The saga of Lawrence Sullivan, AKA the "Florida Joker", continues, as the self-appointed supervillain has again upped the ante in his effort to extract money from Rockstar Games for allegedly using his likeness in GTA 6. Dying his hair purple and donning an orange prison jumpsuit, Sullivan is adding to Rockstar's alleged bill, which he's now set at $3 million, issuing a three-day deadline for compliance before his lawyers "go crazy on this case".
At this point in the story, we won't reiterate that parodying people can qualify as Fair Use in America, at least according to this Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society parody guide we found. It's also true that "Lizzie Lohan" tried unsuccessfully to sue Rockstar for a character resembling the Mean Girls star.
The Gamer argues that Rockstar probably doesn't have to compensate Sullivan, but maybe it should, and we can kind of see it. In November, a video of a woman's Stanley Cup surviving a blazing inferno went viral (ice cubes intact), and the company was quick to capitalise on the situation in the PR coup of the year. Then again, if there's one game in the world that doesn't need marketing, it's this one.
Roger Clarke, Red Dead Redemption 2's Arthur Morgan, says, Rockstar is "lawyered up" and knows "exactly what they can and cannot get away with". He advises Sullivan to "use the notoriety they just threw your way to your advantage" before savagely suggesting he wouldn't be "getting a job at Home Depot with that face."