We all know that the world of GTA is pretty crazy – but sometimes the real world can be equally crazy. Just take Linsey Lohan’s attempt at a real-life GTA 5 cheat code a couple years ago when she tried to sue Take-Two and Rockstar for using her likeness to advertise Grand Theft Auto 5.
Well, at least it took the form of a lawsuit. What it appeared to be was Lohan frantically pushing buttons and hope for an instant-money cheat code – because GTA 5 very clearly did not use her likeness for anything at all (you players and fans may have known this by absolutely not recognizing anyone in the game as Lohan).
The character in question was “Lacey Jonas” who was used in a lot of promotional materials when GTA 5 first came out. However, Jonas was never supposed to be modeled after Lohan and really, even after squinting, we can’t exactly make her look much like Lohan, even as a yellow-and-red bikini blur. The defendants managed to swiftly prove this by showing the court the real model they used for Jonas, who is named Shelby Welinder and does this sort of thing for a living.
Really, the most surprising thing here is that the lawsuit managed to draw on for more than two years instead of being thrown out immediately: Apparently Lohan was really obsessed with getting some of those sweet royalty payments.
To take a bit more of a serious turn, this case does set an important precedent. Celebrities are appearing in more and more video games these days, and as that line gets a little blurry its important maintain common sense about royalties, inspiration, and character likeness. In other words, this decision not only ended the Lohan case, but probably also prevented a lot of frivolous video game lawsuits in the future – which is good news for everyone. Honestly, it’s probably good news for Lohan too, because the last thing she needs is any more court appointments.
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