The never-ending lawsuit between Lindsey Lohan and Take-Two Interactive has finally ended in favor of the makers of Grand Theft Auto 5, but next time, they may not be so lucky.
Judges from New York state’s highest court ruled in favor of Take-Two Interactive in a lawsuit case. Lohan had sued Take-Two over the likeness of the GTA 5 character “Lacey Jones” who only appeared in one mission during the storyline game in a random event. Lohan had been fighting the case since 2014 which was called a “publicity stunt” by Take-Two.
Lohan’s case nearly was dismissed in 2016 but she was able to get her case to a New York Supreme Court judge who ruled against her. Then she appealed her case to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of the state’s judge.
The unanimous ruling did find that video game avatars constitute a portrait of someone. However, Lacey Jones, described as a “beach-going young woman” lacked characteristics that reasonably identified the plaintiff.
Lohan’s lawsuit will most likely end here unless she can prove and show how the ruling and New York’s privacy laws conflict federal Constitution laws. If she can prove that, her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court but the possibility of that happening is slim to none.
Even though Lindsey Lohan didn’t get the result that she was looking for, the ruling is very significant in New York. Video game avatars can be a likeness equivalent to photographs, films, or other depictions under the law.
Video game companies will have to watch twice before making a character that is similar to a celebrity because otherwise, they could end up in court and lose.