Axl Rose suing Activision for $20M over Guitar Hero III

Guns N' Roses frontman taking publisher to court over virtual Slash, Velvet Revolver songs included in the game.

525 Comments

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock set a record in 2009, when it became the first multiplatform console title to generate more than $1 billion in revenue. However, it appears as if $20 million of that nine-figure sum may be diverted out of Activision's coffers, as the game is now the target of a high-profile lawsuit.

Rose has pegged his damages at $20 million.
Rose has pegged his damages at $20 million.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose has sued Activision for its use of the virtual likeness of Saul Hudson (better known as the top-hat-donning axe legend Slash) in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

In the court documents (available online from Radar Online), Rose alleges that Activision convinced him to lend "Welcome to the Jungle" to Guitar Hero III on the grounds that the game would not feature Slash's likeness or the guitarist's follow-up group, Velvet Revolver.

Slash was featured heavily in Guitar Hero III. He graced the game's cover and was a playable character in the game. Further, songs from Velvet Revolver ("She Builds Quick Machines," "Slither," and "Messages") were made available to gamers as downloadable content following the game's release.

"[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and [Velvet Revolver] prominently in GH III but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle,'" the statement reads.

In addition, Rose claims that "Sweet Child O' Mine," which was used to market Guitar Hero III, was only authorized for the title's predecessor, Guitar Hero II, and he is seeking reparations for that alleged transgression.

Rose isn't the first noted musician to sue Activision for rights violations in the Guitar Hero series. Last year, Kurt Cobain's bereaved wife Courtney Love sued the publisher over the Nirvana singer's virtual likeness in Band Hero.

For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

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Avatar image for jakesnakeel
jakesnakeel

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Dummies, He isn't suing on behalf of Slash. Read the article, "Rose alleges that Activision convinced him to lend "Welcome to the Jungle" to Guitar Hero III on the grounds that the game would not feature Slash's likeness or the guitarist's follow-up group, Velvet Revolver." I support anyone suing Activision.

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AgentRebecca

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Um...GH3 was made like how many years ago? He is now gonna do this? Way too late...also, if i had a penny for how many times GH gets sued...id be rich...

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ChiefFreeman

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Axel is a moron and a has been. He won't get a dime of what he's asking.

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Avatar image for Iloveconnie
Iloveconnie

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Poor Axl, prolly living on the street by now having to dream up these stupid lawsuits.

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Rocker6

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A fight between two idiots.I dont really care about the outcome.

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offspringthing4

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@gamerboy100 i agree it is pretty stupid, but Axl did ask that they not feature Slash as a character in the game if he were to give the rights to Guns N' Roses songs, in which he gave them the rights to use some, but they still put Slash in so i guess i can see where he's coming from, but I'm almost certain his motive for suing is solely for more money.

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camverge

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Haha, Axl is such an a-hole. I guess he needs to seak money else where no that he doesn't have a band to carry him. Then to go on and mention "other artists such as Courtney Love sued the company." I'm surprised she could stay sober long enough to show up in a courtroom without vommiting all over herself. When are the talented people who don't have to worry about their more successful counterparts going to have issues with this game?

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icyseanfitz

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greedy sob although i dont mind activision getting humbled a little bit

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LordAndrew

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@gamerboy100 Activision allegedly told him that Slash would not be in the game and Velvet Revolver would not be involved, and that's why he agreed to license Welcome to the Jungle. Those were the terms of their agreement, according to Axl Rose.

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offspringthing4

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Axl probably knew about this for the longest time, but ran across a money issue recently and decided to milk this for whatever amount of cash he can get out of it. I personally think he's just a greedy bastard.

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Avatar image for The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

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Although that is an odd agreement

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The_Gaming_Baby

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Well if Activision lied to him then I hope they lose.

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S001-PRIMAL

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well im enjoying this. thats how many people suing over guitar hero?

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gamerboy100

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I gotta call BS on this one. Axl can't sue over the usage of Slash as a playable character because Slash is no longer a member of Guns N' Roses and Axl DOES NOT OWN SLASH!!! People are NOT property! Also, why the hell is he suing over the use of Velvet Revolver songs as DLC when he had NOTHING to do with that band? I hope he doesn't get a single cent out of this!

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LordAndrew

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Did we just go back in time three years? He never even saw the box art until now?

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vega13mv

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I guess it's easier for him to make money this way instead making music that people wanna listen to.

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xbox360555

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um... NOW! this game came out in 2007 and your gonna sue 3 years later!? what an idiot!

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Red-I-Jedi

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He's just pissed cause nobody cares about axl anymore.

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D1zzyCriminal

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Axl is just jealous that Slash moved on instead of grasping on to the glory days with him.

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alert0

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Why is Axl suing Activision over Slash?? Doesn't he: a) Dislike Slash b) Have no legal say over what Slash does with his band and his likeness?

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ne0man

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he's jealous cause no one cares about him. I don't care about slash too much either, I like Stone Temple Pilots but I don't like velvet revolver

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wwonka666

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Wow, Gamespot it was not Band Hero that Kurt Cobain was featured in it was Guitar Hero 5. A big site like this can't even get that right. You should fire the writer who wrote this article. But why did it take Axl so long to file his lawsuit? Did he just get around to finding out about it 3 years later?

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BrunoBRS

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kinda too late to whine about that, eh axl?

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leon2365

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wow. thats strange cause i thought that slash himself gave them permission to use his likeness. afterall, he is his own person.

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