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So it sounds like Lindsay Lohan's long-running lawsuit against Take-Two interactive over the supposed use of her likeness in Grand Theft Auto V has finally come to a close, with the highest court in New York ruling in favor of the game developer.
Way back in 2014, Lohan filed a lawsuit against Take-Two interactive, saying that a character in some of the game's promotional material and even appearing in a side quest was based on her likeness. The legal battle has been a long one, with Lohan shut down at each turn. According to a report from Polygon, the New York Court of Appeals has upheld the ruling of lower courts, determining that the character, Lacey Jonas, is not a close enough proximity of Lohan to warrant the lawsuit.
Back when Grand Theft Auto V came out, Lohan was the focus of much paparazzi attention and found herself in legal trouble from time to time. Lacey Jonas certainly fits that mold on a surface level. She's seen chilling on a beach and being arrested while practically posing for a magazine cover in some of the game's promotional materials. In the game, Jonas asks the player to help her out in a mission called "Escape Paparazzi."
It probably wouldn't be unfair to say that Lohan is exactly the type of starlet that Take-Two was poking fun at in the game, as Grand Theft Auto certainly painted many aspects of LA culture in less than flattering light within the game. Still, the courts didn't view this as an obvious theft of her identity/likeness.
Take-Two initially filed to have the suit thrown out but, in 2016, that request was denied. In other words, the powers that be decided there was at least enough of a case here to give it thorough consideration. From there, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled against Lohan, a ruling that was later upheld in the state's appellate division, according to the initial report.
Lohan's legal team decided to go yet another step higher and bring their case to the Court of Appeals, who has now also ruled against Lohan. This ruling came on March 29 and, while it didn't lean in favor of Lohan, it sets an interesting precedent for future cases in New York in regards to someone's likeness being used within a game.
The court referred to the GTA character as not being a close enough "portrait" of Lohan, stating the character was barely more than a "modern, beach-going young woman" that was not reasonably identifiable as Lohan. In other words, there's grounds for consideration in the future if a game cuts a little too close to the bone when it comes to recreating someone's likeness in a game without their permission. In New York, at least.
While Lohan's team still has the option to bring their case to the Supreme Court, we have a hard time believing this isn't, at long last, the end of this particular legal battle.
It would probably seem more insane that the case was still ongoing if it wasn't for the fact that GTAV is still being updated and played by a large number of people.