Music giant EMI is suing two games studios – one of which is also an engine vendor – for $8 million.
Papers filed in a New York federal court last week alleged that 4mm Games and Terminal Reality “stole” songs performed by various hip-hop artists, such as Kanye West, DMX and Lil Wayne, in the 2010 music game Def Jam Rapstar.
EMI claims it warned both parties about alleged rights infringement and demanded royalty payments. According to court documents unearthed by the Hollywood Reporter, EMI alleges that such demands were ignored.
Neither 4mm nor Terminal Reality have responded to the claims. Until a response is issued, it should be assumed the allegations are being challenged.
Terminal Reality owns and operates the Infernal Engine; tech used in Star Wars: Kinect and Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
The ownership of certain songs in Def Jam Rapstar is a complicated matter.
EMI is claiming part-ownership in most, but not all, of the 54 allegedly infringed works.
It wants statutory damages $150,000 for each – amounting to $8 million in total – as well as a cut of profits.
The music label says it owns ten per cent of the track ‘I'm So Hood’, a 16 per cent stake in the MIMS track ‘This Is Why I'm Hot’, and about a third ownership of Lil Wayne record ‘Got Money’.
The record label Def Jam, which owns other parts of the tracks, is not party to the lawsuit at the time of going to press.
EMI also claims that various sound recordings were infringed in the game.
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