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Minor celebs trying to sue video game makers for using their likenesses is nothing new, but this latest accusation of alleged copyright violation is a bit different. AM General, the maker of the Humvee, is suing Activision Blizzard for featuring its military vehicles in the Call of Duty series without permission.
As reported by Reuters, AM General LLC says the game company took advantage of its goodwill and reputation by using the Humvee and HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) marks in the popular game franchise, as well as related material such as books and toys.
Since it launched in 2003, the Call of Duty games have sold over 250 million units and brought in over $15 billion worth of revenue. COD is the world’s largest video game console franchise; a success AM General claims has come “only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games.”
After allegedly attempting communications with the publisher for over a year, AM General says it is now seeking compensatory, punitive, and triple damages from Activision.
It’s hard not to admire the boldness of AM General’s claim that the only reason Call of Duty has been a worldwide hit is because it features the vehicles. If only other developers realized this was a way to guarantee success.
Activision Blizzard has declined to comment on the case as it is a pending legal matter.