Def Jam Rapstar
EMI Suing Def Jam Rapstar Devs Over Song Rights
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The makers of Def Jam Rapstar are being sued by EMI for allegedly failing to clear the rights to the tracks featured in the game.

Record label EMI wants $150,000 in damages for every song in the game. They reckon there’s 54 unlicensed tracks, meaning developers 4mm Games and Terminal Reality may have to pay out more than $8 million.

It gets worse too. On top of the $150,000 per track, EMI want a cut of the game’s profits too. Furthermore, the record company says that it own the rights to distribute, display and publicly perform its tracks - all of which have been infringed due to the nature of Def Jam Rapstar’s gameplay. That could mean further claims for damages.

EMI reckons that it notified the developers about the issue, but was ignored.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]


User Comments

Forum Posts: 284
Comment #1 by Grey Stache
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:03:37 AM
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I'm sure EMI really need the money.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #2 by MothproofKT
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:04:05 AM
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$150,000 Per track?! Wow!

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #3 by AtomFire
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:14:20 AM
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A 2 year old game and only NOW do they want to do anything.

Surely the game couldn't be made in the first place if the songs weren't licensed...?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #4 by Rotten Cotton
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:34:15 AM
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Isn't EMI part owned by Sony?

Forum Posts: 59
Comment #5 by zeroy042
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:47:19 AM
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They probably figured "everyone else was downloading songs from pirate bay... why cant we?"

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #6 by kriscakegravy
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:48:32 AM
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This just has Axl Rose and Guitar Hero all over it....

Forum Posts: 1669
Comment #7 by RDrules
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:49:54 AM
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@1 they do, they've not exactly been doing well the last few years

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #8 by Nami
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:12:57 AM
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Did anyone buy this garbage anyway?

Forum Posts: 87
Comment #9 by summeranne
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:35:27 AM
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@8 We actually picked up the bundle on sale for $10 just for the wired mic since our GH:WT one quit working & the wireless ones don't work with that or RB1. Yes, we still play music games, the kid loves them so it's good for family gaming night.

Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #10 by DecadentBeaver
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:38:10 AM
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@8. My sentiments exactly. Not the sort of game everyone is dying to get.

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #11 by TrueDestiny619
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:41:07 AM
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Why didn't they just stick with fighting like Def Jam: fight for New York??

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #12 by roza
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 06:41:45 AM
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@8 I was thinking that.I saw it for 50p the other day used. And there were around 70 New ones on the shelf and floor

Forum Posts: 451
Comment #13 by Mr Matty
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 07:09:33 AM
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they want a cut of profits from a game that sold hardly any copys. hmm I would take this deal

Forum Posts: 284
Comment #14 by Grey Stache
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 07:37:15 AM
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@ They're still a major record label. Regardless of pirating and all that, the still take in big money.

Forum Posts: 469
Comment #15 by francisrossi
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 08:19:24 AM
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@1 - Doesn't matter. Leaves the door open for other people to use their tracks without paying if they don't chase this up.

Forum Posts: 1669
Comment #16 by RDrules
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 08:32:09 AM
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@14 no they really dont, they have lost billions in the last few years they have been running at a loss most of the time and the few profits that they do see are very little for a company that size.

Thats why they have changed hands several times I know last year the bandk that was backing them seized control after they lost the 4.3 billion debt they owed

and now their current take over bid is having a lot of trouble going through from sony

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #17 by sumthingchronic
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 08:39:39 AM
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@15 ..and 2 years down the line they'll get sued too

Forum Posts: 74
Comment #18 by Dark Knight1990
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 08:46:02 AM
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I feel like I see one of these articles every time a new Def Jam game comes out. Says something about the industry...

Forum Posts: 75
Comment #19 by matt schwindt
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 10:06:40 AM
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i wouldn't be admitting that i owned those songs if i were emi :)

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #20 by Nekroflame
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 12:02:20 PM
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They'll definitely never fix the broken servers if they lose this.

Forum Posts: 122
Comment #21 by Ashes in Fall
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 12:34:16 PM
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This was actually a really good music game and was great for parties. It had a solid selection of songs too.

I still don't see how the game could have even been made had they not been licensed. I mean, the music videos were HD quality and everything. And shouldn't the lawsuit go through Konami since they published it? This has fishy written all over it.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #22 by Ghosty McGoo
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 03:08:26 PM
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I hate EMI, they're the activision/ EA of the music world. If I'm not mistaked they're the ones resposible for saying "this song isn't available in your country, sorry about that." on youtube, so screw them.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #23 by HVAC Techie
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 04:08:53 PM
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What #22 said. They're nothing but bad news, in my opinion. You'll have the occasional company with some crappy mindsets - EMI is one of them. EA too... but it does seem to fund a lot of games, so we have to like it. I'd be naught without my Dead Space. As for EMI, nothing needed here, so I can say FU all the way.

Forum Posts: 530
Comment #24 by Floorkiller
Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 05:57:43 PM
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EMI has a pain the music worlds ass for decades. Just ask the Sex Pistols. :D

Forum Posts: 594
Comment #25 by GR4V1G0R3
Saturday, March 31, 2012 @ 10:37:45 AM
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EMI are a joke, and have been for many years (as is the entire music industry, but they are a joke even within the industry)

they're so slow on the uptake of new music, that by the time they sign some artists, they are scraping the barrel. i'm not sure which other companies they own, but i presume they own def jam by this post....and, well, that aint my cup o tea cheers, nor is this a game type i enjoy, maybe good for a party if you and your friends like this stuff, but not for me, keep your game & music, imma go shoot something instead (or race it in a VW or ferrari)

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #26 by wickedclowns95
Monday, April 02, 2012 @ 03:01:48 PM
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Why would they not secure the rights for the songs beforehand? That really makes no sense. I don't know if I believe this to be true.

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Game Info
4mm Games


US October 05, 2010
Europe November 05, 2010

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