Five time (five time) WCW champion Booker T is suing Activision for ripping off one of his wrestling personas in Call of Duty. Booker claims that Black Ops 4 Specialist Prophet copies his G.I. Bro character, specifically as he appears in a set of comic books released a few years ago. The copyright infringement suit says “there is no doubt” that the defendants “copied” the character.
While Prophet has been around since Black Ops III, he’s mostly robotic in that original appearance. The suit specifically calls out Black Ops 4’s prequel depiction of the character, saying “They could have drawn him any way they wanted. But they chose to steal Booker T’s G.I. Bro.”
The suit, filed in Booker T’s native Texas, targets Activision Publishing, Activision-Blizzard, and Major League Gaming over the sale and promotion of Black Ops 4 while infringing on the G.I. Bro copyright. As copyright holder, Booker has the “exclusive right to make copies and derivatives of the owner’s works” – and, according to the suit, Black Ops 4 with its depiction of Prophet is a derivative work.
It’s not the first time a celebrity has sued over their appearance in a game. Several years ago, Lindsay Lohan filed a lawsuit over a GTA5 character which allegedly copied her likeness.
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Booker T’s case is significantly different, however – this is about a copyrighted character appearance, rather than the use of a public figure’s likeness. Whether the result is different remains to be seen.