Paper Mario suit turns out paper thin

Publisher says it had the rights to use <em>True Romance</em> music in GameCube commercial spot all along.

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Earlier this month, film company Morgan Creek Productions filed suit against Nintendo, alleging that the gaming giant had used a Hans Zimmer song from the score to True Romance in an ad for 2004's Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door without permission. The suit was quickly dropped six days later without explanation.

When asked why the sudden change of heart, a Morgan Creek representative simply told GameSpot "No comment." Nintendo was a little more forthcoming today with a statement that explains the suit's dropping, as well as the production company's reluctance to talk about it. Here's Nintendo's side of the story:

"The lawsuit alleged copyright infringement by Nintendo for its use of the song 'You're So Cool' in a Nintendo GameCube television commercial produced by advertising agency Leo Burnett USA, Inc. In response to the lawsuit, Leo Burnett provided Morgan Creek Productions with a copy of a music license entered into between Leo Burnett USA, on behalf of Nintendo of America and Morgan Creek, for licensing of the song. The lawsuit was dismissed by Morgan Creek Productions the following day."

This is not the first time a company has rushed into a lawsuit against Nintendo only to emerge embarrassed. According to Leonard Herman's gaming history tome "Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Videogames," in 1982, movie studio Universal claimed that Donkey Kong infringed on its rights to classic movie monkey King Kong. Nintendo fought the claim, pointing out that Universal actually didn't even own the rights to the King Kong name. Nintendo prevailed, and Universal was ordered to pay the game maker's legal fees in that case.

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