Take-Two takes legal fight to Thompson

Publisher initiates a new court battle, asks Florida judge to bar lawyer from filing suit to prevent release of Manhunt 2, Grand Theft Auto IV.

For years, Take-Two Interactive has been on the receiving end of legal actions by gaming violence critic Jack Thompson. Now, though, the publisher is taking a proactive tack in its ongoing dispute with the Florida lawyer. As reported by GamePolitics, Take-Two earlier this week filed a complaint against Thompson, seeking to preempt a repeat of last year's legal battle to keep the schoolyard action game Bully from being banned in the state.

In that case, Thompson filed suit to have the game declared a public nuisance, making it a crime to sell it in the state of Florida. While the judge in the case approved the game for sale, he did so only after ordering Take-Two to provide him with a copy of the game so he could review its content for himself. (The judge later filed a complaint with the Florida bar about Thompson's behavior in court.)

In this week's suit, Take-Two is hoping to have a new judge declare that Florida's public nuisance law does not apply to its upcoming releases Grand Theft Auto IV and Manhunt 2, or any games for that matter. The publisher is also seeking an injunction to prevent Thompson from filing suit to prevent the distribution of those games, or even to review their content before release. Finally, the publisher wants to be reimbursed for its attorneys' fees and costs and be granted "such other general and equitable relief as [the court] deems fit and proper."

According to Take-Two, having the nuisance law applied to games would create an unconstitutional chilling effect on the freedom of speech. "The nuisance statutes as applied to GTA IV and Manhunt 2 is unconstitutationally vague because it fails to give reasonable notice of what conduct is prohibited," the complaint reads.

By the statute's wording, that "which tends to annoy the community or injure the health of the community, or become manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people" constitutes a nuisance.

According to the filing, "These terms have no clear meaning in the context of videogames, and persons of ordinary intelligence are forced to guess at the meaning and scope of statutes as applied to videogames. ... Because of the lack of clear, defined terms, application of the statutes will restrict a far broader range of videogames than GTA IV and Manhunt 2 because Plaintiff's distributors likely will respond to the uncertainty and fear of penalties by withholding Plaintiff's videogame from the public. As a result, Plaintiff's protected expression will not reach willing recipients."

Interestingly enough, the complaint also references Take-Two and Thompson's legal tango last year over Bully and suggests it ended with a compromise between the longtime rivals. After a request for a temporary restraining order preventing the sale of Bully was rejected and Thompson's appeal denied, the suit says the lawyer "dismissed the Bully lawsuit with prejudice in exchange for Take-Two's agreement to withdraw a motion for sanctions."

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Discussion

407 comments
Skooba_Stevos
Skooba_Stevos

I'm still not sure why they haven't banned violent movies. They show REAL PEOPLE committing acts of violence, not just a computer generated avatar. If your so worried about violence among teenagers, video games definitely wouldn't be the first place to look.

gah468
gah468

junaid u are supporting that....that evil person's case by saying that. you are saying that GTA turns ppl into murderers.Ass. oh and watch, hes going to go for interactive dora the explorer games because they have woman in them

junaid6030
junaid6030

Man whats withthis guy Jack ass Thompson, he hasnt got any thing better to do with his life, the guys a whack. Rockstar has been giving us great games for years, the least we can do for em is kill this guy, i would have killed this lunatic if i was in the US myself. What have u all been playing GTA for if you gamers in the US cant do it. SOMEBODY GET RID OF THIS MANIAC, lest u want people to say GTA players are midgets.

KING_JORGE_619
KING_JORGE_619

i dont see what the big deal is about violent video games,. sure they're violent but they don't hurt anyone, jack thompson is suing take-two for releasing a violent game if he wins, then that means they are denying the creator his freedom of speech because video games do not hurt anyone, tell me the last time you heard about a video game actually killing someone, i bet that the people suing rockstar and other violent game companies for that matter just got a regular murder case and just added,"it was because of a video game"!! who here agrees with me?

KING_JORGE_619
KING_JORGE_619

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AcquAvivA78
AcquAvivA78

I think is better to kill ppl in a game, to drive crazy in a game and do what you cant do in a real life in a game. I'm 28 and i dont think playing this kind of game can make you crazy enough to kill in a real life. Think about Virginia Tech!

SirCrabcake
SirCrabcake

Death to those who would censor others!

HavePainkillers
HavePainkillers

Parents fault, violence, kids under 18, yada, yada, yada

A7Xfan
A7Xfan

Jack Thompson is a more sophisticated Brittney Spears. They're both looking for anyway they can to stay in the publics eye.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

If Mr. Thompson really wants to prevent younger kids (under 17 year olds) from playing clearly labelled Mature-rated titles, then he should focus on the true source of negligence in these cases. I'm talking about the parents. Mr. Thompson must be spending a considerable amount of time and money pursuing and defending lawsuits with developers and publishers. Why doesn't he spend that energy to launch a public awareness campaign aimed at educating parents on the ESRB system of ratings. He would probably gain the support of the gaming industry by doing this, it would do more to restrict violent game titles from children than any 10 lawsuits would do, and last but not least, it would allow Mr. Thompson the countinued opportunity to bask in the spotlight. I think Mr. Thompson's heart is in the right place but his current methods aren't. If he could be convinced to enlighten people and not attack them like a rabid pit-bull then the gaming industry could benefit from it.

Killermanjaro
Killermanjaro

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

aygol
aygol

Jack Thompson is a moron.

DevilMustCry
DevilMustCry

Jack Thompson is such a dumb ass. Trying to stop Bully from being released and then when it does come out, it's rated Teen. Good for Take-Two, sue the bastard.

Range_Finder
Range_Finder

God that guy must have a seriously sad life if the best thing he can do with his time is make allegations against computer games, doesnt he get that psychopathic homicidal types will try to kill people anyway they dont need certain types of music or computer games to trigger them. Good on Take-Two for getting in there first and preempting this idiot.

Phaje
Phaje

good, i hope they burn that stupid ******* **** sucker at the stake

bullhed
bullhed

While I agree partially that M rated games shouldn't be sold to just any little kid trying to buy it, I don't agree with anybody from stopping the sale of a video game just because it is violent. Although, I do admire Thompson for fighting so strongly for his beliefs and I only wish that we as gamers had our own fighter like him. Someone suing the dog poop out of people who try to sue the dog poop out of developers and publishers would be grand indeed, and it's a shame that so many people feel so strongly about this issue but don't do anything.

suprsolider
suprsolider

Nice to see companies taking the fight to Jack before that moron can start anything.

thegeorger
thegeorger

What a guy..... Thompson's probably just harassing Take Two because he likes "reviewing" the games before their release. If I could get a copy of GTA IV before it's release I might file a suit myself..... Well, maybe not.

Tharx75
Tharx75

Thompson needs to stop this crap

mikeeboy555
mikeeboy555

Jack Thompson ought to get a life. Does he really think that games like Bully and, GTA are the cause of this Country's violence,sexually activity and, lose of moral value's. He should take a look at the Phony Politician's Running this Stinking Country, starting with the White House, President Bush's corrupt, ex cronies and upside down staff Donald Rumsfeld's Dick Cheny and Haliburton!! - A SUPER POWER Dependent on Foreign Enemy Oil !! Give Me A BREAK !!! Off The Wall Policy's with the Saudi's, Iran, North Korea etc.. Get A F****** Life THOMPSON TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK AT THE REAL ISSUES!!!! THE GOVERMENT AND ITS CHAIN OF COMMAND CORRUPT FROM THE TOP DOWN!!!!

diableria
diableria

you know what i would love to do? to find jack thompson and beat him to death with a crowbar just like in manhunt, that would teach all those snitch politicians to stay away from our scene, i wanna do it so badly

darklight86
darklight86

I'd love to see Jack Thompson on a huge tropical island, with his entire family - palm trees and beaches everywhere. And dinosaurs. Lots of hungry badly tempered, slightly naughty dinosaurs.

SlayerX13
SlayerX13

J. Thompson is an idoit. Yet another guy in a suit thinkng he knows whats right about an area he knows nothing about. What's funny is violent crime has been on a steady decline in the US at the same time First Person Shooters where brought to the PC.

Thanos_of_MW
Thanos_of_MW

No need to kill this idiot. Don't make him a martyr. Hit him where it hurts. "The publisher is also seeking an injunction to prevent Thompson from filing suit to prevent the distribution of those games, or even to review their content before release. Finally, the publisher wants to be reimbursed for its attorneys' fees and costs and be granted "such other general and equitable relief as [the court] deems fit and proper." Take Two should hire a team of expensive lawyers ($1000+ an hour/each) and have Thompson reimburse them.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

The ongoing Saga of Take-Two Vs. Thompson continues. I actually believe that Rockstar enjoys some of the negative publicity. Afterall, it makes the game very well known! Take-Two must be just fed up with Thompson though, which is why they want to rightly stop him wasting their time.

AdMordem
AdMordem

i agree moome2, thats why he wants to 'review' them before they come out...... wish id thought of that!

moome2
moome2

I reckon Thompson fecking loves playing grand theft and manhunt but just doesnt want others to share his secret dark love of pain and hate :P Some people are just naturally selfish..........bastard

JadeDragon23
JadeDragon23

im with ya Zoomer30! What about Lezure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Lade!!!!

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Funny how he did not say so much as "BOO!" at the people who made Scarface The Game. Shows how stuck he is on "beating" Take Two. Anyway, JT is done as a lawyer, no judge will want to touch the crap he shovels out, I can find better smelling stuff in the toliet.

R_Gamer
R_Gamer

i feel that he is trying to get attention for an number of reasons: 1. Hes only attacked Rockstar 2. Hes only attacked *violent* games 3. Hes trying to get the industry to follow his orders HOWEVER, hes right about minors and mature games. BUT, as stated earlier, its the parents responsability on whether they let their children see this kind of content. That's no place for politics. now im not trying to be mean in anyway, im just laying down the facts as i (and many others) see fit.

LouieV13
LouieV13

Why are we saying to kill him! I just thunk that if we say that it only fuels his idiocracy!! Hed say like See this is what games did to them!! But I dont care!! ANGRY MOB!! LINCHING!! MWAHAHA!

askiker
askiker

The best defense is an offense. Someone please kill that guy.

FragMonkey09
FragMonkey09

"somone steal this guy's car and drive it off a bridge....just like in Triple X lol" brannigancarter, I couldn't have said it better myself :)

DChy
DChy

What the hell is Thompson's problem? If things go on like this he's going to be protesting against every single video game in existence.

brannigancarter
brannigancarter

somone steal this guy's car and drive it off a bridge....just like in Triple X lol

mskittykat
mskittykat

It seems like this guy just wants his name in lights rather than contributing something useful to the community....particularly since it's been a one man show. I don't know what his issues is but he needst get over himself.

rdnapper
rdnapper

Surely he must realise that nobody actually cares apart from him. What an idiot... You can't just choose what people should and shouldn't see. Who does he think he is??

dillyhox
dillyhox

Why is Thompson such a creep?

shizwill03
shizwill03

I like it. Extend this to everything that he is against and b**ches about and I am a happy camper.

RydeOrDie24
RydeOrDie24

i reckon Take-Two and Rockstar should put a character in the new game and base him on Thompson. His name could be Silly Lil Lawyer C*** or sumthin and there should be side-missions where u have to track him down and kill him in different ways until he shuts the F*** up about tryina ruin everyones fun.

DoctorFu
DoctorFu

Brak_N_Zorak- To play the Devil's Advocate, movies and music are not interactive. Therefor they are not as influential as video games are. But back to the good side, the lawyers of Take-Two seem like they want to set a precedent for all the media mongers that want to take a free shot at the video game industry. If this succeeds, people will find it non-lucrative and useless to attack video games for their content. Instead they will attack distributors that sell Mature games to children.

Zigmond1
Zigmond1

I've Figured It Out Ready.... JACK THOMPSON TAKES IT IN THE BROWN

Brak_N_Zorak
Brak_N_Zorak

What about the movies and music that has violence and sex in it? Those aren't being banned by officials. Stoopid a$$holes

osxgp
osxgp

Thompson must be trying to run for office. He is only acting like he cares if you ask me. He's a typical politician, hoping that people will think he cares about children so he can get elected to some office. I agree that GTA games and the Manhunt series should never be played by children, but parents are the ones who are supposed to make that decision, not the politicians. When I worked for Gamestop, most parents didn't care that their 9 year old was playing GTA because it kept their kids entertained. Does it make it right? NO, but it was the parents choice; right or wrong.

aots_twilight
aots_twilight

And now they'll be giving each other more headaches to come... hahaha

GIJames248
GIJames248

So here we have the GTA fans and video gamers in general calling for Thompsons murder or assassination. That's obviously very constitutional. To bad you love your virtual murder and perversion so much you feel the need to make death threats about anyone actively opposes it. Thompson pushed it when he showed disrespect of the court in a previous case, but I wholly support his initiative to limit or ban perverse content in games, or for that matter public media as a whole. On the note of the actual article it seems that Take Two is just striking back at Thompson for the headache he gave them last time over Bully and San Andreas.

badfish420420
badfish420420

you know if ppl would just grow up and be parents we wouldnt deal with this crap its just a game wish someone would just kill this guy already

LouieV13
LouieV13

someone needs to assassinate him already!!! GAAH im sick of hearing about this guy!

the_bi99man
the_bi99man

I agree with wKmike completely. The man is truly insane, and has no right to even be involved in the legal system. There will be justice the day that Rockstar hires a man named Claude to make Jack sleep with the fishes...

firebreathing
firebreathing

even if the game did get banned, that would just increase the demand for it, why do you think the illegal drug market is so profitable???