In 2010 Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose filed a lawsuit against Activision for breach of contract and fraud. Rose is claiming Acivision misused his likeness, his band’s songs and marketing in the Guitar Hero games.
The charges of fraud were thrown out but the $20 million dollar lawsuit for breach of contract has been approved by a judge and will be going to court.
Rose’s lawsuit arose because (according to him) Activision ‘fraudulently induced him’ into authorizing the song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ for use in the Guitar Hero game by convincing him it would not contain any reference to Slash. When the game was released there were many features of Slash, he was even a playable character. This aggravated Rose to no end, as he has had beef with Slash for years.
According to Skip Miller, Rose’s attorney, frequent emails were being sent to Activision expressing their objection to Slash being in Guitar Hero III, but the emails were ignored and the game was released anyway.
Activision are arguing that Axl Rose, as an individual, has no right to the song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, and therefore no breach of contract has been made because he has no authority over the song on his own.
Axl Rose is not the only celebrity with issues against Activision, the band No Doubt are also unhappy with the publisher. In 2009 they filed a suit claiming Activision had no contractual right to allow the group’s in game avatars to be used to perform other artist’s songs. They also claimed that Activision secretly hired actors to design dance moves for Band Hero that no member of No Doubt had ever performed. That lawsuit will go before the court in October this year.
The court proceedings for Rose’s lawsuit will most likely occur during February of next year.