According to ANN, Kodansha, or more specifically their manga artist Atsushi Kase, has been a bad, lazy boy.
Apparently, “the plaintiff’s likeness appeared in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine on October 21, 2009. The court found that Kase used a fashion magazine photograph of the plaintiff for reference to draw a person with a ducktail hairstyle and sunglasses. Kase labeled the plaintiff’s manga drawing as “Leader of the VIP car gang ‘Oraora.’” Oraora-kei is a fashion offshoot from the larger yankii culture, and it features stylized hair and sunglasses, among other signature looks. The plaintiff happens to run an apparel company known for Oraora-kei fashion. “
The plaintiff received 550,000 yen (about US$6,300) as compensation from Kodansha and future volumes of Kase’s infringed-upon-image will be replaced with a new character unlike the plaintiff’s.
Normally, I think this would have been thrown out as there is a disclaimer in all media’s along the lines that all characters, situations, and so on are all fictional and any or all similarities with a real person or event are totally coincidental and that the publisher is pretty much off the hook about it. But in this case, there seems to be too many similarities and the admittance of the artist in referencing the plaintiff that the court favored the plaintiff.
For everyone out there using real people or other fictional characters as references, be very careful, because you can get sued for infringement.