Report: MTV Games, WMG enter licensing stalemate

<i>The Hollywood Reporter</i> says Rock Band publisher and record label have reached deadlock over usage fees, may delay new content.

Warner Music Group is one of the largest record labels in the world, but it may be some time before any more of its artists appear in MTV Games' Rock Band franchise. Following on from disgruntled comments made by WMG CEO Edgar Bronfman in August, Wired reported last month that MTV Games is now "boycotting" the label in response to the company's demand for increased licensing fees.

As it turns out, Wired's characterization isn't the only spin on the situation. Speaking with sources at both WMG and MTV Games this week, The Hollywood Reporter reports that the disagreement is better termed as a "stalemate." According to the news trade, MTV at some point put in a request to WMG for a number of new licenses, but, in line with Bronfman's stance, the record label returned a counteroffer that the Rock Band publisher was not amenable to. Therefore, MTV Games is holding off on further license requests until an arrangement with WMG can be settled on.

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, a number of WMG artists have had their tunes released as part of developer Harmonix's weekly releases of new playable songs through Rock Band and its sequel this year, including the Grateful Dead and the Pretenders. Others, such as Jane's Addiction and its Nothing's Shocking album, are still planned for release later this year.

However, the licensing agreements for the aforementioned WMG artists were reportedly arrived at before the record label changed its stance on the issue. As a result of the dispute, The Hollywood Reporter claims MTV Games will run out of new WMG music by early summer, and it may take up to five months after a resolution has been agreed on before the label's artists once again begin appearing in the game.

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