Arranger Claims Permission Wasn’t Granted for Use
Normally when a demo of an upcoming Sonic fan game is released, it’s met with equally healthy amounts of praise and constructive criticism. Yesterday, however, there was a bit of a firestorm surrounding the first demo release of Sonic Firestorm–as allegations flew of an unauthorized use of someone’s remixed Sonic music.
The demo release of Firestorm was met with some initial praise, and why not–the successor to ProShadow Blaze’s Sonic Adventure: Remix presently boasts two modes, several characters to choose from, and an auto-save feature.
But someone on the Firestorm development team, which includes SFGHQ senior member and music composer Huepow00, forgot to check sources for the music within. That sent Tweaker, Sonic Retro forum administrator and the arranger of one such tune that made it in the demo, fuming.
Tweaker claims the Firestorm team lifted his arrangement without permission, pointing the finger directly at ProShadow Blaze:
Whose bright idea was it to take an old song collaboration of mine from like two years back, and, without permission or credit, put it in this game? That Flying Battery arrangement was made by a friend of mine, Verse (you may have seen his work on VGMusic before), and I did the arrangement for him by request out of fun. While it’s quite dated, that gives you absolutely no right to just go and jack it for whatever purposes you see fit.
I gave this project permission to use the older tracks that me and AeroGP worked on for Sonic Adventure Remix, but not any of my works verbatim, and especially not without any sort of credit. I may not have minded the song being in there at one point, but this kind of behavior is totally uncalled for. I want all of my works out of this game ASAP, and I don’t want to see them even associated with Sonic Cage Dome at any point in the future. You relinquished that privilege the second you didn’t even think of asking me for use of my music.
With others on the Firestorm team claiming ignorance, the development irked ProShadow Blaze, who pointed the finger to team member GamerGuy. For his part, Huepow00 notes:
*nods at the drama* I didn’t make that song at all. [….] I agree with Tweaker, if he wasn’t asked for permission for his music, thats no-cool. And if he want’s the song removed from the demo (and I say demo, because I was under the impression the song was only a Temporary Filler) than his wish should be granted.
The issue was eventually resolved, but it was done so off the SFGHQ boards, and not without a few posts from the thread on the matter being purged. What was salvaged from the mess included an apology from Tweaker for misdirecting the blame:
The fault seems to be of GamerGuy, seeing as I know both AeroGP and Huepow00 have absolutely nothing to do with this situation. I’ve had similar run-ins with Cage Dome’s STi unit before, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Hell, I was even part of it at one point.
However, I see no reason why, given the situation on face value, why I should not be upset about what happened. As I said, I made the song by request of Verse, the arrangement’s original author.
I’m more than open to apologize for accusing him of something he was not responsible, and in fact I am sorry. He didn’t deserve that, and I apologize. However, that also doesn’t discredit what happened here; I’ll just have to focus my case somewhere where it actually matters.
We do not know the details of the resolution, as the matter was handled privately.
Remixed music has found some legitimacy when it comes to retaining the individual rights to them. There are several groups who dedicate themselves to remixing the classics and then selling them–OneUp Studios is among the most notable–and we’ll soon get our first test of how well a soundtrack based on a Sonic Fan Game can fare in the marketplace. Still, as there are plenty of composers and arrangers who are content with their tunes in a Sonic fan game, there are sure to be many more who just don’t know how their work is being used. What do you think? Let us know in the comments box below.