American singer, songwriter, actress, and TV producer Selena Gomez is filing a $10 million lawsuit against a Chinese game seller for identity theft.
Selena Gomez sues Chinese game seller for identity theft
Gomez says that the game “Clothes Forever – Styling Game,” sold by Chinese game seller Guangzhou Feidong Software Technology Co. and copyright-owned by British MutantBox Interactive Limited, uses her likeness as part of its catch for players.
The game promises players shopping trips with celebrities. It also allows users to buy diamonds ranging in price from 99 cents to $99.99. The image of Gomez in the game matches her photo from the November 2015 edition of Flare Magazine. The in-game image and magazine photo of Gomez can be seen above.
The game not only steals Gomez’s identity, but also those of Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Gigi, Beyonce Knowles, and other models and celebrities. Gomez says she does not consent to the use of her image in the game. Using someone’s image without their consent is identity theft, plain and simple.
Does the Gomez identity theft lawsuit have merit?
Gomez’s identity theft lawsuit has merit because she didn’t consent to the use of her image in the mobile game.
Celebrities often require contracts before agreeing to the use of their image or name. For Guangzhou to steal Gomez’s image off the cover of Flare magazine and nonchalantly place it in its game is nothing short of identity theft.
Identity theft doesn’t just involve the use of someone’s social security number, geographic location, email username and password, and credit cards. It also involves the use of someone’s likeness. And, as one can see above, there’s no disputing the uncanny resemblance of the figure in the game to Selena Gomez.
Chinese guilty of copyright violations in mobile space, too
Unfortunately, the identity theft comes from a Chinese game seller. Chinese companies are often at the forefront of copyright and identity violations. Even in the smartphone space.
Samsung and Xiaomi are the most cloned companies in China outside of Apple. AnTuTu’s smartphone clone report shows that Samsung’s Galaxy phone lineup was the top cloned phone series in 2017. Next on the most cloned list is Chinese OEM Xiaomi and American OEM Apple.
Mobile tech companies sue for copyright violations, though some Chinese companies often escape American lawsuits. Their clone efforts go on sale in China without detection from the rest of the world. But that doesn’t make it okay.
You have to pay to play (pun intended). The same company that charges for its expensive virtual diamonds (Guangzhou) should pay its dues to Gomez for her real-life image.