Lindsay Lohan Moves Forward With Lawsuit Against GTAV

from the dragging-yourself-through-the-muck dept

And we're back with another episode of Lindsay Lohan Sues People For Stuff They Didn't Do. It's been a while, so you may not remember that Lohan, who has been quite lawsuit-happy in the past, was reportedly discussing filing a likeness-rights suit against the makers of Grand Theft Auto 5, claiming that a character in the game is based on her. That was in December of last year and apparently over six months of her lawyers explaining to her what parody is hasn't taken, because reports are now coming out that she has indeed filed in a New York court.

Lindsay Lohan is suing the makers of the "Grand Theft Auto" video games. The actress says the latest installment used her image and created a character based on her without her permission. Lohan's lawsuit says a character named Lacey Jonas is an "unequivocal" reference to the "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday" star. The suit says Lohan's image, voice and styles from her clothing line are depicted. It says the game features West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont hotel, where Lohan once lived.
Once again, lawyers for GTA5 should be able to walk into the courtroom, softly say the word "parody", and then walk right the hell back out victorious. But, as I previously described, Lohan's allegations are way more fun than that. She claims that two separate characters are based off her in the same game, including a character that is described as a drunk driver and who enjoys fornicating in public places. One would think that a person would want to avoid claiming a likeness to such a thing, but that's apparently not the case with old LiLo. Worse yet, while there may be some obvious draws on Lohan's life story to create this parody, there are several aspects of both characters that clearly have nothing to do with her and are simply composites of celebrity culture in order to create a funny homage to the L.A. celebrity lifestyle.

As other commentators note, suing over this kind of thing has little chance of going anywhere.
As a general matter, you will not be held liable for using someone's name or likeness in a creative, entertaining, or artistic work that is transformative, meaning that you add some substantial creative element over and above the mere depiction of the person. In other words, the First Amendment ordinarily protects you if you use someone's name or likeness to create something new that is recognizably your own, rather than something that just evokes and exploits the person's identity.
As I mentioned in the last post, I've played this game, played this mission, and I didn't once even think about Lindsay Lohan. The character is just mocking celebrities that get themselves into trouble and generally behave like entitled miscreants. The only reason I now associate those kind of personality flaws with Lindsay Lohan is because she insisted on it through this lawsuit that will likely fail. So...well done all around, Lindsay!


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Scote, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:09pm

    One word: narcissist

    Lindsay Lohan seems to think it is all about her, always. She's got enough issues as it is, but this just paints her as also being a raging narcissist .

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:09pm

    Streisand Effect incidental causation...

    ...well I gotta do something to keep my name in the press, and getting arrested was, like, getting old. I gotta retain my commercial viability, like, you know?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:13pm

    If my (evil) gods appreciated the goat I sacrificed...

    There will a newer, funner, AND funnier usage than "Streisand-effect," i.e., "Lohan-effect." More slutty, druggy, losery, and stupid than Streisand.

     

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  4.  
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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:16pm

    When you're a celebrity
    It's adios reality
    You can act just like a fool
    People think you're cool
    Just 'cause you're on TV
    I can throw a major fit
    When my latte isn't just how I like it
    When they say I've gone insane
    I'll blame it on the fame
    And the pressures that go with
    Being a celebrity.
    -- Brad Paisley, Celebrity

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:36pm

    Never tried this GTA game beyond the first one. It got boring and old. Now I'm gonna have to go look at it, simply for this business.

    Also never connected Lohan to this game because I never went beyond the first one. Now I have this intense desire to know about what seems in her mind to connect these characters to her real life.

    Knowing past stuff in the news I really didn't want to know now makes me curious. Way to hide all this data you are concerned with Lohan.

     

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  6.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Corollary to the Streisand Effect

    Streisand effect doesn't capture the nuance of this situation. This is more of a corollary: when the adverse publicity being drawn as a result of a lawsuit is specifically to things that would never have been associated in people's minds in the first place (such as the GTA characters and Lohan), especially when those things are unsavory. I propose the term term "Lohanization".

     

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  7.  
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    Christenson, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Vexatious Litigant? (Fantasy [il]legal dialogue)

    GTA Lawyer to LL Lawyer, at dinner: You do know this suit is frivolous and sanctionable?
    LL Lawyer: Yes, we had Ms Lohan indemnify us for that...
    GTA Lawyer: Do I have to ask the judge to declare Ms Lohan a vexatious litigant? or have the judge force her to testify in person?
    LL Lawyer: Thank you, thank you...we needed that!

     

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  8.  
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    Jaron (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:52pm

    All we need now...

    Ya know... I thought that this woman couldn't make her own life worse by being such a child.

    You want to associate with these crazy archetypes that they've used since GTA III?

    Lohan, newsflash...

    FAILURE!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Lindsay Lohan Wins!

    A New York jury found today that there was "a point-to point correspondence" in the behavior of Lindsay Lohan and a foul-mouthed, slutty and poorly dressed character portrayed in Grand Theft Auto V. The jury ruled, however, that Ms. Lohan's own look of a washed-up, drug-raddled and poorly aging child star was too generic to Hollywood to be eligible for publicity rights.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    I wonder...

    Did it take her 6 months to finish the entire game? Or did she switch Watch Dogs now?

     

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  11.  
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    WDS (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Really

    I find it hard to believe that "The character is just mocking celebrities that get themselves into trouble and generally behave like entitled miscreants." and you didn't think of Lindsay.

     

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  12.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Really

    But they all act like that, hard to think of just one when you run across something like that and they all fit the bill.

     

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  13.  
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    SolkeshNaranek (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:02pm

    Reality as interpreted by Lohan?

    When the majority of your life has been spent in a downward spiral so that you passed the "dregs" long ago and have finally hit bottom, the only direction you can see is "down".

    Lohan appears to have started digging with a team of backhoes just so she can keep moving in a familiar direction.

     

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  14.  
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    angelbar (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:07pm

    Parody...

    It will be great that the lawyers go to the court dressed on the likeness of Lindsay to reforce the right to parody someone...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Parody...

    Presuming the legal team is female to begin with, would wigs and slutty clothing be enough, or would gum chewing and and foul language be needed to complete the disguise?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:43pm

    "a character named Lacey Jonas...". Well, at least the Jonas Brothers have enough sense to not start crap over it.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:50pm

    Rockstar can get away with this obvious parody by simply pointing out that the in-game characters lady parts AREN'T a festering, scab-ridden nightmare of pulsating infection and rot.........

     

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  18.  
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    angelbar (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Parody...

    Was wishing to be a mostly male team...

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 3:32pm

    So, any game character with a bad attitude, delusions of self importance, and habitual stupidity must be based on Lindsay Lohan. Hmm, she may have a point.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Parody...

    I'm trying to imagine the judge...

     

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  21.  
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    Anon, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    This is actually ambitious lawyers who approached her and said they would file the suit at no cost to Lindsay, if they could keep 1/2 the settlement. Her career is so in the toilet, there's really not a negative aspect for her to agree with said lawyers.

    Everyone assumes it's the defendant who drives these suits, but there are quite a few lawyers who push these suits on people who don't see a downside. In this specific instance, there really is no downside for Lohan.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Parody...

    It'll be in NY, not CA, so I don't think the judge would join in and dress up too....

     

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  23.  
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    Travis, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 5:08pm

    Re: If my (evil) gods appreciated the goat I sacrificed...

    Not quite right, though I do 2nd the acceptance of the "Lohan Effect".

    The "Streisand Effect" deals with taking action to suppress factual information that is relatively unknown and thereby increasing exposure of said information.

    The "Lohan Effect" should be defined as taking action to suppress perceived (though unsupported) links between fictional characters (with embarrassing or illegal habits) and the person taking action.

     

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  24.  
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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 6:49pm

    Celebrity behavior 101

    She claims that two separate characters are based off her in the same game, including a character that is described as a drunk driver and who enjoys fornicating in public places. One would think that a person would want to avoid claiming a likeness to such a thing, but that's apparently not the case with old LiLo.


    Protip: if a celebrity exhibits two or more of the following traits...

    1. Repeatedly has highly public affairs
    2. Repeatedly has minor run-ins with the law, which get substantial publicity
    3. Is female and repeatedly is caught without underwear by paparazzi telephoto lenses, or
    4. Repeatedly files lawsuits over frivolous matters, which get substantial publicity,

    particularly if a new incident occurs shortly after the publicity from a movie/a new album/the previous incident/etc. is wearing off, then it's highly likely that much of it is a calculated campaign of publicity stunts to stay in the public spotlight.

    And that, of course, makes for a suspicion that lawsuits that fit characteristic 4 here are filed in bad faith, and thus that the celebrity filing them is a vexatious litigant. :)

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 7:18pm

    Celebrities = Toddlers

    Seriously the dynamic with the paparazzi and celebrities is deeply unhealthy. Celebrities act out and do stupid things to get attention and the paparazzi gives it to them, along with reporters who find covering real news let alone journalism too much effort. If only we could all ignore them and watch them get hit with a sane bat.

     

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  26.  
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    Zem, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 7:29pm

    DAG, Digital Actors Guild, is now suing LL.

    Stella, one of the many digital actors in the GTA, was quoted as saying,

    "it's just plain wrong, trying to push in on our action, generic pro is a tough digital acting job, she needs to get out more and get her own look"

    Big Top, DAG communications officer, has also expressed outrage and hopes that the increased exposure of the law suit will help their fight for extra polygons from the design studios.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 7:38pm

    Compare to Vanna White v. Samsung

    If Samsung didn't approproate Vanna's likeness, then how could it violate her right of publicity? Not to worry, the appeals court says it can happen.

    Wiki:
    White sued the Samsung Electronics corporation over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show. The lower court decision in Samsung's favor was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. White sued the Samsung Electronics corporation over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show. The lower court decision in Samsung's favor was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc.,

    DISSENT BY KOZINSKI:
    The district judge quite reasonably held that, because Samsung didn't use White's name, likeness, voice or signature, it didn't violate her right of publicity. Not so, says the panel majority..

    The panel's opinion is a classic case of overprotection. Concerned about what it sees as a wrong done to Vanna White, the panel majority erects a property right of remarkable and dangerous breadth: Under the majority's opinion, it's now a tort for advertisers to remind the public of a celebrity. Not to use a celebrity's name, voice, signature or likeness; not to imply the celebrity endorses a product; but simply to evoke the celebrity's image in the public's mind. This Orwellian notion withdraws far more from the public domain than prudence and common sense allow. It conflicts with the Copyright Act and the Copyright Clause. It raises serious First Amendment problems. It's bad law, and it deserves a long, hard second look.
    .

     

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  28.  
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    Shaku Arai (profile), Jul 4th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: One word: narcissist

    Id say it is more opportunistic than narcissistic, she more than likely is focusing the potential money and publicity this could bring. What she wants is of course impossible in the real world but I kinda doubt she's ever lived there. (And I don't think anyone sane would ever accuse her of being smart...)

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2014 @ 11:16am

    It isn't too late,...

    "It isn't too late, it isn't too late, it isn't too late to be famous,
    So many people vying for space, you really got to be shameless,
    Stumble out into the night, show the world my cellulite,
    Always smiling, just like Kyle, I'm gonna be famous."
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjkkumvTZ-U&feature=kp )

    and, as if this wasn't enough, she apparently claims, she likes dogging...

    She was dogging, she was dogging, she was treat for any passers-by out jogging...
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXzaVOk_Ydk )

    This is a beautiful disaster :)

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2014 @ 12:49pm

    Why do these famous people think they are above anyone else? LOL

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    I really hope R* releases a free DLC adding a character called Lindsee Lowhand or something like that. Then make her the biggest shitheel the world of Grand Theft Auto has ever seen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Mats Svensson, Jul 5th, 2014 @ 3:50am

    Meta

    They should add a character who sues people all the time for no good reason at all, and then see what happens...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    i just wish

    lawyer: your honor we believe that the evidence shown here is self explanatory. our clients image was obviously used without permi-

    judge trevor: F### YOU COWBOY! CASE DISMISSED!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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