Musician sues Bethesda for using music in "morally indefensible" Fallout 4 advert

Dallout 4 Dion DiMucci

Singer Dion DiMucci has filed a lawsuit against Bethesda, saying the Fallout 4 advert in which they used his song 'The Wanderer' was "repugnant."

For other repugnant and morally indefensible shooters, take a look at our list of the best first-person shooters on PC.

This is the advert in question:

DiMucci had an agreement with Universal that allowed his song to be licensed for use in adverts, but there was a clause in the document which, DiMucci claims, means the advert couldn't be played without Bethesda getting personal approval from DiMucci himself – something DiMucci says never happened. 

The court document doesn't couch its language: 

"As a direct and proximate of Defendant’s actions, Plaintiff has been damaged. In addition to the loss of the fee which Plaintiff had the right to charge for the use of his performance in commercial advertisements, he lost his right to refuse consent. 

Defendant’s Commercials were objectionable because they featured repeated homicides in a dark, dystopian landscape, where violence is glorified as sport. The killings and physical violence were not to protect innocent life, but instead were repugnant and morally indefensible images designed to appeal to young consumers. 

In The Wanderer, Dion gives life to the story of a sad young man who wanders from town to town, not having found himself or the capacity for an enduring relationship. The song describes isolation during coming of age. 

Without Plaintiff’s consent, Defendants dubbed The Wanderer into commercials in which the protagonist, a wanderer, roams from one location to the next, armed and hunting for victims to slaughter. Defendant’s Commercials have no redeeming value, they simply entice young people to buy a videogame by glorifying homicide, making the infliction of harm appear appealing, if not also satisfying.Had Defendant performed its obligations and bargained with Plaintiff prior to the first use, Plaintiff could have used his right to refuse consent to persuade Defendant to change the scripts so that, for instance, they instead told the story of a postapocalyptic struggle for survival without craven violence. Alternately, he could have priced into his fee adequate compensation to safeguard himself against the potential loss of goodwill from being associated with the immoral images in Defendant’s scripts."

DiMucci is asking for $1m to pay for damages to his reputation and the potential loss of income, and to cover the legal costs of suing Bethesda. 

Had Bethesda contacted DiMucci, the singer's suit claims, "[Dion] could have used his right to refuse consent to persuade Defendant [Bethesda] to change the scripts so that, for instance, they instead told the story of a postapocalyptic struggle for survival without craven violence. Alternately, he could have priced into his fee adequate compensation to safeguard himself against the potential loss of goodwill from being associated with the immoral images in Defendant’s scripts."

We've contacted Bethesda for comment.

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Predicted Cyborg avatarSilentius avatarpanbient avatarJenks avatarAnakhoresis avatarKrimzinZV avatar
Predicted Cyborg Avatar
7
Predicted Cyborg(7 days 13 hours played)
4 Months ago

I will say that I'd never heard the song until Fallout 4 used it in their adverts and game.

I've never associated it with a guy that "roams from one location to the next, armed and hunting for victims to slaughter. " Hell, if he had played the game at all he'd have seen that far from going looking for trouble, most of the time the trouble comes to you! And you gotta fight back, because the opponents certainly won't stop.

I really enjoy the song too. It's my favourite from the game.

2
panbient Avatar
210
4 Months ago

Unless you listened to specifically "Oldies" radio stations you would never have heard the song. It's older than what is generally considered "Classic Rock".

This isn't some obscure indie guy though. It's an old hippie from a whole other era - huge in the US prior to The Beatles / British invasion. He's old enough to have grown up during what the franchise used as the idyllic base for their "Pre-War" fiction. Any expectation that this really old guy would somehow be on top of a single franchise in this generation's pop culture is kind of ridiculous.

If anything I'd say the fault is with Universal where they're the ones who apparently have control on the use of the song they should also be responsible for ensuring the artist's approval upon application but prior to actual marketing usage. Then again Universal is probably loving the free press for a legacy artist that most people had probably forgotten was still alive (he's 77).

2
Silentius Avatar
192
Silentius(6 days 13 hours played)
4 Months ago

Plaintiff objects, in the strongest possible terms, that defendent isn't short of a bob or two and seeks $1m redress for nothing in particular.

1
panbient Avatar
210
4 Months ago

But... Dion is the plaintiff and Bethesda is the defendant...

2
Silentius Avatar
192
Silentius(6 days 13 hours played)
4 Months ago

Yeah, my point - poorly made I must say - is that the plaintiff (Dion) has noticed that the defendent (Bethesda) has made oodles of cash and is seeking his piece of the pie on a trumped up basis... I'm a cynic at heart.

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Jenks Avatar
342
4 Months ago

Love that song, made for a really great commercial. Shame he didn't appreciate it.

1
Anakhoresis Avatar
606
Anakhoresis(2 days 10 hours played)
4 Months ago

"Homicide"

Are supermutants considered human anymore in the Fallout universe?

Also, the song is literally about a dude who goes around banging multiple women without a care in the world. Sounds pretty moral to me, yup.

1
KrimzinZV Avatar
24
KrimzinZV(5 days 5 hours played)
4 Months ago

Shouldn't he be after Universal, not Bethesda?

1