thats what i was thinking
Whether or not it sounds legal, it can be completely legal (depending on implementation) even without the following things that make it more legal (no matter the implementation):
Activision has licensed longstanding patents from Konami.
EA/Harmonix did not license them for Rock Band.
Konami, as the holder of these valid patents that they have working tech out in the marketplace, is suing EA/Harmonix, who will almost certainly lose if they decide to fight it.
Konami, for business reasons, also forsees a future in which all music games use a common interface, because as they are neither Rock Band nor Guitar Hero, they will be able to get very little traction in the marketplace if they try to roll out their own solution.
Therefore, they will make a condition of their settlement with EA the exlusive, royalty-free (to EA), worldwide ability to use the Rockband instruments for both Konami and those who license the patents from them.
Because Konami had a patent, a working technology, marketed and making money before Harmonix even existed, there is little to no ability for Harmonix to get around whatever restrictions Konami wants to apply if they want to continue being able to sell Rock Band - this isn't exactly a patent troll-type case where they haven't even made a product (which, by the way, often succeed or at least settle).
In case you couldn't tell from the above, EA/Harmonix basically have no choice in the matter when it comes right down to it. They can either allow people to use their instruments, or they can stop selling Rock Band. As a business, they really only have one choice.
Please, PLEASE do NOT feed the trolls.
fksumot tag: "Sheik had to become a man to be useful. Or less useful. Might depend if you're bi."
1) WiiFit will outsell the pokemans.
Current Status: 2009.01.10 70k till PKMN Yellow (Passed: Emerald, Crystal, FR/LG)