Former five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Booker T, is taking gaming company Activision to court for copyright infringement.
In February 2019, the real-life Booker T Huffman filed a lawsuit against three gaming companies – Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. – alleging that the worldwide giants had stolen his likeness without permission by modelling the character of David Wilkes from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on the comic book iteration of his G.I. Bro persona.
Owning the copyright to the name, likeness and everything else about the character, in 2015, the master of the Spinaroonie released the graphic novel ‘G.I Bro and The Dragon of Death’ with a different look to the character he made famous in World Championship Wrestling in 2000. A look Booker now claims the gaming colossus had used without rights to do so.
Filing a 9 page document against the companies who made an eye-watering $1 billion from the release which bares his likeness, Booker stated in the papers:
“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.”
Following two years of waiting for a comeback, the professional wrestling legend has finally obtained a court date for the trial which has been set for April 19, 2021 in the Eastern District of Texas. The copyright infringement case will be presided over by a jury and should he be found in favour of, Booker T could receive considerable compensation.
Inside the Ropes will keep you up to date with the court case and the final ruling in the months to come.