Readers will recall that Manuel Noriega, former dictator of Panama who is currently serving a prison sentence, filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, Inc. The lawsuit concerned the use of his image in Call of Duty Black Ops II. The case gained media attention, and even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined the fight alongside Activision Blizzard. It now appears, however, that Noriega’s battle has come to an end. The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of Activison Blizzard.
This ruling is significant in that it represents victory for the genre of historical fiction. Rudy Giuliani, whose presence in the case was geared towards defense of historical fiction, says that, “This ruling is an important victory and we thank the court for protecting free speech.” Giuliani also goes on to say that, “This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we’re gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn’t win. This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world.”
The CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Cotick, also commented on the matter. Kotick says the, “…ruling is a victory for the 40 million dedicated members of our Call of Duty community and global audiences who enjoy historical fiction across all works of art.” And in regards to the efforts of Rudy Giuliani, Cotick wants, “…to thank Mayor Giuliani, who has dedicated his life to the protection of citizens against terrorists like Manuel Noriega and today for defending free speech.” This victory doesn’t come as a huge shock, as many believed Noriega’s claims had little to no merit.