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Message started by tabeard on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 7:32pm

Title: Give Me A Break!  
Post by tabeard on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 7:32pm
I cannot believe this band is trying to get money from the makers of a video game.  You have to be kidding me.  The Romantics fifteen minutes has come and gone.  Why can't you be happy that you actually have you music living on in a format that wasn't even thought about in your heyday.  

I am not sure if your catalog is still available, however, this game should have somehow gotten some sales for you in some fashion.  Stop living in the past by thinking you are still some relavent part of the music industry.  

You sicken me

Tony

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by bookies_original on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 7:40pm
Welcome to the board Tony!
We appreciate your comments and opinions.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by BrewCity on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 8:23pm
Tony, what the heck are you talking about?

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by oldfriend on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 9:31pm
Cozfan is back! We missed have a psycho around the board, "Tony".

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by wallypalmar on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 11:32pm
Obviously, Tony, you have no idea what you are talking about.  So, do me a favor and "stuff it".  Happy Thanksgiving.
WP

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by solodka on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:02am
It seems to me that people might be confusing issues about why this lawsuit has come about.  As I cannot speak for The Romantics, and can only speak for myself, I must say that sometimes things are not always about money or more simply put, "Things are not often as they seem."
You must read the article a bit deeper, and not immediately think that everything is about money unless you are sure of all of the facts. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003676701
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071122/ENT04/311220001 Could this be misrepresentation?  Maybe! If you also look on let's say, Amazon.com and look up the game, http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Hero-Encore-Rocks-80s/dp/B000OPPR2C/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1195753687&sr=8-1
you will notice that after What I Like About You, it states The Romantics, just as it does for other  the artists and their songs.  It does not state, as when playing the game, As Made Famous By...  So, do you think this is misleading to consumers?  And because this game has such a huge following and is enormously popular, the group that supplied the covers now has an album of their own with these same covers from the game!  

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by romantic_r_lame on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 8:59am
November 22, 2007

The Romantics Sue Over Guitar Hero

The Romantics Sue Over Guitar Hero Detroit rock band The Romantics have filed a federal lawsuit against Guitar Hero publisher Activision, claiming that the game’s cover version of 1980 hit “What I Like About You” infringes on the group’s rights.

According to an Associated Press report the lawsuit was filed on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Detroit, seeking unspecified damages.

The lawsuit admits that Activision did obtain the proper permissions for using the song in the game - but claims that the cover version was too close to the original recording, thereby infringing on the group’s rights to its own likeness.

The song appears in standalone expansion pack Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ‘80s, originally released in North America for PlayStation 2 in July 2007. The band’s attorneys have indicated that they are seeking an injunction that would force the game to be withdrawn from sale.

Although around half of the songs in the newly released Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock feature recordings by the original artists, in previous Guitar Hero games the majority of songs were cover versions.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by romantic_r_lame on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 9:02am

solodka wrote on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:02am:
It seems to me that people might be confusing issues about why this lawsuit has come about.  As I cannot speak for The Romantics, and can only speak for myself, I must say that sometimes things are not always about money or more simply put, "Things are not often as they seem."
You must read the article a bit deeper, and not immediately think that everything is about money unless you are sure of all of the facts. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003676701
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071122/ENT04/311220001 Could this be misrepresentation?  Maybe! If you also look on let's say, Amazon.com and look up the game, http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Hero-Encore-Rocks-80s/dp/B000OPPR2C/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1195753687&sr=8-1
you will notice that after What I Like About You, it states The Romantics, just as it does for other  the artists and their songs.  It does not state, as when playing the game, As Made Famous By...  So, do you think this is misleading to consumers?  And because this game has such a huge following and is enormously popular, the group that supplied the covers now has an album of their own with these same covers from the game!  


That post is almost as lucid as the Romantics suing Activision.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by toke_ares on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 2:30pm
YOU GUYS SUCK BALLS, I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF YOU UNTIL I SAW THAT YOU ARE GETTING GUITAR HERO ROCK THE 80S PULLED OFF THE SHELF BECAUSE YOU GUYS THINK YOU ARE SPECIAL OR SOMETHING --- IT WOULD PROBABLY HELP WITH EXPOSURE OF YOUR SONG RETARDS, KIDS DONT LISTEN TO YOUR GRANDPA SHIT ANYMORE UNLESS ITS IN A GAME - EVERYONE HATES YOU NOW AND I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT CAUSE EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT IT

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by oldfriend on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 9:12pm
Solodka, don't you see what is really going on here? We have a few30 year old guys who still live with their moms, have part time jobs at Burger King, and play video games the rest of the time in their bedroom. They love guitar hero and are in a panic that they might not get to play it for a while. They will have to settle for playing Halo 3 for countless hours now until they have to go back in a few days and do their 4 hour shift flippin' burgers. Would you like fries with that?

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by BrewCity on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 10:28pm
Hey Tony, Supersize me!

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 10:49pm
Being a musician that had a whole complete LP ripped off by a former band mate in the 80's, I totally agree with the legal action. The music industry has been ran by Attorneys and Accountants for decades. People that never wrote, recorded, or sweated an ounce of anything in making music. The bands always get the shaft. Take the recent Cheap Trick and Allman Brothers suit against CBS. In this case CBS is knowingly and willingly selling on-line downloads at a huge profit and has NO DOWNLOAD royalty setup for these two bands. Normally, downloads pay near 75% to each artists, these two group are being paid LP fees of up to 4 cents per recording.

Complain and attack all you want, the industry is corrupt and deserves a spanking from time to time. You don't own what you didn't create and you cannon use "likeness" with out permission. Tribute bands in the UK must pay monies to the bands they copy, and that is what Guitar Hero is doing.

Pay the correct fee, and then the issue goes away. That is the Law.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by solodka on Nov 23rd, 2007 at 11:15pm
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40083&highlight=Romantics&page=2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerv  
The music business is notorious for taking the piss out of young artists and running away with all of their rights and money, it's entirely possible the band had no idea that the song was licenced for the game, but this is the only avenue they have to do anything about it.

I think that this is probably one of the most "right on" statements that has been said about this. It is funny how everyone thinks this is such a sue happy band. I think that we all should stand up for our rights when our likenesses are used for something that we (for the sake of arguments) have not been compensated for or perhaps didn't even know about until now. Who knows if The Romantics gave permission after all, if it was theirs to give, but everyone is talking as if they know it for sure. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Just like sports figures in the 70's and 80's who don't make anything near as much as players do today, someone always gets the shaft.
Read about class action lawsuits regarding bands from that era who didn't have a clue about Itunes because at the time, Itunes didn't exist. But bands now can negotiate it into their contract regarding percentages of compensation due to them from the monetary gain of the internet. With that being said, look at the money that all bands today are losing from the internet with downloads. Who buys records anymore? We hardly buy CD's, we use MP3's, share music, etc. I can go on about this, but I just thought someone needs to give these guys and other bands a break.
Why is it now with the latest release of Guitar Hero they are using more of the original music than they did in the previous releases?

Thanks for the vent!

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by wsholland on Nov 24th, 2007 at 12:57am
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to say a quick hello since I am new to this forum ;)  Basically, I am here for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I grew up in the 80's and know who the Romantics are and also know word for word the song" What I like about you".  Secondly, I noticed that since the Guitar Hero controversy that the Romantics have made a sudden "come back".   :o

Ok, so here are my thoughts on the entire situation.  First of all, pissing off millions I would think would not be good for your careers.  Guitar Hero is a kids, teenagers, young adults and even adults my age still have the secret dream of one day being a rock star so therefore do not groan and moan when a young kid or teenager challenges his or her parent to a Guitar Hero showdown.  It is all for fun.  I had about 15 kids and young adults playing it in my gameroom during the Thanksgiving as a matter of fact.  The game is very popular as I am sure you know.  So, in order to not cause your band negative media remarks is there anyway that you can come to an agreement with the maker of the game?  I do believe that the song is yours and since it has been included in the game, you guys should be compensated fairly.  I do believe that threatening to have the game pulled, especially during the Christmas holidays is not creating a positive image for your band. Actually, my 11 yr old sons were groaning about the Romantics this morning and saying how the band was terrible and they didnt know why anyone cares what an old 80's band says and the band itself is causing Guitar Hero to be pulled from shelves.  First of all, I explained to them that if they are playing Guitar Hero then they are listening and learning to play MANY 80's songs and the Romantics are one of the bands from the 80's.   ;)

Basically, the young kids and young adults will believe whatever they read in the media, don't give the media anymore reason to drag your band or reputations down.  

Good Luck and I wish you all the best of luck.  I see this as a no win situation and I do honestly think it stinks on your behalf but if you win the money, make sure it will be plenty because if that game is pulled due to this lawsuit, the Romantics new name will be MUD.

Best of Luck

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 24th, 2007 at 1:07am
Are they asking for the old items to be returned? Nope, just "fair" compensation for being ripped-off. So, if you and your "so-called" teenage kids are playing this tune then you have nothing to worry about. The song in question was recently covered by Lilix, with proper/just payments, so it isn't an unknown or mystery song by a mystery band. Such as the case was with the blatant rip-off by Avril of the Rubinoo's tune. It's the same chours, gender changed, word for word note for note at a faster tempo.

What you see playing out here is another of a long line of rip-offs by Sony to the cost of the people that helped make the company millions upon millions. Somebody has to be the bad guy/girl and put an end to the "weasel" industry. I will buy more Romantics items because of this, and don't think they will ever be effected by the young, self-centered, off spring of the Baby Boomer generation. They mostly "STEAL" music from downloading sites.



Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by wsholland on Nov 24th, 2007 at 1:24am
I personally believe that everyone is ripped off to some degree somewhere in the music or movie industry.  As I see it, it is all in the name of the game.  Actors and actresses that we grew up with and watched on television are capable of living under bridges and becoming homeless while we still to this day watch re-runs of the shows.  Same for the music industry.  My "so-called" teenagers, which I never claimed them to be are the people that are asking for the game and because of this, someone under the age of 40 even knows who the Romantics are.  The Romantics take on Sony? Surely you are JOKING right? This has nothing to do with anything more than they want some money for playing one of there songs on a kids game. I say personally, take it off, delete the Romantic song entirely and place another southern rock song on there.  I see the kids playing the game and if the Romantics feel that their song and reputation not to mention band itself is bigger than the other bands whose songs are being played on Guitar Hero then more power to them.  I have family in the industry and they may even have a song or two of there own on one of the Guitar Hero games and do not seem to be upset, in fact I do believe they feel flattered in some ways.  Money management in the early days will determine if you are 50 yrs old and threatening a video game if you are not compensated with money money money.  For those that feel that the music industry is "racking the Romantics" please feel free to research the many older actors and actresses you are watching on television and see what sort of compensation each of them received.  
And, if in fact you are watching a re-run that they actor or actress was not or is not compensated for, please feel free to turn the channel.  This should limit your television viewing!

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 24th, 2007 at 1:29am
Another example of the "weasel" music industry from a very well known rip off artists.

Songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva's suit had alleged that Madonna's 1998 hit off the album Ray of Light plagiarized parts of his song, Ma Vie Fout L'camp (My Life's Getting Nowhere), which had been written five years earlier.

"The judge has ruled Madonna must withdraw from sales all remaining disks, and orders that TV and radio can no longer play Frozen," Acquaviva's lawyer, Victor-Vincent Dehin, said.

The Romantics case has merit and enough proof from the recorded versions to make it through the courts. The issue at hand is the proper fee to using the music and how it is used. Elvis painted on black velvet is still Elvis and eventhough he didn't sit for the painting the legal holder of his "image" is due compensation, because it is that "image" that sells the product.

To quote my favorite comic book writer (also a victim of copyright, image and intellectual theft) Stan the Man Lee "Nuff Said".

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 24th, 2007 at 1:36am
I don't watch TV and as far as "ripped off" TV stars are concerned they have only 5 -10 years beyond the life of the show for compensation on replay. If the series is sold as a download (sound like a familiar strike rational) then they should get compensation for their "being". That depends on the contract. The 3 Stooges are great example of that "rip-off", they eventually made millions and millions, but only decades after the death of two of their brothers.

No reply about "stealing" from the illegal downloads, then that shows to me where your lack of character lies.

Can't wait for the next "dodging" from the truth post will lead. My guess it may involve all the copies of movies you have made from Blockbuster Video. If I rent it, I own it and can do what I want with it.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 24th, 2007 at 1:51am
Here is some more fodder for you legally challenged posters of the "Game World". Ibanez Guitars felt the sting of "image" stealing from Rickenbacker guitars back in the 80's.

(admission of error - Rick did not sue, it was Gibson)

Why, Ibanez copied the look of the 4000/4001 series of instruments, slapped their name on it and then sold them around the globe. "Image" is everything and "yes" even sound came be legally owned. Such as the Rockman by Tom Scholz and Brian May's famous hand made guitar. You cannot sell anything that sounds like those items without getting permission or you will get a spanking.

I for one, and not including yourself (Mr. New poster), can easily state that knowing the LONG (nearly a decade) legal battle this band took to re-claim their music catalog and "image" of The Romantics is something they have a right to defend.

Sony, btw, has and is being sued by several groups for royalty compensation violations. But, I guess in your world the creator of a piece of creative work should do nothing and follow the lemmings off the cliff.




Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by rockford_boy on Nov 24th, 2007 at 2:10am
http://hypebot.typepad.com/hypebot/2006/04/allmans_and_che.html

There is the link to a story about your beloved Sony and what is done to the people signed in the 70's and early 80's.

There really isn't much more to point out to you.

Guitar Hero, owned by Sony. The Romantics catalog owned by Sony.

Hmmmmm, see a connection here. I think even Rosie O. would be able to prove this case.

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by solodka on Nov 24th, 2007 at 7:33am
Oh my gosh!  There are brains out there!  Why did it take so long?!!! ;) Right on Rockford Boy!



The issue here is Activision cheaped out. They could have secured full rights for the original song, at additional cost, but instead chose to only pay for the rights to cover the song. Then they proceeded to make a version that sounded exactly like the original. It's not like Activision isn't making a fortune. They really don't need to rip off the artists that made this game a hit. I think its pretty sleazy on their part.
posted by : Chris Nickel-Felton, 23 November 2007

Right on Chris

Sorry -- there's precedent here. If you deliberately do a cover that sounds too much like the original as to cause confusion, you're likely to be sued. Maybe this is one of those cases where the rest of the world really needs a good explainin' from the Slashdot populace, but nonetheless, this is how the rest of the world works for the time being.

For those of you with Westlaw, look up Midler v. Ford Motor Company. Ford hired one of Bette Midler's background singers to do an exact copy of Midler's vocal style on a cover of one of her songs ("Do You Want To Dance") for an ad for the Mercury Sable. They did this because it was cheaper than hiring Midler, so they set out to attempt to confuse the audience. It worked -- I knew people who swore that it was the Bette Midler version. Midler sued; Ford lost.

What the makers of GH want has absolutely no bearing here. What matters is what they are legally entitled to get. If you don't want to pay up to use the original recording, you don't get to record a soundalike. To avoid being sued, you do a re-interpretation, no matter how much you want something that sounds just like the original article, without having to pay for it.

This is little band vs. big corporation here. I can't believe that some people think it should be simple as "explaining" to the band that they have no case because the big company wanted an exact copy of their song, but didn't want to pay for the privelege. Big companies should not have the ability to trample the little guy's rights simply because they "want" something. Sure, it happens enough... but why are Slashdotters suddenly supporting this notion?

Right on Shark!

"presumabley they're trying the "sue for the world, settle out of court for what they really want" tactic."

It's not that. It's "We never got a dime for this shit when it was popular, but now that we have our own stuff back, we'd like to have our contracts followed, thanks"

They got screwed over by Joel Zuckerman and Arnie Tencer and never saw a dime for "What I like about you" when it was popular. All those Molson and Budweiser commercials? Nothing. Zero, zilch. They had to tour for _7 years_ to finance the lawsuit to recoup _something_, and they eventually won judgments but were unable to collect because Zuckerman and Tencer didn't have any visible assets.

The only important thing they got back was control of the original copyrights, many years after being popular.

Given the history of The Romantics, I'm not surprised they're trying to stick up for themselves.

A history lesson:

http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=5363 [metrotimes.com]

--
BMO

And way to go BMO just to name a few people who are now making sense to something that seems so nonsensical to everyone else!

Title: Let's do some math
Post by pinkbubelz on Nov 26th, 2007 at 1:19am
Here's my take on things...

Visual and Performing artists have been short-changed for a long time...Many artists who "should" be getting paid for their works are not, due to loopholes in the legal systems...  In the end, it DOES hurt the artist and the public as well.

Derivative works are supposed to be just that "DERIVATIVE".  In other words, when The Romantics released the rights for GH to create a cover of their song, they did not say that GH could make an exact copy, they were allowing them to make a copy that is a reasonable reproduction of the original work.  Emphasis is on the words, REASONABLE REPRODUCTION. The Romantics allowed GH to make a cover version, but they did not agree to have GH mis-represent it to the public as the version by The Romantics.

For example, if a company takes a photo from a famous artist and then makes a color copy to sell to the public, they need to let the public know that what they are buying is a reproduction.  In no way is the color copy the original, and to represent it as such to the public would be mis-leading and fraudulent. I know some buyers who won't buy anything but original art--They believe in the integrity of the original artist's works and that's the whole reason why they insist on buying an original vs. a copy.  If they do buy a copy, it's because they know that it's a copy and they don't expect to pay the price of the original and they also don't expect to receive an exact copy. To knowingly sell a copy and to tell the public it's an original would be wrong.

Another way to look at it is this:

If someone makes a color copy of a $100 bill on paper that looks, feels, smells or even tastes like the original paper, that doesn't make it worth $100.  It's still a counterfeit.  I would be pretty pissed off if I got a conterfeit bill and expected to be able to spend it and to get my $100 worth out of it.  It's not worth the paper it's printed on, and no matter how closely it resembles a true $100 bill, it's not....  

Okay, it's time to go back to math class and to do a simple story problem....

Think of how much you spent on the GH game (currently approx. $50.00 for a new game)  
Now think of how many times you play that game a day, a week, a month, a year.  
Let's say you play that game 5 times a day-- that would be 1296 times a year.  
Divide the cost of the game by the number of times you play it
and you start to realize how LITTLE you are paying for each play.
At the cost of about $50.00 per game that would mean that each time you play it in 1 year,
the cost for the game would be only about $0.03 to you.
With 30 songs on the game, that works out to be a cost of only $0.001 per song
that YOU as the consumer pay each time you play it in a year.

At $50 cost per each GH and 30 songs per game,
that's a budget of about $1.67 per song.  
Since most of the time, artists only get about 1% of the cost on a CD,
that means each artist might get about $0.16 per song...
GH didn't pay for the rights to the originals,
so let's say they only paid the artists 25% of their cost ($0.16) to cover it.
That means the artist would only get about $0.04 per song...

Let's say the original artists only gets $0.04 per game if GH covers their song
and maybe $0.16 per game if they use the original version.  
Now, let's multiply that by 1,000,000 game sold.  
That means only $40,000.00 for the artist if they only get $0.04 per game
and $160,000 if they get $0.16 per game.  

Don't forget, even if GH is paying $4.80 for all 30 songs on the game ($0.16 each for original versions),
they are still making a profit of $45.20 per game.  
That means that GH makes $45,200,000 per 1,000,000 games.  
(If you want to be conservative and say that GH only make 1/2 of that amount due to store mark-ups,
it still equals to $22,600,000 to GH.  

Even pennies on the dollar add up to a lot of money once you multiply it by the millions that GH is raking in by selling their games to eager players....

So, please tell me how suing GH for copyright infringement is something that will hurt GH in a big way?
I sure wish I could make $22,600,000 by selling a game to eager young gamers....

In my mind, this is not just an issue of money for the band, but an issue of principal.
If GH wanted an original, then they should have paid for the original.  
To mis-represent their copy as an original is not right....and they are are making a huge profit.


--Pinkbubelz (aka Iris)

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by solodka on Nov 26th, 2007 at 2:11am
Whoa Pink!  Break out the calculator~ That's really quite sad when you break it down like that! >:(

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by quarky42 on Nov 28th, 2007 at 4:54am
The point of a cover *IS* to sound as good as possible.

Sure, some people bought Guitar Hero 2, never having played it or seen a demo of it.  That is true of ANY game.

However, MOST people bought Guitar Hero 2 after playing it at a friends house, playing GH1, or playing a demo of it.  The majority of people could clearly see that not all songs were performed by the original band.

If Romantics were suing to have Activision put a statement on the case that said: "Some songs are performed by cover bands" that would be great...but they aren't.  They are suing for damages, as far as I could tell.

You can't have damages from using a cover band.  That would be like going out and buying a license to use a particular race car in a race, but then getting sued when the owner of that race car said that you drove that car TOO WELL.  It's a crazy concept.

Romantics don't deserve any money for something that was already licensed.   Proving that the publisher intended to deceive the buyers is going to be very hard when most of the buyers are already pretty familiar with how the game works.   I knew that most of the songs were covers before I bought the game.   I would not have based my buying decision on whether or not the Romantics song was a cover or a direct performance.

Romantics should have negotiated better, rather than whine later.  Maybe next time they will have some more respect for what a cover band is capable of doing.


Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by jonnie2224 on Nov 28th, 2007 at 6:41am
This all would have been easier if they just would have purchased the master instead of taking the CHEAP way out and having it redone !!! Now they are doing it properly with the new games and using the originals !!!!

Title: Re: Give Me A Break!  
Post by Rob on Nov 28th, 2007 at 12:00pm
The Romantics have been screwed over in their career more than most would ever want to admit. I am one of those who witnessed many shows done by the band, in the early 90's, in parking lots and other horrible venues just to make some money while fighting their 7 year lawsuit. It was won, although they will never recoup moneys much deserved of them.

It sounds to me like they have a valid beef with Guitarhero, and every right to a legal claim.  I am not worried about what a bunch of pre teens and teens think of the Romantics after the suit because they are not going to go out and buy Romantics music anyway.  Again, if Guitarhero just would have done the right thing in the first place they would not be in this predicament.    

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