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Axl Rose Suing Activision Over  Guitar Hero III  Licensing, Misrepresentation
Axl Rose Suing Activision Over Guitar Hero III Licensing, Misrepresentation
November 23, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

November 23, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
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Guns N' Roses lead vocalist Axl Rose has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Activision for the company's unauthorized use of the song "Welcome to the Jungle" in association with former band member Saul "Slash" Hudson.

In court documents filed today in Los Angeles and obtained by Radar Online [PDF], Rose accuses Activision of using Slash and his new band Velvet Revolver in the game alongside "Welcome to the Jungle," despite Rose's objections over this juxtaposition and repeated promises from Activision that Slash and Velvet Revolver would not be included in the game.

"[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and [Velvet Revolver] prominently in GHIII, 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,'" the court documents read.

The documents lay out a timeline of e-mails and personal assurances issued by Activision that Slash and Velvet Revolver would not be featured in the game.

At one point, Activision Executive VP of Music Affairs Tim Riley allegedly addressed online rumors of Slash's inclusion in the game by telling a licensing representative, "Come on... you can't believe everything you read on the internet."

Rose alleges that Activision continued to misrepresent its use of Slash's image and Velvet Revolver songs in Guitar Hero III through to the game's October 2007 release.

Rose also alleges that Activision's use of Slash's distinctive, top-hatted image in promotion of the game -- including a prominent appearance on the box art -- was in violation of Rose's licensing terms.

After the game's release, Activision allegedly offered Rose a Guitar Hero game based around Guns N' Roses album "Chinese Democracy" to make up for the deception, which Riley allegedly apologized for, saying he "can't sleep at night" in a 2010 meeting with Rose.

Rose is seeking access to Activision's "wrongfully acquired profits ... in excess of twenty million dollars." Activision representatives were not immediately available for comment on the case as of this writing.


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Comments


Alan Rimkeit
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ROFL. He needs the cash because his own worthless azz can't make any on his own....

Scott Southurst
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But the last GnR album released (what was it called - chinese burn?) was the greatest album ever produced!

Jed Hubic
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NEEDS(Coke, Axl) implies SUES(Activision, Axl)



Prological speaking that is.

Andrew Hopper
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Are you guys paid Activision trolls or what? I see a lot of insults but no actual comments on the merits of the case. There seems to be evidence of assurances by Activision that the song would not be featured with Velvet Revolver in the game, that is not the case, now its up to lawyers and judges to decide whether that breaks any laws, and I'm not sure where you get off insulting the man.

Alan Rimkeit
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No, but I am just making fun of Axl Rose. He is a loser and a has been. I guess he deserves his day in court, but I bet you cash money that they deny his case. Why? Because Slash was in Gun N Roses too.

E Zachary Knight
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If has a contract with Activision specifically stating that Slash and Velvet Revolver would not be featured in the game or in the artwork, then he may have a case. If he doesn't then he has no grounds to sue. There is also the fact that he has waited this long to file suit that it may be a bit pointless due to statute of limitations.



Is that enough comment for you?

David Clair
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Agreed, E-mail and verbal comments mean nothing... what matters is what Axels contract with Activison stated.. like the guy or not, there could be a legit case here.. depending ont he stipulations "in" the contract.

Dan Robinson
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@Andrew This does not bode well for Activision. Did they settle with No Doubt and Kurt Cobain's estate on the use of their likenesses? The cynics will see this as grandstanding by Axl to be sure, but the shareholders should be upset at the business practices under Kotick's watch. The Guitar Hero franchise is treading water already and doesn't need the headache of another settlement.

Kevin Reilly
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Statute of limitations in California for fraud is 3 years. Curious he waited nearly 3 years to file suit for something he objected to 3 years ago, right? Also interesting they didn't attach the contract which they claimed was breached because the statute of limitations on breach of an oral contract is 2 years. Be interesting to see if this survives a motion to dismiss.

Andrew Grapsas
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This just sounds like more Axl bashing Slash, though indirectly through Activision. Man wants more lime light.

Jed Hubic
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That, and 20 million.

asdfd asdfasd
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axl vs bobby .. may the biggest douche bag win

Chad Wagner
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It seems like this constant stream of lawsuits and licensing stipulations is a tremendous load on the Music Game genre. I often wonder how these were ever produced! And it looks like they may put an end to an already fading genre before it really matures to its potential. I wish these games would become the new method of music content delivery/presentation. Like the new Music Video. Unfortunately, they are just too expensive to become a new mass outlet.

Andrew Hopper
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Too expensive if you like dealing with egotistical mass market personalities, maybe its just time to ease back on the branding before all respect is lost by the industry?


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