In recent developments Call of Duty developers Activision Blizzard won a copyright infringement lawsuit against famed and decorated WWE and WCW wrestler Booker T Huffman. Booker T claimed that one of the supporting characters in Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Prophet, is modeled after his creation G.I. Bro character.
The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by Booker T Huffman against Activision back in 2019. The case was filed after the COD Black Ops 4 poster containing Prophet was launched by Activision. Booker T claimed that Prophet was based on the art concept of G.I. Bro without taking his consent which infringes on his copyright of G.I. Bro. GI Bro was Booker T’s old WCW gimmick which he later carried on in a comic book series.
Back in 2019, while filing the lawsuit, Booker T told the court that he “conceived a character like his wrestling personality who would be a retired special operations soldier, fighting an old enemy he thought he had finished off years before, with the support of his old military friends.” He further added, “no question [Prophet]
was copied from G.I. Bro.” Booker T was so sure that he claimed that Activision even copied G.I. Bro’s body type, hair, facial expressions, and clothing. According to Booker T, the similarities between both characters are “too profound to be an accident.”
On the contrary, Activision denied the allegations and argued in the court that Booker T failed to bring enough evidence to the table which supported his copyright claim. Moreover, the resemblance between both characters is nothing more than the usual features of a “black military man with dreadlocks standing in a generic military pose while holding weapons.” Activision further added that the wrestler did “not own the idea of an angry man with a scowling look.” This response came in after Booker T’s claim that the facial expression and attitude of G.I. Bro was unique to the character. Activision denied the claim of copying by saying that the idea behind Prophet’s body type couldn’t have been modeled after Booker T because the inspiration behind Prophet’s body neck down was Dwayne Johnson.
The jury finally came to a unanimous decision in favor of Activision and agreed that Activision didn’t infringe on the rights of Booker T. The Trial Counsel for Activision, E. Leon Carter of Carter Arnett, shared his thoughts after the jury’s ruling and said, “We are pleased with the outcome. The bottom line, to call this a frivolous case would be a massive understatement, Activision creates games with the utmost integrity and is extremely proud of everyone involved with the development and creative process for all of our games including Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, including the incredible talent like William Romeo who helped bring our vision to life. Today, the jury validated that process.”
Booker T has yet to share his thoughts on the verdict.