April 30, 2003 in
Ooh la la! SEGA has been hit with a lawsuit by Lady Miss Kier (aka Kierin Kirby), of 90s dance act Deee-lite ("Groove is in the Heart") fame, for allegedly copying her image and likeness within the rhythm action game Space Channel 5.
You can probably guess, given the fashion style and general vibe of Lady Miss Kier, that the specific complaint relates to the main character of Space Channel 5, galactic reporter Ulala. According to Rolling Stone, the lawsuit states that the heroine "bears a striking physical similarity and likeness to plaintiff.
"The similarities and likenesses include the same or nearly the same distinctive make-up, large eyelashes, doe eyes, red/pink hair, pony tails, cute backpacks, mini-skirts, knee-socks, knee-high boots, and platform shoes," the lawsuit reads. "The similarities and likenesses are so close that viewers, listeners, and consumers were and are confused or likely to become confused between Ulala and plaintiff."
Rolling Stone adds, "Another point of potential confusion between Ulala and Lady Miss Kier is the 1970s' funky vibe of the games, its music and the character's dance moves, allegedly similar to the moves and style in the music video for Deee-lite's international hit "Groove Is in the Heart" from their 1990 album World Clique. In addition, the suit points out that the name Ulala is a phonetic spelling of Lady Miss Kier's signature expression 'ooh-la-la.'"
The singer also claims that SEGA actually asked to license her likeness, image and name for the Space Channel 5 games "for roughly $15,000," but she declined. Now she is suing SEGA for infringement of right of publicity, misappropriation of likeness, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and other claims to the tune of $750,000.
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Apr 30 2003
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