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BOOKER T FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST VIDEO GAME PRODUCER ACTIVISION

By Mike Johnson on 2019-02-12 18:53:00

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T Huffman filed a lawsuit today against video game producer Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp., alleging that the look of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game character David “Prophet” Wilkes is based on the comic book version of Booker's former pro wrestling persona of G.I. Bro, which he used while breaking into the business in Texas in the early 1990s and then brought back to life for a time in World Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s.

In the lawsuit, which was filed today in the United States District Court for Eastern Division of Texas, Huffman alleged that Activision and the other defendants based Prophet on the comic book version of the G.I. Bro character, which had two books released about it in 2015.  Huffman noted he created and owns the copyrights to the character, but Activision "began utilizing Booker T’s G.I. Bro image in Call of Duty: Black Ops4 which went on sale in late 2018. " 

In the nine-page filing, Huffman noted,” This is an action for copyright infringement. Booker T. created two comic books based on his character  “G. I. Bro.”  G.I Bro is  a  special  operations  action  hero. Defendants published a series of multiplayer, first-person shooter games under the general title “Call of Duty.” In 2018, defendants released Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a “prequel” to the prior videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops III.   In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, one of the “specialist” characters was David “Prophet” Wilkes, who had replaced 90% of his body with “cybernetics” to enhance his fighting ability. For the “prequel,” Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Defendants chose to depict “Prophet” as he was before he remade himself. They could have drawn him any way they wanted. But they chose to steal Booker T.’s “G. I. Bro.”

Huffman alleges that the defendants have infringed on his character without permission, that he was never contacted to give permission and that by continuing to do so, the defendants continue to infringe upon his copyrights by creating a copy of Huffman's character, have created a derivative work through their character Prophet and have "distributed, or caused to be distributed, by sale or otherwise, copies or derivatives of the G. I. Bro Works by distributing the game Call of Duty: Black Ops 4."

The lawsuit claims the video game is thought to have made over $1 billion since its release.

Huffman has requested a jury trial and that he be awarded whatever relief is determined by the court.

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