The re-performance of a song for use in a video game pursuant to a non-exclusive synchronization license does not, without more, violate the original artists' right of publicity, even if the artists are referenced, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan held Jan. 22 (Romantics v. Activision Publishing Inc., E.D. Mich., No. 07-14969, 1/22/08).
Activision recorded a new version of the song for use within Guitar Hero. When players encountered the song, it came with the subtitle "as made famous by the Romantics." The Romantics said that this was a violated their right of publicity, was unfair competition under the Lanham Act, and constituted unfair competition. The court disagreed.