Chiller with the Thriller music.


Mastertronic has been forced to change the music featured on its C64 game Chiller, based on the Michael Jackson video Thriller.

The software company received a solicitors letter from Rocksoft, a new company set up to protect music publishers' rights in the computer software field. Rocksoft had gained licensing rights to the Thriller music, and pointed out that Mastertronics use of the music was unauthorised.

"When we sent the solicitors latter, Mastertronic capitulated immediately, and a substantial out of court settlement was agreed, " said Martin Humphrey, Rocksoft's general manager.

Martin Alper of Mastertronic commented "We would like liked to have contested Rocksoft's action, but a lengthy court proceeding would have meant we would have had to withdraw Chiller from the market, even if only temporarily. Instead, we agreed to pay a royalty for all Chiller copies sold so is not an out of court settlement......and all future productions of the game will have completely different music, composed in-house."


To the left is an exact transcript from the article printed in Popular computing weekly (1-7 November 1984 : Vol 3 No.44) .


Rocksoft a subsidiary of Spectrum Group, which also owns Statesoft and Micro dealer UK, has gained licensing rights to a number of pieces of music including Beatles songs and Chariots of fire.

"We have basically set up as a licensing company to stop the flagrant disregard of the Copyright Act," continued Martin Humphery, who spent seven years as managing director of Island Records before joining Rocksoft, "We hope to build up a kind of copyright consultancy to help software houses gain legitimate rights to music."

In the immediate future, however, Rocksoft is negotiating with software houses for a game based around the Beatles song Yellow Submarine, and looking closely at Konami's Track and Field, which is thought to use a version of the Chariots of Fire as its backing track, and Jet set willy, which uses If I Were a Rich Man.


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