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No Doubt expands the war on video-game avatars

Gwen Stefani's no Kurt Cobain, but she's still pissed

The sturm and drang over Kurt Cobain's avatar appearing in Guitar Hero 5 to sing songs by other artists has settled, but the war may be just beginning: Billboard reports today that No Doubt is suing Activision, the makers of Guitar Hero and the new Band Hero, for unauthorized use of its members' likenesses in songs by other artists. Just as Cobain could rock out some Bush jams in Guitar Hero 5 (and nearly destroy the space-time continuum), No Doubt leader Gwen Stefani can sing the decidedly less embarrassing "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones (among others) in Band Hero, according to the lawsuit. Which creates an awkward situation, according to the report:

The feature "results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes," the lawsuit states.

No Doubt has an agreement with Activision to use the band's likeness in the game, but the band says the company overstepped it by allowing their avatars to perform other songs. The group is seeking unspecified damages, an injunction against further distribution of the game, and a recall of copies that have been sold.

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