Halo's original composers Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori have sued Microsoft for 20 years of missing royalites. The case will be taken up next week and could potentially go to court if the parties do not agree. According to O'Donnell and Salvatori, they own the rights, while Microsoft says that they are only employees and thus that Microsoft is the owners of the rights.
This is what O'Donnell says about the situation:
It was never work-for-hire. It was always a licence deal. So that's what we did with Halo. With the first Halo music ever, that was written and recorded in 1999 for the first time. It was licensed to Bungie. Bungie didn't get bought by Microsoft for over a year.
At the time, the Halo music, for this very nascent beginning thing called Halo, was still owned by O'Donnell Salvatori and licensed to Bungie.
According to O’Donnell, this also extends to the upcoming TV series that he says this about:
[they're] using our monk chant (calling it the theme to Halo) to also advertise and solicit subscriptions for Paramount+.
Those who has seen the trailer has probably wondered why it lacks Halo music and the lawsuit would very well be the reason why when this lawsuit was sent in already in 2020. Then the question is whether O'Donnell and Salvatori can be right in substance as far as (as they claim is) a copied driving-loop in the trailer, this remains to be seen.
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