Game music composer Bobby Prince is suing Valve, Gearbox, and Randy Pitchford
over unauthorized use of his music in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition
, the Duke 3D reissue from
. Prince, perhaps most famous for his iconic DOOM soundtrack has
) stating that his 1996 soundtrack was reused without permission. He
is demanding a trial by jury and is seeking "maximum statutory damages per
infringement or, alternatively, actual damages and Defendants’ profits, plus
attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as an injunction prohibiting Defendants from
infringing his copyrights." Valve is cited here for because Prince claims they
continued to offer the game through Steam
after being informed of the problem:
"Valve distributed copies of Duke Nukem 3D World Tour. Valve continued doing so
after receiving actual notice that Duke Nukem 3D World Tour infringed Mr.
Prince’s copyright." Here are details of the complaint against Gearbox and
Before Gearbox Software and Gearbox Publishing released Duke
Nukem 3D World Tour, Mr. Pitchford received a copy of the 1996 license between
Apogee and Mr. Prince. He thus knew that Mr. Prince owned the rights to the
music and that Apogee had to pay Mr. Prince for its use of the music in prior
versions of Duke Nukem games.
Gearbox Software and Gearbox Publishing released Duke Nukem 3D World Tour on
October 11, 2016. The game included music composed by Mr. Prince that is covered
by his copyright registration and sound effects and edited dialog created by Mr.
Prince. The electronic files for the music within Duke Nukem 3D World Tour
include text specifically stating that Mr. Prince owns the copyright to the
Eventually, Mr. Pitchford directed Steve Gibson, the Head of Publishing at
Gearbox Publishing, to make sure that Gearbox was “doing right” by Mr. Prince.
Despite receiving a direct order to “do right” by Mr. Prince, Gearbox proceeded
to distribute infringing copies of Duke Nukem 3D World Tour without obtaining a
license and without compensating Mr. Prince.
During discussions with Mr. Prince, Mr. Pitchford and Mr. Gibson acknowledged
that Mr. Prince owned the music he had composed for Duke Nukem 3D
and that Gearbox used in Duke Nukem 3D World Tour.
Mr. Pitchford adopted the position that Gearbox had no license to use Mr.
Mr. Gibson acknowledged that Gearbox had no license to use Mr. Prince’s music.
Upon information and belief, Gearbox did nothing to clear the rights to Mr.
Prince’s music before incorporating it into Duke Nukem 3D World Tour.
Eventually, it became evident that Gearbox had no intention of paying Mr. Prince
for its use of his music. Mr. Prince advised Gearbox that it could either pay
him according to the terms of the original license for the music or remove his
music from the game. Mr. Pitchford and Gearbox did neither.