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andrewtuell1991

Can Sega just sort out the Sonic 3 and Knuckles music stuff already?

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The last quarter of games for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini was revealed and wouldn't you know it neither Sonic 3 and Knuckles nor its two vanilla counterparts were nowhere to be seen.  Can't Sega just try to buy the rights back or bite the bullet and use the PC replacement music?  As much as it would suck to lose Ice Cap Zone and the other music tracks, S3&K constantly being left out sucks even more.  No Taxman remake, no Carnival Night, Ice Cap, or Launch Base remixes in Generations/Mania type games,  and constantly being left out of compilations.  Just figure something out already Sega.  /rant

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Yeah... I believe this same issue is also holding back things like the very wanted and demanded Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster by Taxman, althought we basically got that with Sonic 3 AIR, thank God. Hopefully I'll see the end of this case before I leave this planet ;/

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No one knows why SEGA refuses to touch the music rights, especially considering SEGA have no qualms using the soundtracks of Sonic 1 and 2, of which were composed by (I guess you could call him) a pop star in Japan. Whatever it takes, I'd just say to figure it out already, because so many audiences are missing out on one of the best Sonic games in the franchise, all because SEGA doesn't want to even look at the music rights.

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I don't get it. Sonic 3&K was rereleased on Mega Collection with the music intact. There was a DS Port as well that I think had the music untouched. And wasn't there an AtGames Genesis with Sonic & Knuckles on it?

 

 

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Just now, Myst said:

I don't get it. Sonic 3&K was rereleased on Mega Collection with the music intact. There was a DS Port as well that I think had the music untouched. And wasn't there an AtGames Genesis with Sonic & Knuckles on it?

 

 

That was due to emulation, I guess. And considering apparently even the PC version tracks have something fishy copyright-wise according to Lizuka, they’d have to use the LEGO Dimensions versions or just make new tracks, probably. 

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While S3&K has been re-released a few times already (even if not to the same extent of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2), so it's not too hard to find, I do think the lack of re-releases is starting to reach the point where we soon might not be able to get it on modern platforms. The Wii VC went offline earlier this year and it never reached PSN, which only leaves the XBLA release for 360 (and Xbox One via BC) as the one you can get for consoles nowadays without resorting to compilation releases. Beyond that, only the Steam release exists.

At the rate things are going I can't help but wonder if something might happen where S3&K might even end up being delisted on those platforms. It's been a few years since it was last mentioned but I do recall there were some legal challenges / lawsuits going on over the music --namely concerning Buxer and company as involved parties-- and nobody was allowed to discuss it. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

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2 hours ago, Jango said:

Yeah... I believe this same issue is also holding back things like the very wanted and demanded Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster by Taxman, althought we basically got that with Sonic 3 AIR, thank God. Hopefully I'll see the end of this case before I leave this planet ;/

At this point I'd just settle for them porting the HD versions of 1 and 2 to other platforms like they did with CD. It's bizarre to me that they have not.

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It's funny this is being brought up now. I was just thinking about this yesterday and listening to some of the PC music.

There are some Genesis remixes of the PC music, and I know I'll be alone on this, but I prefer those versions of Ice Cap over the original console version as a song. I think Carnival Night and Launch Base would be bigger losses.

I agree with you. If it's such an unsolvable problem, replace the music, with remixes of the PC music or fully original compositions by Teelopes or someone. S3&K is still the best Sonic game and it sucks that it's unavailable.

Although, it also sucks that SEGA still hasn't ported the Sonic 1/2/CD Taxman remakes to current consoles. Even after Mania's success. CD is playable on XBO, but PlayStation and Switch owners are out of luck.

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7 hours ago, Polkadi~♪ said:

No one knows why SEGA refuses to touch the music rights, especially considering SEGA have no qualms using the soundtracks of Sonic 1 and 2, of which were composed by (I guess you could call him) a pop star in Japan. Whatever it takes, I'd just say to figure it out already, because so many audiences are missing out on one of the best Sonic games in the franchise, all because SEGA doesn't want to even look at the music rights.

Whenever S1/2 music is used, Nakamura is always credited. He holds the rights and SEGA need his permission to use them. Presumably this means that he also gets royalties. So he was credited it games like Mania and Advance 1, but curiously Chemical Plant, Green Hill and Oil Ocean were omitted from the Mania soundtrack.

The issue with S3's music is who created it and who holds the rights. S3K is presumably being contested by SEGA and the Jackson estate (or other parties too, considering we know the origins of Ice Cap as a previously unreleased song by Jackson's manager's band). I believe the legal issues are ongoing, and they'll only so much as look at remixing/reusing tracks that are categorically SEGA's property. They also don't want to re-release the games with altered soundtracks.

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

Whenever S1/2 music is used, Nakamura is always credited. He holds the rights and SEGA need his permission to use them. Presumably this means that he also gets royalties. So he was credited it games like Mania and Advance 1, but curiously Chemical Plant, Green Hill and Oil Ocean were omitted from the Mania soundtrack.

The issue with S3's music is who created it and who holds the rights. S3K is presumably being contested by SEGA and the Jackson estate (or other parties too, considering we know the origins of Ice Cap as a previously unreleased song by Jackson's manager's band). I believe the legal issues are ongoing, and they'll only so much as look at remixing/reusing tracks that are categorically SEGA's property. They also don't want to re-release the games with altered soundtracks.

I really should have mentioned that I know about SEGA (most likely) paying Nakamura royalties to use Sonic 1 and 2's music, so my question is more what's stopping them with Sonic 3's music tracks? I'd really like to know how come they cannot pay to use the songs (though, the most likely answer is that it's too expensive for something so simple). We've never gotten the answer, other than knowing that SEGA don't own those tracks.

To not re-release the games with altered soundtracks, I feel makes sense. One would wish to sell audiences on the game as it was originally intended to be, without alterations. Goodness knows alterations to an old game can cause backlash.

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1 hour ago, Polkadi~♪ said:

I really should have mentioned that I know about SEGA (most likely) paying Nakamura royalties to use Sonic 1 and 2's music, so my question is more what's stopping them with Sonic 3's music tracks? I'd really like to know how come they cannot pay to use the songs (though, the most likely answer is that it's too expensive for something so simple). We've never gotten the answer, other than knowing that SEGA don't own those tracks.

To not re-release the games with altered soundtracks, I feel makes sense. One would wish to sell audiences on the game as it was originally intended to be, without alterations. Goodness knows alterations to an old game can cause backlash.

And I would hazard a that it's not because the royalties would be too expensive. The Jackson estate/other parties are claiming ownership of the music, and SEGA is also claiming ownership. If SEGA insists that the music belongs to them, then they aren't going to want to shell out royalties to someone who has no rights to the music.

There's other possibilities like the price being too high or the owners just not allowing it for whatever reason, but I think the main reason for it, as evidenced by a lack of official answers is that there's a claims dispute.

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But to who exactly the "Jackson family" ownership possibly extend to? Michael's brothers? His mother, his children? He wasn't even officially credited in game, if there's any Jackson person claiming anything, it's based on what exactly? I think the problem has more to do with Brad Buxer than the Jackson's TBH... 

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43 minutes ago, Jango said:

But to who exactly the "Jackson family" ownership possibly extend to? Michael's brothers? His mother, his children? He wasn't even officially credited in game, if there's any Jackson person claiming anything, it's based on what exactly? I think the problem has more to do with Brad Buxer than the Jackson's TBH... 

His estate. Who knows where the rights to his music lies, especially contestable stuff like this. The fact that he wasn't credited in the game also doesn't mean anything, because deals can be put in place to keep contributors anonymous from the product whilst they still get royalties. It could be more Buxer than Jackson, but it doesn't really matter. 

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1 hour ago, Jango said:

He wasn't even officially credited in game, if there's any Jackson person claiming anything, it's based on what exactly?

Based on the fact that regardless of if he was officially credited or even acknowledged as contributing to the music, either him or someone in his production posse obviously did work on it on some level. There would be a paper trail to that effect, even if that hasn't been publicly disclosed either.

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Honestly, I’m less concerned about this impeding a possible S3&K remaster and more bummed by how many opportunities for remixes and stage/track creations that were killed because of this mystery legal matter. At the end of the day, you can play the games on damn near anything already. It’s when things like Smash or, more prominently, TSR come around that this stuff hits the most.

What I wouldn’t give for a Tee and Jun collaboration on Ice Cap or to see any of those stages rendered on a modern engine. Hell, at least seeing Ice Cap in Mania would’ve been neat.

Honestly, what I really want at this point is for Sega to just come out say definitively what the status of all this is. If they can say anything, I just want them to lay the mystery to rest so that we can move on.

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For all we know the reason for the continued lack of a port/re-releases of the original game could be a lot more complex than a dispute over who owns the rights to some of the tracks, but that's pretty much all we have to go on at the moment. The Sonic community has done their best to try and find out what the fuck happened.

I think the alledged lawsuit is supposed to have taken place around 2011 - 2013.

MJ not wanting to be credited because he didn't like the Mega-Drive soundfont and/or SEGA distancing themselves from MJ due to the child-abuse allegations. This left SEGA with an incomplete soundtrack, having to hire additional artists to compose the remainder of the music and having to decide what to do with some of the music already composed by MJ (or Brooks and Buxer). I'm guessing SEGA probably felt they had every right to use the music already composed by MJ who had distanced himself from the project-didn't want to be credited, so they felt they owned it and had every right to include it. However, SEGA wasn't fully aware that other artist such as Buxer (who worked with MJ) & Brooks had contributed to some of the music which made in into the game, and unlike MJ they either didn't want their music to be included or they're not happy with not being credited for their contribution and are claiming royalties. Hence all the legal stuff which has gone down. The Jackson family may also feel they're owed royalties, but I suspect the main issue is with Brooks and Buxer.

When I think of how much content of Sonic 3K was allowed to be included in Mania/Mania Plus with apparently zero repercussions, I believe SEGA do like Sonic 3, are aware the fanbase adore this game and would have released it a few more time since 2011 (along with Sonic 1&2 etc) if it wasn't for a dispute over the ownership of some of the music and the threat of being sued.

Convenient wasn't it that Generations and Sonic Mania both avoided using Carnival Night, Ice Cap or Launch Base (all very popular zones due to their design/music/aesthetic). I wonder if Team Mania had the nerve to suggest re-imagining one of these zones when they were in discussions with SEGA/Iizuka-san as to which Sonic 3 stages to include. If they did have the nerve they probably would have been shot-down so fast, ha.

I do find it strange that the S&K half was included in some of the recent hardware packages (made by ATGames etc) since 2011 (the last time Sonic 3 was rereleased) and now even S&K seems to be off the table-wasn't included in the current-gen SEGA games collection or the Mega-Drive Mni.

Sigh... Well, at least we have Sonic Mania, Sonic 3 Complete, Sonic 3 AIR to keep us busy. Sonic 3 AIR is pretty much the perfect 3K remaster we could ever hope for. 

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