Former Bungie songwriter charged in contempt of court for use of Destiny Music

Former Bungie songwriter Marty O’Donnell, known for his work on the Halo and Destiny series, has been found in contempt of court for his use of Destiny’s musical assets that broke the terms of a 2015 lawsuit between him and Bungie. . O’Donnell now faces tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

As revealed Eurogamer, Bungie held the famous Halo composer in contempt of court documents in April after it emerged that Destiny videos breaking the terms of a previous 2015 lawsuit between the pair had been posted on O’s YouTube channel. ‘Donnell and other platforms.

On July 12 of this year, after reviewing the evidence presented, Washington King County Superior Court Judge Regina Cahan ruled in favor of the study. As part of the ruling, O’Donnell was reported to have removed all relevant Destiny material from the internet. To ensure that a similar situation does not arise in the future, O’Donnell has also been required to send a range of his electronic devices for forensic examination in order to ensure that all assets related to the case in his possession are disposed of. .

The composer has also been told to pay Bungie the money he received from the sale of the music uploaded to Bandcamp, as well as the studio’s legal fees. While these fees are apparently still in dispute, they include both Bungie’s legal fees and costs associated with third-party forensic examination of its devices, a figure that Bungie reportedly argues is approaching $ 100,000.

To ensure that the damages caused by the composer’s previous uploads are limited, the court order states that O’Donnell must “publish a message, the wording of which the parties agree, on his Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp and Soundcloud sites / channels stating that it had no legal authority to possess material related to Music of the Spheres or Destiny and asking anyone who has previously downloaded such assets to delete and refrain from sharing and will destroy any copies of them. ”

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While O’Donnell has yet to write such a message, the court order further says that by doing so, the composer cannot comment directly or indirectly on inquiries made surrounding the post and must instead “let the message speak for yourself. ”

O’Donnell served as Bungie’s Audio Lead until 2014 when he was fired. As part of the subsequent lawsuit at the time, the composer was ordered to ensure that “all material” in his possession related to Destiny was returned to Bungie. Furthermore, the composer was also told at the time that he was not allowed to perform or share any music related to any of the works.

In 2019, however, O’Donnell began uploading videos and other Destiny-related materials, including the basis for his score, Music of the Spheres, to his online social media. As part of this, O’Donnell posted tracks and an album titled “Sketches for MotS” on Bandcamp where fans of the songwriter could pay him a voluntary fee to support him.

As part of the Eurogamer report, Bungie objected to O’Donnell’s possession of the materials, which he argued violated the 2015 court order. Bungie then filed a contempt of court motion against the composer that , as reviewed by Eurogamer, says: “The mere possession of such materials by Mr. O’Donnell demonstrates that he did not comply with the order to return ‘all material’ to Bungie.”

On June 4, O’Donnell asked fans to consider purchasing his unrelated soundtrack for the PSVR game Golem, stating that the money raised would help with his huge legal bills.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow it on Twitter.