Detroit Judge Rules Against The Romantics

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A federal court judge has ruled in favor of Activision in a suit brought against the company by Detroit-based band The Romantics.

The suit was brought against Activision and Wavegroup Sound because the cover of the band’s hit “What I Like About You,” which Activision had obtained permission to use, sounded too much like the original. Romantics lead singer Wally Palmer claimed the band had spent years developing its “distinctive sound” and that he was “very upset” over the game’s use of the song. The suit sought unspecified damages, as well as an injunction against further sales of the game, which it also claimed infringed upon the band’s likeness.

The decision means Activision may continue to use the song in its popular Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. In his ruling, the judge concluded that Activision “did exactly what the company was supposed to do” during its development of the game.

Following the ruling, Activision released a statement saying, “Activision is pleased with the ruling and thinks the case is without merit. 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 videogames 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.”

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