If you've been listening to the Co-Opticast, you know that we are big Rock Band fans, and I personally am having serious fun (is that possible?) playing Rock Band 2. We're equal opportunity rockers, though, and look forward to the upcoming release of Guitar Hero: World Tour as well. However, it seems the most highly anticipated feature of GH:WT, sharing user created content, is going to be effectively neutered. Check out this quote from 1UP's interview with two of the bigwigs over at Neversoft. 1UP asks what happens when some fan creates the guitar track for "Stairway to Heaven" (and you know they will):
1UP: What happens when a guy like me wants to share his "Stairway to Heaven" guitar track with everyone else? Are you guys going to wait for someone to ask you take these things down? Or are you going to actively police that kind of thing?
BB: We'll be actively monitoring the site. And, obviously, if the copyright holder complains, Activision will pull it down immediately. We can't condone people putting up covers of music. It's really there for original content.
1UP: So you'll have to play copyright Whac-a-Mole? That's something you're expecting?
BB: Essentially, yeah.
1UP: What if there are things no one complains about? Would you look the other way?
AG: If there's a licensed song and someone holds the copyright to it, we'll take it down regardless of whether or not someone complains.
Ouch. You can hardly say this is unexpected, in this lawsuit-happy day and age. However, this was the greatest innovation that Guitar Hero: World Tour promised to bring to the table. User created content is huge, and in my opinion, this was pretty much the only thing GH:WT had over Rock Band 2; open note strums, another drum input, and a touchpad on the guitar aren't exactly awe-inspiring. I have to wonder how difficult this will be to enforce, as well. In any event, it's disappointing news. Now I'll never get to be Stan Bush!