The Grand Theft Auto series of video games is the biggest from developers Rockstar. However, the games have always come under a lot of criticism for its portrayal of violence and adult themes. Rockstar is not new to lawsuits filed against it by parents or other public bodies. Now, a new lawsuit has again been filed against the company, not for its latest GTA release, but for a game that was launched 15 years ago in 2002.

Rockstar sued for Gta Vice City

GTA Vice City was one of the earliest games in the Grand Theft Auto series and was released in 2002.

However, a new lawsuit has been filed by the group which holds the right to the famous Miss Cleo psychic personality, which appeared in televisions. Psychic Readers Network, the company behind the lawsuit, says that Rockstar used the likeness of Miss Cleo in its game GTA Vice City.

The company claims that Auntie Poulet, a non-playable character in the game, is a likeness of the Miss Cleo personality. The lawsuit also asserts that this character was used without seeking any prior permission from it and Rockstar should be held liable for this illegal usage. Both Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of the former, have been named in the lawsuit.

Did Rockstar use the copyrighted Miss Cleo persona?

It seems likely that the video game company knowingly violated the copyrighted material. The lawsuit reveals that not only is the characterization of Auntie Poulet similar to that of Miss Cleo, both of the roles were performed by the same person, namely Youree Dell Harris. Both the characters also bear a striking resemblance in their accents and tone of speech.

Psychic Readers Network claims that it spent more than $100 million over the years to popularize the Miss Cleo persona. The company also claims that Rockstar has earned more than $500 million from the game and its utilization of the character without proper permission. Although an amount has not been mentioned in the suit, it is likely that the Psychic Readers Network is seeking for a high sum as damages from Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive.

What Rockstar had to say about the lawsuit?

Rockstar claimed that it had not infringed on any of the copyrights than the Network is claiming and denied having created the character of Auntie Poulet based on that of Miss Cleo. The video game publisher stated that it would vigorously defend itself against these charges, in the same way, that it defended against Lindsay Lohan and Karen Grevano in similar cases.