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Activision Fights Back With Lawsuit Against TikTok Critic

The Call of Duty publisher files its own lawsuit after receiving threats to sue from the creator of the Enough Slices meme over its use

Call of Duty publisher Activision is suing TikTok music critic Anthony Fantano over a viral audio clip he created. The lawsuit claims that Fantano is demanding, ‘extortionate’ settlement from social media users after re-using the audio clip. 

In a complaint filed in California federal court, Activision accused the critic of, ‘misusing’ intellectual property laws by threatening to, ‘selectively’ sue TikTokers who use, the ‘Enough Slices!’ audio clip. 

Activision claims to have received a threat after utilising the clip in a promotion for its Crash Bandicoot game franchise. They assert that Fantano deliberately made the clip available through TikTok‘s audio library, which subsequently prevents him from suing the hundreds of thousands of users who chose to use it.

“This dispute is a textbook example of how intellectual property law can be misused by individuals to leverage unfair cash payments,” Activision’s lawyers wrote. “Fantano was very happy to receive the benefit of the public use of the Slices Video. It was only after he identified a financial opportunity — namely, receiving unjustified settlement payments — that he suddenly decided that his consent was limited.”

“The law does not permit, and the court should not countenance such overt gamesmanship,” said the lawyers.

Fantano first uploaded the video in 2021. The clip — showing Fantano getting aggravated as a pizza is cut into increasingly smaller slices before screaming, “It’s enough slices!” — has garnered tens of millions of views. Over the last two years, the audio has become internet shorthand for a situation that starts out well but eventually goes too far.

Activision lays down its demands 

Activision says it agreed to pull the clip down, but that Fantano demanded that it, “Either immediately pay him substantial monetary damages or be prepared to defend a lawsuit.” The sum demanded was not included in the lawsuit, but Activision says Fantano asked for a “six-figure sum” and said that other companies had, “Paid a similar sum in order to avoid the expense of litigation.”

Rather than agree to the demands, Activision took a different approach and filed a lawsuit to demonstrate that the company and other TikTok users do not owe Fantano anything for using his clip.

“With Fantano’s approval and encouragement, hundreds of thousands of TikTok users have incorporated the Slices Audio into their own videos over the past two years,” the company’s lawyers wrote. “But now … Fantano has embarked on a scheme whereby he selectively threatens to sue certain users of the Slices Audio unless they pay him extortionate amounts of money for their alleged use.”

Activision is pursuing a ‘declaratory’ ruling whereby Fantano cannot sue TikTok users over the clip’s usage and is seeking an order that’ll see him reimburse the company for its legal expenses. 

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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