Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guns N Roses: Axl Rose sues Activision for $20 million

Miller Barondess, LLP filed a $20 million lawsuit on behalf of Axl Rose and legendary rock band Guns N' Roses against the video game maker Activision Blizzard, Inc, arising from Activision's use of the Guns 'N Roses song, "Welcome to the Jungle," in the video game Guitar Hero III.

The complaint alleges that Activision fraudulently induced Rose into authorizing use of "Welcome to the Jungle" in Guitar Hero III.

As stated in the complaint "'Welcome to the Jungle' is a highly-renowned rock song of immense popularity...[and] is regarded by fans and critics alike as one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time....Guitar Hero has generated well over a billion dollars in revenue for Activision....Activision understood the extraordinary value Guns N' Roses and 'Welcome to the Jungle' could add to the Guitar Hero platform...[and] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions."

The Hollywood Reporter suggest the lawsuit is based on the use of Slash’s image in “Jungle.”

HR reports: In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rose and his Black Frog Music claim that Activision Blizzard fraudulently induced Rose into authorizing "Jungle" for use in Guitar Hero III by telling him during negotiations that it wouldn't feature any reference to the former GNR member or his subsequent band, Velvet Revolver.

When Rose found out that a Slash-like character and Velvet Revolver songs would be included in GH II, he says he immediately rescinded the authorization for "Jungle," but Activision allegedly lied and told him the inclusion was just for the purposes of a trade show. Then GH III came out and its box cover featured "an animated depiction of Slash, with his signature black top hat, long dark curly hair, dark sunglasses and nose-piercing," according to the complaint. In short, the former GNR guitarist was all over GH III, enraging Rose.

Rose also claims that the GNR song "Sweet Child O' Mine" was used in an online promotion for GH III despite being licensed only for GH II. He wants $20 million in damages from sales of the popular game.

“This lawsuit is about protecting Guns N’ Roses and 'Welcome to the Jungle' and is about holding Activision accountable for its misuse of these incredibly valuable assets," Rose lawyer Skip Miller says. “The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages.”

Guns N Roses – Welcome To The Jungle (1987)