A Brazilian civil court says Rockstar must cease global sales of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
because it uses a song without consent from the composer -- and that it will fine the developer and its distributor some $3,000 per day if they don't comply.
According to a statement from Barueri's Third Civil Court, the the song in question is called "Bota o Dedinho pro Alto
," composed by a Brazilian man for his 8 year-old son.
ABC News spoke to the Luiz Baida
, sales director of Synergex, the company that acts as Rockstar's distributor for Brazil. The court is able to extend the legal action to implicate U.S. retail copies as well, since Rockstar is a U.S. company. Baida said Rockstar has been notified of the action, and that it has the option to appeal.
The content in question has been on sale for some time. Episodes From Liberty City
is the disc-based retail package that includes both DLC episodic add-ons for Grand Theft Auto IV
. The first of these, The Lost And Damned
, was released on Xbox Live in February 2009, and for PlayStation 3 and PC shortly thereafter.
It was followed by The Ballad of Gay Tony
, which released in a similar fashion beginning in October 2009 --hitting Xbox Live first for a period of exclusivity before opening up to other platforms.
Hoping to offer the content to even more consumers, Rockstar released the Episodes
disc around the same time, featuring both episodes and not dependent on the original GTA IV
It's likely Brazil's call for a prohibition on the Episodes
disc is related to the fact that Microsoft only announced localized Xbox Live services for the country
(along with other previously-unserved regions) last week, noting a special focus on core features like demos and DLC. It's possible that this is the first time Brazilians have seen the content.