Nov 22 2013
A former “Game Master” of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft has filed a Notice of Appeal of the judgment recently entered against her in her lawsuit for copyright infringement against Activision Blizzard and Blizzard Entertainment, relating to Blizzard’s use in the game of recordings of Plaintiff’s voice.
Plaintiff alleged that Blizzard’s use of her voice ultimately went beyond her grant of permission, and was therefore in violation of her copyrights and state law publicity rights. By Order dated October 17, 2013, the trial court found upon the undisputed facts that the recordings were prepared in the scope of Plaintiff’s employment, and were therefore “works for hire” in which Blizzard holds the subject copyrights. The Court therefore entered judgment for the defense as a matter of law. (Plaintiff’s right of publicity claims were earlier dismissed by the Court as preempted by the Copyright Act.)
The case is Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-01096 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2012). Further discussion of the trial court proceedings and decision is set forth in When Employees Become Ogres: The IP Rights Of Employees Who Voice Video Game Characters posted October 27, 2013.