Halo composer Marty O’Donnell ‘amicably’ resolved his latest legal battle with Microsoft

Marty O’Donnell, the composer behind the timeless soundtrack to the original Halo series, is no stranger to legal battles. But his latest spat with Microsoft appears to have been pleasantly short-lived, with he and fellow songwriter Michael Salvatori claiming they “amicably settled” a lawsuit over unpaid royalties dating back 20 years.

In February, eurogamer reported that O’Donnell and Salvatori filed a lawsuit in June alleging that Microsoft did not pay royalties on the duo’s original Halo score, which was used under license prior to O’Donnell’s employment at Bungie – and he claims the tracks remained So After, owned by the composers’ joint venture and licensed to Bungie and Microsoft.

“It was never a contract job,” O’Donnell told the channel. “It was always a license agreement. So that’s what we did with Halo. With the first Halo song, which was written and recorded in 1999 for the first time. It was licensed to Bungie. Bungie wasn’t bought by Microsoft for more than one year.”

The pair claimed that Microsoft had been dragging their feet on the matter for the past decade, prompting them to take legal action. O’Donnell even explored the possibility of filing an injunction against Paramount when the Halo TV show’s marketing used the iconic monk’s chant.

But yesterday, O’Donnell tweeted that he and Microsoft have resolved their differences – and to celebrate, the songwriter uploaded footage of a Halo 2 jam session with legendary guitarist Steve Vai (via Games developer).

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Of course, O’Donnell is no stranger to court battles over Halo music. Last year he went forced to pay Bungie just under $100,000after being found in contempt of court for distributing music, he was ordered to return to the developer following his dismissal in 2014. O’Donnell pointedly blamed “Intrusion of Activism” for his removal from Bungie.

Your Destiny music may remain inaccessible for the foreseeable future. But in a YouTube commentary, O’Donnell is hopeful that this latest decision will allow him to start reposting old Halo tracks and musical doodles.

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