The latest round of legal proceedings between developer Bungie and former Audio Director Marty O’Donnell has taken another interesting turn. As noticed by Kotaku, Marty O’Donnell uploaded a video onto his YouTube channel asking fans to “refrain from sharing and destroy any copies” of the Destiny or Music of the Spheres music he uploaded in contempt of court.
O’Donnell is one of the composers behind soundtracks for Halo and Destiny. However, when O’Donnell left Bungie back in 2014, Bungie retained the rights to the full suite of Destiny music. Many lawsuits ensued, but in 2019, O’Donnell uploaded music from Destiny’s “Music of the Spheres” concept album against the ruling of previous injunctions. The video is a court-ordered request, explaining he didn’t have the right to publish the material and to request people stop sharing the music.
You can read a full transcript of the video below.
To Whom it May Concern,
I do not have, and have not had since at least April 2014, the legal authority to possess or distribute non-commercially available material related to Destiny or Music of the Spheres (including material I composed or created while working for Bungie). This material is owned by Bungie. If you posted any of these assets on a website or other publicly available platform, you should remove the content immediately. If you have copies of these assets, you should refrain from sharing and destroy any copies of them. This request does not apply to any Destiny or Music of the Spheres material that you lawfully obtained from commercially available sources.
Together with Michael Salvatori and Paul McCartney, O’Donnell composed a massive eight-part score that could be used not just for the first Destiny game, but as stems for any future games and expansions. The result was called The Music of the Spheres. The music was also intended to be used for promotional materials for Destiny, but things started to sour when Activision opted to use different music for Destiny’s 2013 E3 trailer. Unhappy with the decision, O’Donnell made a formal complaint to Activision but this was dismissed. Instead, O’Donnell went online when the trailer aired to make it clear the music was not his. The ensuing arguments between O’Donnell and Bungie about his behavior led to his dismissal from the studio in 2014.
During the following years, several lawsuits were filed. O’Donnell even won some of them, including one where Bungie was ordered to return his shares in the company. However, the same lawsuit ordered O’Donnell to refrain from publishing any of the music he worked on for Destiny without permission from Bungie. Music of the Spheres was leaked online in 2017 by another person, but O’Donnell began uploading the game’s soundtrack himself in 2019. This led to him being found in contempt of court in September this year. As well as the court-ordered video, O’Donnell has also had to pay Bungie nearly $100,000 in damages.[Source: Youtube via Kotaku]