There’s blood, sex, prostitutes, and strong language in Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City, but it’s an innocent 8-year-old Brazilian boy that’s causing the real problems for Rockstar Games.
A court in the large South American country found that publisher Rockstar Games is guilty of using music from a local artist without paying royalties. The song “Bota o Dedinho pro Alto,” performed by an 8-year-old Brazilian boy, appears in the game. But the boy is getting diddly squat.
At more direct impact from this ruling is Synergex, a Brazilian company that Rockstar outsources to sell its games in the country. If the game continues to be sold there, Synergex and Rockstar will jointly be ordered to pay a $3,000 fine every day.
In fact, the court has reportedly ordered all “worldwide sales” of the game be halted, but it’s unclear if it actually has that kind of jurisdiction. For now, it will mainly affect Brazil.
Perhaps the more interesting question is where Rockstar got the song in the first place. That little boy surely doesn’t have a huge record deal and obviously based on this lawsuit there was never any discussion between the two. Hopefully the publisher didn’t just find some random song online and slap it in the game assuming no one would notice.
As far as we’re concerned, we hope that little guy gets a huge settlement from Rockstar. Okay, that probably won’t happen but he’ll likely get some money. And Rockstar will also be taught a very important lesson. I love happy endings, especially when they involve bloody and sexual video games.