Do you remember the Fallout 4 advertisements featuring Dion DiMucci’s 1961 classic song The Wanderer that came out ahead of the game’s release in 2015? Well, it turns out Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media is facing a lawsuit over its use of the song.
Here’s the advertisement in question:
To be clear, according to The Wrap which broke the story, DiMucci’s issue with the trailer wasn’t the fact that his song was used, rather it was the way it was used. In fact, ZeniMax actually went through the proper channels beforehand and obtained the licensing rights for the song from UMG Recordings. However, ZeniMax didn’t entirely adhere to the agreement, which was supposed to give DiMucci the right to bargain for better payment separately and to prohibit the use of the song in the event that his terms were not met.
And that is the core of the issue: DiMucci was allegedly never afforded that opportunity. If he had, according to the lawsuit, he would have been able to raise objections to the levels of violence displayed throughout the Fallout 4 commercial in question.
“Defendant’s Commercials were objectionable because they featured repeated homicides in a dark, dystopian landscape, where violence is glorified as sport,” the lawsuit says in part. “The killings and physical violence were not to protect innocent life, but instead were repugnant and morally indefensible images designed to appeal to young consumers.”
DiMucci claims that had ZeniMax approached him in advance, he would have been able to ask it alter the commercials “so that, for instance, instead told the story of a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival without craven violence.” He also claims that if ZeniMax opted not to change the script he “could have priced into his fee adequate compensation to safeguard himself against the potential loss of goodwill from being associated with the immoral images in Defendant’s scripts.”
The lawsuit is seeking damages “in excess of $1 million.” ZeniMax has yet to issue a statement about this development.