Backup singer loses lawsuit against Take-Two over GTA: San Andreas
by Mike Suszek Writer RSS on Nov 3rd 2012 12:00PM
Michael "Shagg" Washington, supposed former Cypress Hill backup singer (though the band denied any affiliation), lost his 2010 lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games over alleged use of his likeness in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Wednesday. Washington claimed he met with the game's developers in 2003 to discuss his troubled youth and "street life." He first learned of his resemblance to the game's "CJ" character six years later, leading to the $250 million lawsuit.
The California appeals court upheld the ruling in favor of Take-Two, in which the judge said the "plaintiff is relying entirely on CJ's physical appearance in the game, but that appearance is so generic that it necessarily includes hundreds of other black males." The lack of evidence in whether Take-Two actually used Washington's likeness, in addition to a failed test for insufficiently transformative use, led to Washington losing the case.