I made no secret about my disgust over Activision's announcement that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would be a playable character in Guitar Hero 5. The idea of the iconic rocker's likeness belting out the hits of John "Cougar" Mellencamp or Mötley Crüe upset my grunge sensiblities more than a little bit. I was all ready to take up pitchforks and torches and go after Courtney Love, Cobain's widow and executor of his estate. But it turns out that my anger towards her was misdirected.
Love has expressed her own repulsion by the use of Kurt in the game, and has further announced that she plans to "sue the shit" out of Activision. On her twitter, the Hole frontwoman claims to have never given approval for her late husband's likeness to be used, and says that she never would have. She claims to have been in contact with Activision about using Kurt, and that she told them the particular avatar she was shown wasn't to her liking, stating that it was, "TO DRAG MY HEELS."
If it comes out that Activision used Cobain's form without the permission his estate, there's a good chance that Courtney Love will collect quite a bit of money over this. Likeness rights are no small legal matter, and it would be shocking to me if Activision moved on this without making sure all the proper permissions had been given. The mega-publisher has yet to respond to Love's allegations, but stay tuned, this could get messy.