Everyone loves a bit of internet drama, even someone who hates it sometimes gets pulled into the teapot. This particular case has grabbed my attention due to how far back this problem goes. Bobby Prince is a video game composer who gained his renown back in the 90s for his work in many early FPS games. Games on Prince’s résumé include Wolfenstein 3D, the hardcore MIDI sounds of the original Doom, and most importantly, Duke Nukem 3D.
"Bobby Prince alleges that this music license did not transfer along with the rest of the rights in Gearbox’s 2010 acquisition of the franchise."
According to Prince, publisher Apogee (formerly 3D Realms) licensed his music for use in Duke back in 1996. More than a decade later, Gearbox acquired the rights to Duke Nukem and, after a short wait, released Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. This HD remaster of the game used the original music which is where the problem lies. Bobby Prince alleges that this music license did not transfer along with the rest of the rights in Gearbox’s 2010 acquisition of the franchise.
It’s important to note that the HD remaster remains available for purchase on the Steam store at the present time, perhaps indicating that Pitchford intends for this case to be easily won.
"In Prince's opinion... Valve have actually contributed to this due to their refusal to act on his takedown notice."
At the same time, Prince has issued a lawsuit against Valve Corporation, who refused a request made by Prince to remove the game from the store, through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). In Prince's opinion, while Gearbox themselves infringed upon his intellectual property, Valve have actually contributed to this due to their refusal to act on his takedown notice.
It’s been a year of controversy for both Pitchford and his company, and it looks like the flames aren’t dying down anytime soon.