We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate - we have no control whatsoever in that area. While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in "re-locking" Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.
It's hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists' music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better.
Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, had been angrily posting legal threads on Twitter this week. Love claimed she never approved Cobain's digital likeness.
Love is the only person will the legal right to license Cobain's likeness, and his former bandmates have absolutely no legal say in how it is used, despite their long-time connection to Cobain. Love has also clarified her position:
Ms. Cobain is extremely upset about Activision's use of Mr. Cobain's likeness to sing the songs of others in its Guitar Hero game. Activision was granted permission by Kurt's trust solely to use his name and likeness. Activision was not given an unbridled right to use Mr. Cobain's name and likeness. Kurt's songs have a special and unique meaning to his fans and his image and legacy are very important to Ms. Cobain. The agreement Activision has with the trust doesn't allow them to use his likeness in ways that denigrate his image. We would hope Activision would do the right thing on its own and prohibit game users from using Kurt's image to sing others songs and if they don't we expect the trust to take appropriate action to protect Mr. Cobain's image.
A player put together an example of what Courtney, Krist and Dave are referring to.