THQ faces SmackDown music suit

New York musician claims publisher used one of his songs in last year's WWE grappling game without permission; demands at least $12 million in damages.

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THQ's World Wrestling Entertainment line of games is one of the company's staple franchises year in and year out, but it has also been the source of a number of lawsuits. The company is currently fighting a trademark-infringement case brought against it by the wrestler formerly known as The Ultimate Warrior and another from the WWE itself, which is seeking to have its game license agreement nullified.

Another legal tangle surrounding the popular series has sprung up, as last month a New York musician named Michael Tumbarello, formerly knows as "Vada," filed a civil suit against the publisher, charging that it used one of his songs in last year's SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 without permission. Tumbarello claims that his performance of a song titled "King of the Mat" appears in the game in its entirety, and that THQ neither asked for nor was given permission to include the cut.

Tumbarello's suit says the musician notified THQ of his grievance in January of this year and demanded the publisher stop distributing the game to no avail. Now Tumbarello is seeking damages of no less than $3 million for copyright infringement, no less than $3 million each for misappropriation of property, violation of New York civil rights law, and one other charge referenced but not actually specified in the suit.

THQ representatives had not returned a request for comment as of press time. Attempts to contact Tumbarello's lawyer for clarification on the last charge were unsuccessful.

Discussion

93 comments
gibbi_1
gibbi_1

its ok but not as good as 2007

gibbi_1
gibbi_1

i think this game is good but soon it would of gon down the drain because of 2007

1505man
1505man

They should have PPV music as the background music. At least we have heard of the bands who perform the PPV themes.

lightning_kf
lightning_kf

Wait a minute. King of The Mat???? Good grief that song was awful. All of the songs on SmackDown Vs Raw 2006 are some of the worst BGMs I have ever heard. I wouldn't pay even a cent for that. All of those songs belong in the garbage. It also doesn't help me when my brother and sister sings most of them.

imtiaz2k5
imtiaz2k5

It's a tight game to play, but the season mode is too short and the story always repeated with all the wrestler in the roster

wasting_death
wasting_death

1. That song was utter crap 2. How could this song have not been made for the game (one wrestling reference after another) 3. Finally why must everyone have such beef against pretty much the only good wrestling game on the market (I don't even watch WWE and I'm a huge fan) Just let the smackdown be

JonathanTav
JonathanTav

It seems like everytime i turn around, theres a new problem or concern wit the smackdown franchize. JUST LET IT BE!!!! and that was a pretty crappy song to try to get 12 million for.

xtreme_chief
xtreme_chief

This is pretty bad. I hope these party poopers don't effect the World Wrestling Entertainment company.

nodnarb_419
nodnarb_419

that song sucked. I hope this wont effect sd vs raw 2007.

YamiGuzz
YamiGuzz

well to be honest the song sucked,but even though some of us think this all ridiculus,he should still sue, but i dont care if he wins or looses

juggalo1021
juggalo1021

this is one of the most messed up things that i have read on here in a while. some people will do anything to get money these days.

Nemesis_x2
Nemesis_x2

That a shame.Now & days people always tryin to find a way to get money..:(

kalkhaja
kalkhaja

that seems fair, but $12 million??!! maybe 10,000 bucks would have been enough

Dreski83
Dreski83

true... law is law and ol' boy should get his due for who ever was using his goods without permission. BUT, seriously take into consideration how this exposure could only be good for the artist who in my ear produced a bit of a sucky song... oh well...

_Sam_
_Sam_

wow, that seems too much

lightning_kf
lightning_kf

Exactly which song was it? None of the songs in the game never fancied me, except the entrance music.

WWE4lyfe123
WWE4lyfe123

THQ i dont want guys to lose your license You guys are franchise for WWE Games Without you WWE games would Suck YOU GUYS ARE THE GOD FOR WWE GAMES AND DONT WANT YOU GUYS TO LOSE YOU LICENCE

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

He wrote a song.....about wrestling.....was it perhaps a love song about the fact that fully half of the male pro wrestlers are dating each other?

Chris875
Chris875

I hope THQ loses it's licence, it's not like their the ones developing the game anyway. SD v. Raw fans won't miss a beat if a new publisher let's Yukes continue to make them.

walter6
walter6

I apologize for any inconvenience, I was just saying I hope this guy win or lose does not effect THQ WWE Smackdown series games in any negative way. Besides, if anything, this guy's song, if it was on the game, would help him not damage him. Anyone who liked the song would be his future CDs. Either way, he was not hurt in an way besides being extra filthy rich and voting for the worst President in American History.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

THQ can handle these lawsuits, even when they make those games.

crills
crills

since i make music i feel him sue them bast.......!!!!

Brainkiller05
Brainkiller05

$12 million? :lol: If anything it helped 'advertise' his song.

MartinMan
MartinMan

Wow looks like someone needs money, lol

sonic_nhl
sonic_nhl

Michael who? Every song in this game sucked ass. there was only 1 song that was decent. and it sure as hell wasn't yours.

limberis
limberis

If this is true it is plain stealing from the musician. It takes away any money he would have made from the songs use and hurts him in the future. Maybe he wanted to pursue making music for games. This could have been on his resume. What if he was shopping the song to other publishers? Maybe he was trying to make it with a band and feels this type of use of his music would harm the bands image. Bottom line the owner of the song should decide what is done with it.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

This guy is stupid. Is it that big of a deal? I never heard of the guy. I could care less. This guy just wants some easy cash.

jimbo6923
jimbo6923

Why have crappy music in the games to begin with? That's kind of an EA sorta thing, isn't it? I mean, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater started a trend with music that fit the genre... THPS 1 and 2 had a great sound track, but then 3 and all the sequels to follow were littered with hip hop garbage. Smackdown is the same way... it's littered with hip hop (and other forms of "urban style") that is pure and total garbage. THQ should just stop adding soundtracks to wrestling games, period. EA already has it in there minds that we want a godawful remake or "remix" of a great song (usually by The Doors) added in with a sound track of generic "street" beats and use it as a selling point. I certainly hope THQ doesn't follow Activision and EA.... but as long as we're calling game series; "franchises" now, I guess there is no hope for the future of gaming... it's just so huge now it's vomitting upon itself and ultimately the consumer.

redomegaz
redomegaz

THQ faces SmackDown, music suit, THQ's World Wrestling Entertainment, Tumbarello,

playa42018
playa42018

The THQ wrestling games are terrible, bring back Aki Corp or Fire Pro Wrestling.

GMAN32X
GMAN32X

Whether the song was good or not does not change the fact that there is a viable legal issue here. If THQ infriged upon Tumbarello's rights to that song, then they should be made to pay up.

Harerazer
Harerazer

Shasam, that's the deal exactly. You ask for $12 mill and settle out of court for like 6. But if you ask for what you want you're gonna get half anyway.

MSE369
MSE369

hahahaha hilarious...THQ should really watch out

shasam712
shasam712

$12million is alot of money to ask for, a huge cut of the profit this game would have made. I would have asked for less, maybe get it settled out of court, but this guy is obviously no lawyer.

skemaal
skemaal

Pff 12 million. He probably wouldn't of made 12 cents without the game. Pretty lame especially when the song kinda sucks actually as does the artist. Ultimate Warrior, is an idiot, always was, always will. However, THQ should be heck of a lot more careful on what they do. If the WWE themselves are looking to nullify the game license. Someone at THQ didn't do his/her job right.

d-suhiti
d-suhiti

Just a lame excuse to cash in some money. Next..........

mithund
mithund

$12 million ? yeah dream on Michael Tumbarello. Just consider yourself fortunate that atleast now, people have heard of you !

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

I bet it's not even a good song!

bubnux
bubnux

Give the dev team at AKI another chance, all they would have to do is take WWF No Mercy, add a new coat of paint and its automatically a hit. As for the deadbeat- never heard of you till i read this article... you owe THQ 12 million dollars for being a freeloading deadbeat greasy hippie.

toonamil
toonamil

"I'm sure WWE wants out of their contract so they can sell it to EA. It all goes back to a contract they made with Jakks Pacific who supposedly denied higher bids for the contract with other publishers after the Acclaim contract was up. At the time WWE was upset that the WCW games were better then the Acclaim games (let's face it they were all crap). Now i'm sure EA has contacted WWE with a multi-million dollar offer and they just want to cash-in. As far as the guy saying his song was used without permission THQ will settle with the guy out of court. But THQ's biggest money-maker is WWE, so i'm sure they have to be a little worried right now. After all the fall of Acclaim happened AFTER they lost the WWE license. After all, EA has to be upset that they bought the WCW license and never got to even put a game out under it because WCW sold to WWE." To quote a great man: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You're Wrong. 1) WWE are making alot of money off the Smackdown! series, so I'm sure they don't want out of their contract to go to EA. Moving to EA wouldn't do a damn thing because all that counts is the developer, the people who make the game. 2) Acclaim did not end up dead because of losing the WWE license. It was because of bad business decisions (buy tombstones in UK to promote Shadowman), poor games (BMX XXX, Legends of Wrestling), many lawsuits, and lack of interest. The WWE would really be a small blow to the company, but their fall would've happened with or without the license. 3) EA did released a WCW game. In fact, they released two. And they both sucked. The only time their wrestling games were good were when they had developer AKI to work on the games.

NnyCW
NnyCW

Let's see, something that sells millions a year adding your song to their playlist... Maybe I'm crazy, but to me that sounds like fantastic free advertising for any of your CD's and/or live shows.

wenbin09
wenbin09

ridiculous!! they shld be glad the game itself is bringing more audience for the songs..

ffmusicdj
ffmusicdj

That sux, With that last game being so good, It's hard to believe that THQ would screw up so much, I sure hope whoever made the mistake of forgetting the ask for music use gets fired. We dont need people in the industry who cant do their job.

Pablo620
Pablo620

How could having your song in a game cause 12 million dollars worth of damage