Cobain Attorney Calls For Activision To Limit Musician's Use In GH5

Earlier this week the appearance of a digital Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero 5 irrupted into controversy with Courtney Love and former Nirvana band members calling for Activision to patch the title. Now Love's attorney is involved.

"Ms. Cobain is extremely upset about Activision's use of Mr. Cobain's likeness to sing the songs of others in its Guitar Hero game," Keith A. Fink, Love's attorney, told Kotaku. "Activision was granted permission by Kurt's trust solely to use his name and likeness. Activision was not given an unbridled right to use Mr. Cobain's name and likeness. Kurt's songs have a special and unique meaning to his fans and his image and legacy are very important to Ms. Cobain. The agreement Activision has with the trust doesn't allow them to use his likeness in ways that denigrate his image. We would hope Activision would do the right thing on its own and prohibit game users from using Kurt's image to sing others songs and if they don't we expect the trust to take appropriate action to protect Mr. Cobain's image."

Activision told Kotaku earlier this week that Love signed the agreement allowing the use of Cobain in the game. But what appears to be driving most of the controversy is the ability for gamers to use Cobain's likeness to perform in and sing other songs.

Love posted on her Twitter account that she was going to sue Activision and that they way Cobain appears in the game is a breach of contract. She also said she was sickened by how he is used in the game.

Krist Novoselic nor Dave Grohl, the two surviving members of Nirvana, released a joint statement saying they too are upset over the way Cobain can be used to pantomime other artists' music "alongside cartoon characters."

"Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better."

The are asking Activision to "re-lock" Cobain's character so he can only perform his own songs in the game.


    I'm personally more upset by Johnny Cash receiving the same treatment in game as Cobain, but getting not even a fraction of the real life protesting or complaints.

    Cash means just as much to some people as Cobain does to others. If Activision do this for Cobain, they better bloody well do it for Cash as well.

    No, Kurt Cobain is an emo douche, and Courtney Love is a cash cow.

    I think they need to get over it..

    Its a bunch of people getting upset over something trivial.
    Rather then actually remembering anyone for what they were, they are too busy fighting battles of no meaning or worth.
    This wouldnt have been an issue if they didnt start screaming about it.

    Its a video game, and there was no thinking malicious in the action.
    Im a massive fan of all the rockers mentioned, but this is hella silly. Grohl usually has more common sense.

    Just offer her some free drugs and she'll go away quietly.

    While I would personally prefer that they restricted the in-game renditions of real artists to their own songs for authenticities' sake, Courtney Love's attorney is an idiot for not checking up on what they were signing his name and likeness away for.

    Honestly, did the contract say that they would respect his likeness, specifically by locking him to his own songs? If not, they shouldn't have signed the contract. Even I can work that out, and I'm sure as hell not lawyer-material.

    To expect a business like Activision, which is out to make money, to just know and respect that they didn't want Kurt's image used in certain ways is ludicrous. Of course I'm sure they knew that his image probably shouldn't be used in particular ways, which is neither here nor there. They are not responsible for how his image is used. That is up to Cobain's estate, and if they sign away his likeness without making stipulations as to how he is used, they only have themselves to blame.

    Really, it's like giving a fiver to a bum and then suing him for buying booze with it because he didn't use it how you wanted him to.

    It looks like Attorney Fink is working both sides of the fence. The articles says that Fink represents Courtney Love against Activision, yet Fink also represents Activision's CEO, Robert Kotick, in a couple of lawsuits in Los Angeles. I wonder what the Activision shareholders would think about this.

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