Runaround Sue and The Wanderer singer Dion DiMucci, better known mononymously as just Dion, is suing Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax. He’s taken umbrage with the use of his song The Wanderer in a commercial for the post-apocalyptic
RPG shooter Fallout 4, which has called “Morally indefensible” and “repugnant.”
Here’s the commercial in question.
Bethesda and ZeniMax have broad permission to use the song, having licenced it from Universal Music, DiMucci claims that the contract stipulates that it can’t be used in situations like these “without separately bargaining with” him and gaining his personal approval. DiMucci claims that he would never have let his song be used over such “repugnant and morally indefensible images”
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.
Here’s the odd thing. The commercial shows almost no wanton violence barring a shot or two at a radroach and a Super Mutant, which hardly displays sport killing or the glorification of violence. There’s a huge disconnect between the DiMucci’s description of the trailer, and the trailer itself. That sort of thing is on display in a fan-cut video that Bethesda has nothing to do with, though.
Is it possible that DiMucci and his lawyers are a little confused? Either way, DiMucci is seeking $1M in damages plus costs, and wants the commercials removed from YouTube as “their continued presence is an ongoing irreparable injury”.
Of course it should be noted that the song is about flagrant, misogynistic womanising and could itself be seen as “repugnant and morally indefensible.”
Last Updated: July 10, 2017