Attorneys for the Grammy award winning heavy metal band Metallica filed a lawsuit yesterday against Harmonix and Activision (who recently acquired Red Octane) for copyright infringement. The suit accuses the three gaming companies of illegally distributing copies of Metallica songs in the upcoming and highly anticipated games Guitar Hero III and Rock Band, both due out in late 2007.
The suit alleges that both companies planned to package and distribute Metallica music through their video games in what lawyers characterized as a "licensed music to player" system, or LM2P network. Metallica is fearful that album sales could decline if their fans were able to simply walk into any Gamestop or Best Buy and purchase an $80 video game that contained one of their songs.
"The band learned its lesson the hard way with file sharing in the late 90s," counsel for Metallica told reporters in a statement released soon after the filing. "This time they want to do a pre-emptive strike before the music gets out there."