Marty O’Donnell, the former sound director at Bungie who worked at glory and Fate for years was forced by a court to upload a video yesterday asking people to stop sharing and publishing video game music he uploaded online without legal permission and against court orders. In the short video, the composer even asks fans to “destroy” all copies of the music they still have.
On O’Donnell’s YouTube channel, the composer uploaded a 45 second video yesterday, which contains a pre-written and legally-approved message asking people to stop sharing or publishing “non-commercially available material related to Fate or The music of the spheres.”
His full statement can be read below.
“To whom it May concern,
I do not have, and have not had since at least April 2014, the legal authority to possess or distribute non-commercially available material related to Destiny or Music of the Spheres (including material I composed or created while working for Bungie).
This material is owned by Bungie. If you have posted some of these assets on a website or other publicly available platform, you should remove the content immediately. If you have copies of these assets, you should refrain from sharing and destroying any copies of them.
This request does not apply to any Destiny or Music of the Spheres material that you have lawfully obtained from commercially available sources. “
Back in 2010, three years after Bungie and Microsoft parted ways, the studio began working with Activision on a 10-year development plan to create Fate franchise. And it was decided by Bungie and O’Donnell that instead of creating music for each planned part of the game, O’Donnell would compose a large score for the entire franchise and all future games. After two years of composing with Michael Salvatori and former Beatle Paul McCartney, they had created a large eight-part score called “The Music of Spheres”.
But before E3 2013, Activision decided not to use its music for Destiny 1 ‘s E3 2013 trailer. According to court documents from back in 2015, O’Donnell was furious about the change and complained directly to Bungie CEO Harold Ryan. The rest of the Bungie management agreed that Activision exceeded and filed a formal complaint, but the publisher ignored it. O’Donnell’s plans to release the project as a separate release were rejected by both Bungie and Activision. This eventually led to O’Donnell going online when the Activision-scored E3 trailer premiered, tweeting that the music was not Bungies, leading to a clash with the developer and eventually to further problems between the studio and the composer. , he was fired for no reason on April 11, 2014.
Trials followed. In a lawsuit – which O’Donnell won – he was still ordered to return “all material” from Fate and “Music of the Spheres” – not just the final scores, but each version, component and variation.
But in 2019 (after leak in 2018 of “Music of the spheres ”score online) O’Donnell started uploading music from the project. Bungie’s lawyers argued that this correction violated the previous injunction, and in May 2021, a judge ruled in Bungie’s favor.
In September this year, O’Donnell was found in contempt of court for his persistent use of Fate assets, including uploading song clips online long after he was fired and left Bungie in 2014. According to Eurogamer, such use violated the terms of a previous lawsuit. He was forced to pay Bungie almost $ 100,000 and ordered to make a video explain that he did not have the authority to provide this music or this material. In addition, O’Donnell was to tell anyone who downloaded the assets to refrain from sharing them and to destroy any copies of them.
Now, almost two months later, and after both sides of the legal battle agreed on the text, that video has been uploaded to both his YouTube and Twitter accounts.
It seems to be the end of this long legal battle, but I would not be surprised if a new wrinkle or a new chapter in this saga emerges in the not too distant future.