In what should come as a shocking surprise to absolutely no one, a federal judge ruled in favor of Activision against 80s band The Romantics’ plea to stop using a cover version of their song “What I Like About You” in Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80’s. The Romantics’ case can be summed up in one entirely ridiculous sentence: The cover was so good, that it was practically indistinguishable from the original, and therefore, somehow a rip-off.
Never mind that Activision took all the right steps to securing the usage rights from the labels – a process they have plenty of experience with since the days Guitar Hero II. Perhaps The Romantics’ could have taken the hint when no bands cried foul over that game, or even the original Guitar Hero – a game consisting entirely of cover songs.
All in all, it’s looking to have been another sad case of a washed-up band attempting to turn a quick buck on a past success, regrettably through litigation. The Romantics’ might have had more luck had they chosen to sue over Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80’s real crime – charging full price for a game that is clearly nothing more than a sloppy Guitar Hero II mod with a lackluster set list, stripped-down features, outfits that literally look as though they were pasted directly onto the character models and a disgraceful lack of content.
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