Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega lost out with the dismissal of the lawsuit he filed against Activision back in July of this year.
Currently imprisoned on charges including drug trafficking, economic sanctions and murder from his time of rule, Noriega filed his suit asserting that his Call of Duty: Black Ops II counterpart essentially gave him a bad name. According to the notorious dictator, he stated that Activision made him look like “a kidnapper, murderer, and an enemy of the state.”
Unfortunately for Noriega, California Supreme Court Judge William H. Fahey was swayed by the motion for dismissal by the Call of Duty mastermind and New York Mayor-turned-Activision case representative, Rudy Giuliani.
Activision came to contest Noriega’s claims by stating that they only worked off of publicly available pictures to capture his likeness, and his brief appearances in the game were “sufficiently transformative” to the point where Noriega’s case seemed, as Giuliani put it, “absurd from the very beginning.”
Giuliani further defended the company on the grounds that Noriega’s in-game character did not violate the freedoms laid out in the First Amendment, therefore the game’s depiction of Gen. Manuel Noriega was covered and within bounds.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, expressed his gratitude following the victory:
“Today’s ruling is a victory for the 40 million dedicated members of our Call of Duty community and global audiences who enjoy historical fiction across all works of art. I want to thank Mayor Giuliani, who has dedicated his life to the protection of citizens against terrorists like Manuel Noriega and today for defending free speech.”
Congratulations to Activision for the win!