Members of the band No Doubt aren't pleased that their virtual Band Hero avatars can be made to perform songs by other musical artists, and the group is suing publisher Activision for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement.
No Doubt's action marks the second time in the last few months Activision has drawn ire for its virtual performing artists. Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love, as well as Cobain's Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, independently released statements condemning Guitar Hero 5's inclusion of an all-purpose Cobain avatar.
No Doubt -- which consists of Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Adrian Young, and Tom Dumont -- alleges that it gave permission for its avatars to specifically perform three No Doubt songs in Band Hero, the group said in a statement delivered to Rolling Stone, but that, "without the band's knowledge or approval, Activision turned the group into virtual karaoke players by having them perform over 60 additional songs by other musical groups."
"Despite repeated requests by the band that Activision honor its contract," the statement continues, "Activision has refused, claiming the necessary fix would be too expensive."
For its part, Activision claims it has acted within the terms of its legal contract with No Doubt.
"Activision has a written agreement to use No Doubt in Band Hero -- an agreement signed by No Doubt after extensive negotiations with its representatives, who collectively have decades of experience in the entertainment industry," the publisher said in its own statement. "Pursuant to that agreement, Activision worked with No Doubt and the band's management in developing Band Hero."
The company added that it is "exploring its own legal options with respect to No Doubtís obligations under the agreement."