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Published on Jan 7, 2009
Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires is an album by the dub musician Scientist. It was originally released in 1981. A digitally remastered version was released by Greensleeves Records as the twenty-fifth of their Reggae Classics series in 2001. Several tracks from the album ("Dance of the Vampires", "The Mummy's Shroud", "The Corpse Rises", "Your Teeth In My Neck" and "Plague of Zombies") were featured in the soundtrack to the popular video game Grand Theft Auto III. They comprised the fictional radio station K-Jah and were the inspiration for many of the DJ's irreverent-sounding comments.
Scientist received no royalties for this and sued Rockstar Games unsuccessfully in a US court. The court ruled that according to precedent a recording mixer was not considered the author of a musical work, and so Rockstar were correct to treat the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes as the copyright holder of the album.
This ruling could be argued to neglect the fundamental difference between dub-reggae and other kinds of music - after all, the album is marketed as 'Scientist rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires': so the publishers and self identified licensors are prepared to attribute authorship to Hopeton Brown when it suits them, but not when it comes to paying him royalties. It can, however, be argued that Scientist was introduced to a much larger audience as a result of the licensing of his album to Rockstar, in which case he may have sold more albums as a result.