Nintendo Sued Over Use of Music from 1993 Film


A Los Angeles film production company sued Nintendo on June 12th, alleging that the console manufacturer used a tune from the movie True Romance in a commercial for the GameCube.

The suit, filed by Morgan Creek Productions in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff on June 18th.

The 1993 film was directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino.

The song in question is You’re So Cool, composed by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer. The suit claims:

Sometime within the past three years, [Nintendo] used the sound recording of "You’re So Cool" without authorization in a television advertisement for the Nintendo "GameCube."


Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that [Nintendo] also used the sound recording at issue herein in other forum in order to generate sales for their product.

It is unknown why the suit was dismissed less than a week after being filed. GamePolitics is seeking comment from the plaintiff’s attorney as well as Nintendo.

The complaint does not make reference to a specific use of the song by Nintendo. However, this 2004 post from the Toon Zone forums makes reference to You’re So Cool being used in an ad for Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

UPDATE: Also, courtesy of comments left by GP readers Orange Soda and Anonymous, we’ve added the video of the commercial which apparently sparked the copyright claim.

Read the lawsuit here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. some guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Would it have really been that difficult for Nintendo to create their own similar piece of music to use in the commercial? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

  2. Annoyed Grunt says:

    A little more background on the song;  it was originally a piece called Musica Poetica composed by Carl Orf for the film Badlands.  Badlands shares some themes with True Romance which is likely why Tony Scott had Hans Zimmer rework it in to You’re So Cool.    The music in the trailer seems to be the True Romance version.

  3. gamepolitics says:

    I’m wondering if this is a statute of limitations issue… I’m hearing that it may be three years for copyright violations.

    Paper Mario was released October 11, 2004…

  4. Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I didn’t read it properly, no.  However I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some dealings made in the background, or at least an apology.

  5. Awol ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Its totally possible that Nintendo did have the rights to the song for its commerical and Film company didn’t realize it. Let me tell you from first hand knowledge trying to secure music rights is one big pain in the ass. Half the time you think you should be talking the creator when in fact someone else owns the rights to the song. It is really one big mess.

  6. Anonymous says:

    OMG, I fucking knew it was the True Romance song. When that commercial came on my girlfriend and I would always point out how this was the True Romance song. Shame Nintendo, shame.

  7. ZippyDSM says:

    Mmm perhaps the claim they filed was not specific enough for the courts.


    Still its  fcked up Nin should get huge fines for CP violations its sht like this that makes me hate corporate mentalities, sue the lil guy into the ground but if another business dose it make it go away somehow…… corporate CP/IP violations should be held to a infinitly higher standard than consumer CP/IP violations unless it falls under trade secrets then you are SOL.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  8. Gameclucks says:

    True Romance is one of my all-time favorite films.  Christian Slater is actually likable in this one, the music is well-done, there’s an awesome ensemble cast, and so many great scenes.  I especially like the scene between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken, and the monologue that James Gandolfini delivers about being a hitman is probably my top movie quote of all time.  Can’t say I’ve ever seen a GC commercial that reminded me of the movie though.

  9. KayleL says:

    I love Hans Zimmer’s work. He is my favourite Hollywood music composer of all time.

    Anyway, there is a time period that you could sue for a illegal activity. I believe the cut-off line is 5 years, but it doesn’t seem like these people know exactly when the commercial ran, or even know the commercial itself.

  10. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Or… it could just be that it didn’t occur within the time frame that they alledged. "The other day… I mean the other week… month…. sometime within the past three years…. 4… i guess closing in on 5 years ago…"

  11. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Sometime within the past three years" perhaps it could be the MASSIVELY VAGUE allegation. Do they not know which commercial, or which game? Why was the suit not brought forward when the infringment originally took place? Did they just hear from a friend of a friend of a friend, that they think they know someone that might have used music that they might hold the rights to?

Comments are closed.