What The Romantics don't like about 'Guitar Hero'

New-wave band sues game publisher Activision, claiming the popular game infringes on its rights to its own image and likeness.

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Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but try telling that to The Romantics.

The new-wave rock band has filed a lawsuit against Guitar Hero game publisher Activision for its use of a sound-alike recording of What I Like About You in Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. The band is also seeking an injunction against the game, which could result in the game being pulled from store shelves.

The band isn't claiming Activision infringed on its copyright of the song; indeed the game publisher had permission to use a cover version of the song. However, that cover version was too good, and The Romantics sued, claiming that game publisher infringed the group's right to its own image and likeness, the band's lawyers told the newspaper.

"It's a very good imitation, and that's our objection," William Horton told the paper. "Even the guys in the band said, 'Wow, that's not us, but it sure sounds like us.'"

Also named in he lawsuit was music firm Wavegroup Sound, which recorded the song for the game.

The game franchise has been wildly successful for Activision. Earlier this month, the company announced that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock had earned $115 million in its first week on the market.

About the author

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

 

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