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October 11, 2013

Grand Theft Audio? Rapper Wants GTA 5 Recalled for Stolen Beats

  Cruxial CIO

By Paul McDougall

Daz Dillinger said the top-selling but controversial video game “Grand Theft Auto Five” includes his songs and lyrics without permission. The rapper wants the game’s publisher to recall and destroy all unsold copies.

Dillinger said GTA 5 publisher Take-Two Interactive and producer Rockstar Games did not have a license to include his songs “C-Walk” and “Nothin’ But the Cavi Hit” in the game’s soundtrack.

According to TMZ, Dillinger found that his songs were in GTA 5, even though he’d previously rejected an “offensively low” offer of $4,271 for both from Rockstar. The case is about “respecting an artist’s work. Rockstar didn’t do that here and I can’t let them get away with it,” Dillinger told TMZ.

Dillinger reportedly is giving Rockstar 14 days to get rid of the games or settle his complaint some other way, presumably through compensation.

GTA 5 was released on September 15, and has since grossed more than $1 billion in sales, making it one of the biggest selling digital products of all time.

Despite its popularity, the game remains controversial. The plot requires players to successfully commit felonies on their way to building a criminal empire. Critics says it glorifies violence and an outlaw lifestyle.

Dillinger’s complaint shows that companies producing digital products need to ensure that all content is properly vetted and licensed. Theft of digital music costs recording artists an estimated $12.5 billion annually, according to a study by the Institute for Policy Innovation.

“It’s commonly known as ‘piracy,’ but that’s too benign of a term to adequately describe the toll that music theft takes on the enormous cast of industry players working behind the scenes to bring music to your ears,” said the Recording Industry Association of America, in a statement.

Dillinger’s rap rip-off accusation isn’t the only problem facing GTA 5’s producers. The online version of the game, which went live on October 1, has been plagued with problems similar to those suffered by the healthcare exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.

Many would-be players have reported being unable to log on, or getting booted after playing for just a short time, losing their characters and in-game progress. To compensate, Rockstar on Friday said it would credit players’ accounts with $500,000 in virtual currency that can be used in-game.

“We will be dropping a cool half a million GTA$ in the GTA Online bank accounts of all players this month, starting as early next week,” said Rockstar, in a statement. “Things are starting to look much smoother (touch wood),” the company said. 


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