Detroit-based rock band Romantics has sued Activision, a publisher of the music video game Guitar Hero, claiming that the game infringes its rights by featuring a sound-alike recording for one of its hit ‘What I Like About You’, reported by USA today.
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of Detroit, seeks unspecified damages for use of the sound-alike recording. The song is one of the 30 hits featured on Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, released in July 2007for Sony PlayStation game consoles. The band also seeks injunction against the game. Activision, however, claims that it has used a mix of original band recordings and cover versions in its Guitar Hero series.
According to the band’s attorney, Activision has secured permission to use the song What I Like About You, which allowed it to record a cover version, but by creating imitation Activision has infringed on the band’s right.
In 2006, Activision filed lawsuit against the Ant Commandos (TAC) for unfair competition, trademark and copyright infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and false advertising. TAC filed a counter suit claiming that Activision and its subsidiary RedOctane copied the identifiable trade dress of the guitar controller from its developer and part owner of TAC, Topway Electrical Appliance company, as reported by Joystiq.
Artists such as Tom Waits and Bette Midler of Romantics band have won legal victories in the past on similar grounds for sound-alike recordings used in TV commercials.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates