Axl Rose, Former Guns N’ Roses front man, has failed in his attempt to exclude images of former band mate Slash from the “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” video game. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Palmer dismissed the remaining part of Rose’s lawsuit, which asserted that Activision Blizzard Inc. fraudulently induced him into authorizing the use of “Welcome to the Jungle” in the Guitar Hero III video game by promising that neither Slash nor his band Velvet Revolver would appear in the game. Slash’s image was used on the cover of the game and as an avatar in the actual game, in which players could attempt to play the song “Welcome to the Jungle.” Rose’s objections stem from the band’s breakup and long standing disputes dating back to 1996; according to his complaint, Rose believes Slash’s appearance causes fans confusion since he is no longer affiliated with the band.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, GNR Music, which administers the publishing rights of Guns N’ Roses, licensed “Welcome to the Jungle” to Activision. The company argued Rose had no authority to enter into a license individually, because he doesn’t own the song or sound recording, and, therefore, there could be no breach of contract. Rose contended that Wayne Milligan, who signed the synch license on behalf of GNR Music, also was acting as Rose’s personal agent.
The judge last August dismissed the fraud and misrepresentation claims of the lawsuit but allowed the breach of contract claims to go to trial. After hearing arguments on the breach of contract claims on Jan. 31, the judge granted Activision’s motion to dismiss the remaining contract claims.
After a three-year dispute, Activision settled a lawsuit with the band No Doubt in October. The band claim its digital likenesses were misused in the video game “Band Heroes.” While the band licensed its images for use in the video game to Activision, they contend the company used them in objectionable ways outside the scope of their license agreement, their likenesses were only to be used with the in-game tracks, not the entire catalog.
In 2011, due to a decline in the music genre, Activision discontinued both the “Guitar Hero” and “Band Hero” video game series.