Song sung blue for EA?

Label asking for $3 mil in damages, injunction

HOLLYWOOD — In the first sign of trouble for the growing use of major label music on videogame soundtracks, EMI is suing publisher Electronic Arts, alleging that it used 20 of its songs without obtaining proper permission.

Label alleges that EA released several games, including “Madden 2004,” “NBA Live 2004” and “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004” before EMI could determine proper songwriting credit and issue a license.

Company is asking for maximum damages of $150,000 per song, which would total $3 million, as well as an injunction to prevent EA from continuing to sell its games with the songs on the soundtracks.

With three of the allegedly infringing games having already sold more than 1 million units, injunction would be a major blow for EA, which counts sports titles as some of its biggest sellers.

EA responded by claiming that the suit was based on a single song that samples lyrics from others. “Our use of that song was licensed directly from the artist,” company said in a statement. “We have agreements for every song used in our games.”

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