“We conclude…that the subject images are not recognizable as plaintiff.”
An appeal from actress Lindsay Lohan in her lawsuit against Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, which alleged her likeness was used in Grand Theft Auto V, has been dismissed in the New York Court of Appeals. The lawsuit dates back to 2014 and was initially thrown out in 2016 before Lohan appealed.
The lawsuit claimed GTA V’s character Lacey Jonas is an “unequivocal” reference to Lohan. In the initial ruling, the court stated that “[e]ven if we accept plaintiffs’ contentions that the video game depictions are close enough to be considered representations of the respective plaintiffs, plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because this video game does not fall under the statutory definitions of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade.'”
In the appeal, as spelled out by Gamasutra, the court concluded that “a computer generated image may constitute a portrait within the meaning of [Civil Rights Law sections 50 and 51]. We also conclude, however, that the subject images are not recognizable as plaintiff.”
In simpler terms, Lacey Jonas is not a likeness of Lohan, and that’s the final word.
GTA V launched in September 2013, but it’s still going strong. Developer Rockstar continues to support GTA Online weekly, and the game consistently tops the UK physical sales charts.