Guitar maker Gibson apparently decided that the rejuvenation of the music industry thanks to the smash hits Guitar Hero (and its siblings) and Rock Band was too much good news. They’ve gone suit happy suing everyone remotely involved in it. This includes Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Amazon, K-Mart, Gamestop…… (I need a breather here… almost done… okay…) Activision, Harmonix, MTV Networks and Electronic Arts.
Why? Well, they claim all of these companies are infringing on their intellectual property. The main patent involved prohibits endeavors that, “…simulate participation in a concert by playing a musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3-D display that includes stereo speakers…”
Are they joking? Has anyone at Gibson actually tried any of these games? The guitars in them are no more a music instrument than a radio is. You twist some dial, push some buttons and music comes out. The lawyers for the defendants should hand the other side a Rock Band guitar and ask them to play a tune on it sans the console systems. Best of luck. I’d also really like to know what part of Rock Band includes a head-mounted 3-D display that includes stereo speakers, or for that matter, what the hell they were envisioning when they thought that monster up.
The ironic part about this is that this is yet another case of biting the hand that feeds you. These games are doing wonders for the music industry across the board. After decades of wanting to try to play guitar it was as a result of these games that I actually did start learning. I’m far from alone. These games are driving major interest in playing an instrument. I’m always amazed at how there can be so many companies like Gibson that get taken over by the short-sighted bean counters who can’t count past ten. They’re not going to get a percentage of the pie here. It’s just not going to happen. Instead they’re just going to drive irate fans to buy competitors products. Nice job Gibson. Next why not just sue all the customers too.