favor at this stage, can’t rely upon defendants’ documents aiming to show the images in question don’t show Lohan and ruled that the actress’ statements in her pleading had sufficiently alleged causes of action to merit a denial of the dismissal motion. The judge also rejected Take-Two’s argument that Lohan had brought her lawsuit too late.

From the ruling itself:

Defendants have not been able to prove, at this juncture of the litigation, that the republication exception to the one year statute of limitations is not applicable to this case because the intended audiences were the same as those of the original publication and the images remained the same. Plaintiff specifically alleges facts which contend otherwise.

Now, earlier in the ruling, Judge Kennedy notes that the court is required, for requests by defendants for dismissals such as these, that pretty much everything about the case must be interpreted in the most generous manner towards the plaintiff. That said, it seems crazy that the court doesn’t bother to understand at this point of the case that the “re-publishing” that Lohan’s team is alleging consists only of resizing an image to fit on a DVD. Take-Two went so far as to ask for sanctions on Lohan for so meritless a legal claim, yet the court takes only a surface look at all of this and sides with Lohan on procedural grounds.

And so now discovery will begin, assuming Take-Two doesn’t bow out and settle. Which it shouldn’t, because this lawsuit shouldn’t survive.

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Companies: take two interactive

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Comments on “Surprise: Court Allows Lindsay Lohan's Suit Against Take-Two Interactive To Go Forward”

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12 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

We’re now yet again in an “age” of entitlement. It’s probably a mixed bag of the case not actually being illegal, the judge being anti-video games, and some misinterpretation of image rights. I wouldn’t be surprised to see copyright thrown in at some point.

Even if the image is meant to parody Linsday Lohan herself, it should probably fall under fair use since it’s not a 100% likeness and there’s legal precedent in pretty much all satire shows that ran in the 90’s and 00’s.

It’s going to take an especially malicious judge to rule otherwise. All Take Two has to do is build their case properly and not piss off the judge and it’ll be an easy win. ๐Ÿ™‚
That or Take Two can piss off the judge like Google did and ruin pardoy for everyone else through legal precedent. ๐Ÿ˜€

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Not suprising

Sorry, not surprised: it was no-brain that this would happen.

Did they publish it within the “statute of limitations”? Yep. The law says “published” and no matter how much the defendant would like “re-published” to not actually be considered “published”, well the law doesn’t distinguish.

Is there a question that needs to be decided by a jury? Well, I might think the question of whether the image is of Lohan is stupid, but even I can see it is something that needs to be decided by a jury.

That is, after all, why we have a right to jury trials in this country (Seventh Amendment, “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved,…”) The bottom line on this is that there are things the judge is not permitted to decide–that a jury must decide–if the plaintiff or defendant (it takes only one) wants a jury trial.

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