microsoft: Microsoft is being sued by Halo composers, here’s why


Marty O’Donnell and Mike Salvatori, the composers for the original Halo trilogy, are suing Microsoft over the issue of alleged unpaid royalties, as per a report by Eurogamer.
O’Donnell Salvatori Inc., the joint studio of the creators, will mediate with the publishers of Halo this month, in the hopes of reaching an agreement. A lawsuit was filed by them in the Washington state court in June 2020, “and it has rumbled on ever since, with depositions and discovery undertaken”. If they don’t reach an agreement with Microsoft, the dispute may go to court and they may demand a preliminary injunction against the upcoming Halo TV show.
The whole thing started over 20 years ago, when Microsoft hadn’t acquired Bungie. Microsoft has reportedly said that the work of O’Donnell and Salvatori classifies as “work-for-hire”, which makes the company the “author” of the work, something which they have refuted.
“It was never work-for-hire,” O’Donnell said in an interview with Eurogamer. “It was always a licence deal. So, that’s what we did with Halo. With the first Halo music ever, that was written and recorded in 1999 for the first time. It was licensed to Bungie. Bungie didn’t get bought by Microsoft for over a year.”
“Their lawsuit brought six causes of action against Microsoft: breach of contract; breach of fiduciary duty to develop the royalty income in a joint venture; breach of duty to act in good faith and fair dealing; failure to provide an accounting partnership; unjust enrichment; and tortious interference,” added the report.