Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani Named as Co-Counsel Today - Will Be
Available via Teleconference to Discuss Noriega's Claims
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the creators of the popular
Call of Duty franchise, today will file a motion to dismiss the
frivolous lawsuit by former dictator and convicted murderer Manuel
Noriega. Former New York City Mayor and U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani who
is now a named partner of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, will serve as
co-counsel and defend the company on the grounds that Noriega's
depiction in Call of Duty is a protected right to free speech.
"What's astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is
in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being
portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty.
Quite simply, it's absurd," said Rudy Giuliani. "I'm not interested in
giving handouts to a convicted murderer and drug smuggler like Manuel
Noriega who is demanding money from Activision and its popular Call of
Duty franchise for simply exercising its right to free speech. Noriega's
attack on the rights of Call of Duty comes as no surprise considering
he's a lawless tyrant who trampled over the rights of his own people."
The stories in the Call of Duty franchise, like many movies and
television shows, are ripped from headlines. From the Cold War to World
War II and the advanced soldiers featured in the upcoming Call of
Duty®: Advanced Warfare, the game is fictional, but is grounded
in reality. Call of Duty regularly features characters that are ruthless
dictators and iconic villains, such as Fidel Castro and Manuel Noriega,
as well as vaunted heroes such as President John F. Kennedy.
The motion to dismiss will be filed this morning in the Superior Court
of the State of California. Today's legal action seeks to dismiss Manuel
Noriega's complaint at the outset under California's anti-SLAPP statute,
a state provision enacted to protect freedom of speech against spurious
lawsuits. Relevant legal documents can be found HERE.
If successful, Noriega's efforts would give numerous historical and
political figures - and their heirs - a veto right over their
appearances in works of art, having a chilling effect on movies such as
Forrest Gump and Zero Dark Thirty, TV shows such as Saturday Night Live
and Boardwalk Empire, and beloved books such as Primary Colors and The
Paris Wife, just to name a few.
A taped video of co-counsel Rudy Giuliani discussing the key themes of
the case is available HERE.
A live teleconference with Rudy Giuliani will be available for
interested media today from 3:00 - 3:30 PM EDT. The following is the
Toll Free Number: 1-800-247-5110
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc.
is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of
interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Denmark,
the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong and the
region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can
be found on the company's website, www.activision.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in
this press release that involves Activision Publishing's expectations,
plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including
statements about the launch date and expected features of Call of
Duty: Advanced Warfare, are forward-looking statements that are not
facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that
could cause Activision Publishing's actual future results to differ
materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set
forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other
factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's
most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly
reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are
based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision
Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision
Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any
such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to
be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements
are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision
Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks,
uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control
and may cause actual results to differ materially from current
ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS II and CALL OF DUTY
ADVANCED WARFARE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
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Mary Osako, 424-322-5166
Farrell Sklerov, 212-843-8289
Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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