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Destiny and Halo soundtrack composer Marty O'Donnell has been found in contempt of court for posting music assets on YouTube and Bandcamp.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

September 16, 2021

1 Min Read
Key art Destiny's Music of the Spheres

Marty O'Donnell, the former Bungie audio director behind the music of the Halo series and Destiny, has been found in contempt of court for posting music assets on YouTube and Soundcloud. He now owes his former employer $100,000.

The decision against O'Donnell was dug up by Eurogamer, and follows a period of time where O'Donnell was apparently uploading pieces of his old work from Destiny onto YouTube and Bandcamp in 2019.

O'Donnell had successfully sued Bungie for firing him "without cause," when he was booted from the company in 2015, but that victory had come with a price. The court ruled that the composition titled "Music of the Spheres" (an ambitious, initially unreleased project created by O'Donnell, collaborator Michael Salvatori, and with input from former Beatles member Paul McCartney) was property of Bungie, not O'Donnell.

The court ordered O'Donnell to return "all material" related to producing Music of the Spheres or the rest of Destiny's soundtrack, and was forbidden from sharing any of it publicly. Bungie finally relented to releasing a version of Music of the Spheres on its webstore in 2018.

Fast forward to 2019, when for some reason O'Donnell began uploading rough versions of Music of the Spheres to YouTube and Bandcamp. That prompted Bungie to take legal action.

O'Donnell has also been ordered to post messages on his distribution channels that he does not own the rights to Music of the Spheres, and asking anyone who downloaded the versions he posted to delete them.

O'Donnell's legal team is still contesting the $100,000 fine, apparently arguing that it is "unreasonable."

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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