Florida Joker Sues Rockstar Games for $2 Million Over Alleged Likeness Infringement



by SEDEDIN DEDOVIC

Florida Joker Sues Rockstar Games for $2 Million Over Alleged Likeness Infringement
© Red Nitrate Shorts / Youtube channel

Following the release of the long-awaited trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6), a man known as the "Florida Joker" sued the developers, demanding $2 million from Rockstar Games. This claim stems from his belief that the character shown in the trailer bears a striking resemblance to him.

Lawrence Sullivan, the individual behind the "Florida Joker" persona, gained online notoriety after his heavily tattooed image went viral in 2017. Now, he claims Rockstar Games used his "personal description" to create the character in GTA 6 without his consent.

In a video posted on social media, Sullivan placed a picture of himself next to the in-game character, highlighting their similar facial features and tattoos. He has repeatedly stated his belief that the character was inspired by him, stating, "We need to talk about GTA or not, you guys need to give me a million or two."

Little chance of him getting any money from Rockstar

While Sullivan's request may seem outlandish, legal experts believe his chances of success are slim.

Rockstar Games can easily argue that the character in question is a parody of the "Florida Joker," protected by the First Amendment's right to free expression. This wouldn't be the first time Rockstar has faced such accusations.

In 2014, actress Lindsay Lohan tried to sue the company, claiming that a character in GTA V was based on her. However, the case was eventually dismissed, with a judge ruling that the character was a generic representation and not recognizable as Lohan.

Despite the legal precedent, Sullivan remains confident that he will win this lawsuit and the money. Rockstar Games has yet to publicly respond to his requests and is unlikely to do so in an official capacity. However, the incident sparked debate about the limits of parody and intellectual property in the digital age.

It also highlights the potential legal ramifications video game developers may face when taking inspiration from real-life individuals. It is most likely that Rockstar did not make a mistake in this case, but we will still wait to see what will happen.