Former Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell, known for his work on the Halo series and Destiny, has been found in contempt of court over his use of Destiny music assets, which broke the terms of a 2015 lawsuit between him and Bungie. O’Donnell now faces tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
As revealed by Eurogamer, Bungie earned the Halo-famous composer with contempt for court papers back in April after it emerged that Destiny videos breaking the terms of a previous lawsuit between the couple from 2015 had been published on O’Donnell’s YouTube channel and other platforms.
On July 12 this year, after reviewing the evidence presented, Judge Regina Cahan of the Washington King County Superior Court ruled in favor of the study. As part of the ruling, O’Donnell has allegedly been made to remove all relevant Destiny material from the Internet. To ensure that a similar situation does not arise in the future, O’Donnell has also been forced to submit a number of his electronic devices for forensic examination to ensure that all assets relating to the case in his possession are deleted.
The composer has also been told to pay Bungie all the money he has received from the sale of music uploaded to Bandcamp, as well as the studio’s legal fees. Although these fees are apparently still in dispute, they include both Bungie’s attorney’s fees and costs associated with third – party forensic examination of his devices – a figure that Bungie allegedly claims is close to $ 100,000.
To ensure that damage caused by the composer’s previous uploads is limited, the ruling states that O’Donnell must “send a message, the wording of which the parties agree on on his Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp and Soundcloud sites / channels stating that he had no legal authority to possess providing material related to Music of the Spheres or Destiny and asking anyone who has previously downloaded such assets to delete them and refrain from sharing and destroying copies of them; “.
Although O’Donnell has not yet written such a message, the court order further states that the composer is not allowed to comment directly or indirectly on inquiries about the position and should instead “let the message speak for itself”.
O’Donnell served as Bungie’s Audio Lead until 2014, when he was fired. As part of the subsequent lawsuit at the time, the composer was ordered to ensure that ‘all material’ in his possession regarding Destiny was returned to Bungie. In addition, the composer was also told at the time that he was not allowed to perform or share music relating to both works.
In 2019, however, O’Donnell began uploading videos and other material related to Destiny – including the basis of its score, Music of the Spheres – to his online socials. As part of this, O’Donnell posted tracks and an album titled “Sketches for MotS” to Bandcamp, where fans of the composer could pay him a voluntary fee to support him.
As part of the Eurogamer report, Bungie took issue with O’Donnell’s possession of the materials, which it claimed violated the 2015 injunction. Bungie then filed a contempt of court against the composer, who, as reviewed by Eurogamer, reads: “Mr. O’Donnell’s possession of such materials shows that he did not comply with the order to return” all material “to Bungie.”
On June 4, O’Donnell asked fans to consider buying his unrelated soundtrack to the PSVR game Golem, stating that the money raised would help with his huge legal bills.
Please consider purchasing this soundtrack. The money will help with my huge legal bills. Thank you. https://t.co/YeEejHKCWy
– Marty O’Donnell (@MartyTheElder) June 4, 2021
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him further Twitter.