A singer by the name of Dion DiMucci, who had dozens of Top 40 hits in the 50s and 60s, is suing video game makers Bethesda (and their parent company ZeniMax Media) over a commercial for the popular Fallout 4 game.
The game, which is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, used DiMucci’s hit song “The Wanderer” for a commercial spot that displayed an atomic blast flattening a quaint suburb before depicting the game’s hero emerging from a fallout shelter and wandering (get it?!?) around searching for items, supplies, weapons, allies, and enemies.
In his lawsuit, DiMucci claims the game uses “repugnant and morally indefensible images” and has demanded $1 million in damages (plus his legal costs). DeMucci apparently has a general agreement with the Universal Music Group for his songs to be used in commercials, but he alleges that he also has the right to “separately bargain with” those who want to use his music, and the right to refuse use.
From the lawsuit:
As a direct and proximate of Defendant’s actions, Plaintiff has been damaged. In addition to the loss of the fee which Plaintiff had the right to charge for the use of his performance in commercial advertisements, he lost his right to refuse consent.
Defendant’s Commercials were objectionable because they featured repeated homicides in a dark, dystopian landscape, where violence is glorified as sport. The killings and physical violence were not to protect innocent life, but instead were repugnant and morally indefensible images designed to appeal to young consumers.
In The Wanderer, Dion gives life to the story of a sad young man who wanders from town to town, not having found himself or the capacity for an enduring relationship. The song describes isolation during coming of age.
Without Plaintiff’s consent, Defendants dubbed The Wanderer into commercials in which the protagonist, a wanderer, roams from one location to the next, armed and hunting for victims to slaughter. Defendant’s Commercials have no redeeming value, they simply entice young people to buy a videogame by glorifying homicide, making the infliction of harm appear appealing, if not also satisfying.
DiMucci also slammed the commercial’s existence on YouTube, saying “their continued presence is an ongoing irreparable injury.”
What do you think? Here’s the commercial itself: