GTA: Vice City is a game a lot of us are very familiar with. It’s a big part of most of our childhoods and it’s been well over 15 years since the game released. Surprisingly, Rockstar and Take-Two were slapped with a lawsuit last week over Vice City, all these years after its release.
The ones who slapped them with the lawsuit are the Psychic Readers Network. The reason? Well, according to a report by The Wrap, the group claims that Auntie Poulet, a character in Vice City, violates copyright on the network’s famed psychic, Miss Cleo.
Who is Miss Cleo and how is she related to Vice City?
Miss Cleo was a “psychic” for the Psychic Readers Network. She appeared on a television infomercial for the PRN and served as a pay-per-call service psychic.
The similarities between Miss Cleo and Aunt Poulet are quite obvious, they look and sound alike. Of course, the reason behind this could be that the voice behind Auntie Poulet and Miss Cleo is the SAME PERSON. Youree Dell Harris, who was the actor who performed the role of Miss Cleo, provided Auntie Poulet’s voice as well.
The suit says that “Auntie Poulet’s similarities to Miss Cleo and her copyrighted attributes are of such a breadth and extraordinary nature that they can only be explained by copying—which is unsurprising given that Defendants hired the actress who performed as Miss Cleo to provide voice overs, using the same accent as Miss Cleo, for the infringing videogame.”
The Psychic Readers Network claims that they invested over a $100 million on creating and growing Miss Cleo and Rockstar and Take Two have made well over five times that amount on the game and from exploiting their character. As such, they seek damages. We don’t know a number, but you can assume that it’ll be high.
Take Two has already dismissed the suit as “completely ridiculous” in a statement.
Another thing worth pointing out is that the actor in question passed away last year but she had claimed in a talk with Vice that the network had ripped her off as badly as the people she helped the network rip-off.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.