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 the 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 and 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.