Halo Composers "Amicably" Resolve Lawsuit Over Unpaid Royalties With Microsoft
The lawsuit between tech giant Microsoft and Halo's original composers, Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori, is over. Mediation has apparently "amicably resolved" arguments over royalties owed for using Halo's music in the new show airing on Paramount Plus.
Last February, O'Donnell and Salvatori threatened to delay the release of Halo on Paramount's streaming platform, which started airing at the end of March. A lawsuit filed in Washington Court accused Microsoft of failing to pay royalties related to the Halo show, leading the pair to ask the courts for an injunction to halt the release of the show. Microsoft argued that O'Donnell and Salvatori's music was "work-for-hire" and thus didn't require any royalty payments for their use.
"It was never work-for-hire. It was always a licence deal," O'Donnell said in an interview with Eurogamer. "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."
Mediation began in late February with the hope of staving off a trial set to begin in May. It seems that mediation was successful for O'Donnell and Salvitori as O'Donnell recently tweeted they "have amicably resolved their differences" with Microsoft. The tweet was captioned with a lengthy YouTube video on O'Donnell's channel showing the creation of the Halo 2 music.
Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but O'Donnell promised to "share some videos" in the near future.
This isn't the first time O'Donnell has gone to court over his music. O'Donnell sued Bungie for wrongful termination in 2014, touching off a long legal feud over the rights to unused Destiny music that eventually ended with O'Donnell paying $100,000 in damages.
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