News - Updated on March 30, 2022

Composers of original parts Halo suing Microsoft. According to them, for twenty years the company has not paid them the required license fees. Moreover, the prosecution is ready to impose an injunction on the release of the upcoming series based on Halo.

Composers Martin O’Donnell (Martin O’Donnell) and Michael Salvatori (Michael Salvatori) were engaged in musical accompaniment of all Halo from Bungie and other projects related to the franchise. peacefully shake out unpaid fees from Microsoft did not work out, so in June 2020 the lawsuit ended up in the District Court of Washington State.

According to the creators, they created the music and transferred it Bungie under license – the deal remained in force even after the merger Bungie from Microsoft in 2000. “Mikeys” consider the written melodies as a service work, which makes them the authors. However, composers do not agree with this point of view:

It was never a job for hire. This is the transfer of rights under the license. Here’s how it went with Halo. The first time music for the very first game was recorded was in 1999. Bungie received it under license. Bungie was independent of Microsoft another whole year.

Michael Salvatori and Martin O’Donnell in their youth.

In May 2000, O’Donnell became the sound engineer for Bungie. And Salvatori at that time continued to work for himself in their common company with O’Donnell O’Donnell Salvatori Inc. After the authors merge Halo from Microsoft O’Donnell re-signed the employment contract and made a note in it, they say, the music for the shooter is licensed. The employer had a number of questions related to this clarification, but in 2000 no one began to understand, and the case was postponed until later.

When the issue was brought back to attention, composers were asked to transfer copyright and publishing rights to the music. Microsoft. A new contract was eventually signed. The specialists wanted the company to notify them where and how their compositions are used – this was necessary for the correct calculation of royalties (only 20% of soundtrack sales, while musicians usually require half). However, according to O’Donnell, nothing of the kind Microsoft did not do so.

O’Donnell and Salvatori are considering banning the series for Halo. According to them, even in the promotional materials for the show there are melodies written by them for the game. The creators claim that the purpose of the lawsuit is not to return the rights to music from Haloand get the payments they deserve.

Negotiations on the case will take place next week, and if the parties fail to agree, the dispute will go further to court.

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