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Pro wrestler loses Call of Duty character copyright lawsuit against Activision

WWE wrestler Booker T. Huffman has lost a character copyright infringement lawsuit against Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.

Chris Kerr

June 28, 2021

1 Min Read

WWE wrestler Booker T. Huffman has lost a character copyright infringement lawsuit against Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. 

As highlighted by Kotaku, Huffman had claimed that a Call of Duty character called Prophet, who appears in the Black Ops series, was based on his G.I. Bro persona. 

The wrestler used a G.I. Bro poster (shown below) featuring his likeness to illustrate his case, and suggested it had inspired and informed the appearance of Prophet. 

Activision, however, pointed out that the original G.I. Bro image was actually based on another wrestler, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, from the neck down. The company also argued that Huffman's entire argument hinged on his "facial expression or attitude" being unique, before noting that neither of those things are copyrightable. 

"One cannot obtain a copyright in an attitude," said the company. "Plaintiff does not own the idea of an angry man with a scowling look. Plaintiff's claim to a copyright over 'facial expression' or 'attitude' is not permissible and should be rejected."

The jury overseeing the case ultimately agreed with Activision, and in a verdict form uploaded online responded with a simple 'no' when asked whether the Call of Duty developer infringed on Huffman's copyright in the G.I. Bro Poster.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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