Add whatever psychic joke about predicting the future you see fit here. Rockstar Games just found themselves on the weird end of an even weirder lawsuit as The Psychic Readers Network, owners of the famous ’90s hotline psychic Ms. Cleo, are suing the company over creating a doppelganger of her in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
According to the paperwork, which was also filed against Take-Two Interactive in a Florida federal court on Wednesday, the character of Auntie Poulet is apparently “too close for comfort” and in their opinion, bears many similarities to her in real life. The Psychic Readers Network owns the rights to the persona of Ms. Cleo and claims to have spent $100 million to make her famous, while the makers of GTA have made over $500 million on her lookalike.
The two big hurdles that PRN is going to have to clear here involve timing and parody. First, Vice City was released in 2002. The fact that this character has been around for fifteen years and they never said a word about it until now is both perplexing and mysterious. The obvious question that will eventually come up in any federal court that deals with a lawsuit going back over seven years is “why now?”The second issue, which will be even harder to overcome in a federal court, is that Rockstar and Take-Two can point to the character as being a parody, which is covered under the first amendment as a form of free speech.
The second issue, which will be even harder to overcome in a federal court, is that Rockstar and Take-Two can point to the character as being a parody, which is covered under the first amendment as a form of free speech. That is, if the creators wish to go down that road and not simply deny there’s any likeness to her. In any case, it should make for a good trial if it goes to trial. I wonder if the Network will be able to see the outcome for this?