A federal judge in Detroit has ruled against rock band The Romantics, who had claimed that the cover version of the group’s 1980 hit “What I Like About You”, as used in Activision’s Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ‘80s
, infringed on their rights.
The group was seeking unspecified damages
and an injunction on the game’s sale, claiming that although Activision obtained the proper permissions for using the song in the game the accuracy of the cover infringed on the group’s rights to its own likeness.
In his ruling, Judge Edmunds indicated that to the extent there were any copyright issues, Activision did exactly what the company was supposed to do in developing the game. In a statement, Activision officials have indicated that they the company is “pleased with the ruling and thinks that the case is without merit”.
The statement added: “Respect for all artists is an important value of the company and Activision has a long history of supporting artists from a range of entertainment fields. The company believes video games represent a growing opportunity for the music industry to reach new audiences and a strong source of potential license revenue for both bands and music publishers.”