Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

November 23, 2010 -

According to a story at Reuters, Axl Rose has today filed a $20 million lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.  It seems the Guns N’ Roses frontman only agreed to allow the inclusion of “Welcome to the Jungle” in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as long as there was no reference to former GNR guitarist Saul Hudson (better known as Slash) or his subsequent band Velvet Revolver.

Rose apparently doesn’t like him very much.

As it turns out, Slash was featured prominently on the game’s cover and three Velvet Revolver songs were released as DLC the week following the game’s release.  Rose says he knew about the cover art and VR songs but was told their inclusion was just for the purposes of a trade show.

The complaint states:

[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in 'GH III,' but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle.'"

Rose also claims “Sweet Child ‘O Mine,” a Guns N’ Roses song licensed for Guitar Hero II, was used in an online promotion for Guitar Hero III.  His lawyer Skip Miller said:

"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.  The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages."

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

So first its Courtney Love then No Doubt and now Axl Rose. Hmm... Axl might have some legal grounds for defense here. If I remember correctly, during the production of the Use Your Illusion albums, he threatened to quit the band and delay the production unless he became the sole owner of the copyrights to anything under the Guns N Roses brand name. So even the song may have been composed by Slash and Axl, Axl would now have complete ownership of it. What I dont understand is why its taken three years for Axl to make a fuss, especially if he knew that the artwork with Slash was being at tradeshows.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

Someone should have kicked the crap out of Axl years ago. He single-handedly imploded one of the greatest rock bands of the 90s. Try naming a debut album with the raw power and promise of APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION. Here's hoping his attorney fees cost more than whatever Activision may have to cough up.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

I'd be curious to see how the contract is actually worded, but logically it makes sense to connect Slash with Welcome to the Jungle, because he co-wrote the song. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Welcome to the Jungle was the first song co-written by Axl and Slash.

I could understand Axl getting pissed if Slash was being associated with music he had nothing to do with, but Slash was a prominent member of the band when that song was made. And insisting that the game not contain any songs from Velvet Revolver just makes Axl sound like a spoiled child, but what else is new.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

Ethically, it's indefensible. Legally? Well, we'll just have to see. Like you say, it depends on how the contract's worded. It's also a question of whether Axl owns the sole rights -- if he co-wrote it with Slash, that means Slash may be entitled to co-ownership, in which case Axl's permission is not required for use; you only need one co-owner's permission to use a property, you just need to compensate all owners for that use.

My guess is we'll see a settlement and Axl will get a little bit of the huge amount of money Activision made from the game. It's entirely possible that Activision DID deliberately misled him and intended all along to settle later; that would be a financially savvy thing to do, as whatever he gets out of this will likely be much less than the benefit Activision received using Slash and Guns and Roses to promote the game.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

so axl is throwing a temper because activision's playing with him and slash (so to speak)?  this sounds petty, imo.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

Well, we're talking Axl Rose here; a man known for his strange and erratic behavior.  Why do you think it took over a decade for Chinese Democracy to come out?

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

As crazy as Rose is, he may actually be telling the truth here. This is not the first time a musician has complained about Acti misleading them for a GH game. My only question is why it took him this long to complain considering theres been multiple GH games and a few years since GH3 came out.

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

Activision misleading someone? Noooooo.....

Re: Axl Rose Sues Activision Blizzard Over 3-Year-Old Game

Hi, I'm just popping in to say I found Welcome to the Jungle very annoying(mostly because of the singer's voice).

 
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Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
E. Zachary KnightI read that comment now and frankly, I think that guy is reading too much into this. The press talk to each other. It happens. There is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening.09/19/2014 - 11:49pm
KronoUnfortunately it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.09/19/2014 - 11:45pm
Krono@EZK No that's not the comment. As for wanting nothing do with any of it, that's perfectly understandable.09/19/2014 - 11:44pm
Sleaker@Conster - sand?09/19/2014 - 11:40pm
 

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