Thompson countersues Take-Two

Lawyer responds to publisher's lawsuit with accusations of intimidation, obstruction of justice, and violation of his civil rights.

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Last week, Take-Two Interactive filed suit against Florida lawyer Jack Thompson in a preemptive move to keep him from filing his own suits against the publisher to prevent the upcoming releases of its Grand Theft Auto IV and Manhunt 2 games.

Thompson promised to strike back, and today he filed his response to the Take-Two suit, along with a countersuit accusing the publisher of multiple violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), specifically a continued effort to violate his constitutional rights since July of 2005.

As for his defense in the initial suit, Thompson said it is an attempt by Take-Two to violate his First Amendment right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The Take-Two suit seeks to have Thompson barred from filing suit to have its games (or any games) declared a public nuisance in Florida. It would be a crime to sell any game declared to be a public nuisance, effectively banning such games in the state. Thompson said the publisher's suit is unnecessary because the law already has protections built into it.

According to Thompson's defense, "Should Thompson improperly bring such an action against the nuisance of selling adult material to children under 17 years of age, there is an adequate remedy available to Take-Two to defeat such an action and to assess costs against Thompson, as provided by the statute itself. Thus, the attempt in this federal action to preempt the state approach which adequately protects both the public and the defendant in such an action if it has been improperly brought."

Thompson also called the publisher's request to be reimbursed for attorney's fees "absurd," noting that Take-Two filed the suit as a preemptive measure, not knowing what the size and scope of the legal battle with Thompson would be over his suit, should he even choose to file one.

As for the publisher's contention that a nuisance suit from Thompson would violate its own First Amendment rights, Thompson said it couldn't.

"All Take-Two would have to do is submit each game to a court of law to see if it contains material harmful to minors or if it does in fact constitute a nuisance of any kind under Florida law. The games are finished. There is plenty of time to submit the games, and doing so will not in fact impede their release--unless they are in fact harmful to children."

Thompson's defense also appears to contain a number of factual errors and misrepresentations. He claims the Entertainment Software Rating Board found that Take-Two Interactive failed to disclose objectionable content in its role-playing game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The ESRB said it found developer Bethesda Softworks was at fault in that matter, not Take-Two.

Thompson also said that Bully was found to have "homosexual sex" hidden in the game, about which Take-Two "forgot" to tell the ESRB and the judge in last year's suit over the game's release. The homosexual activity in that game was limited to kissing, and the ESRB said shortly after that game came out that such scenes were considered in issuing it a rating of T for Teen.

When asked by GameSpot about these incongruities and others, Thompson replied "I'm sorry you can't figure these things out."

With his response to the initial suit out of the way, Thompson's countersuit opens with a few pages of background. He positions himself as a defender of civil rights, mentioning receiving threats on his life when he came out in favor of a fair housing law to end segregation in an all-white town in Ohio 38 years ago.

The background also includes a number of contentious remarks about Take-Two before enumerating his accusations. Thompson refers to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a "violence and sex simulation game" that perpetuates racial stereotypes, asking, "What else would one expect of Scottish sociopaths sipping their single malt Glenlivet in between brainstorming software programming sessions?"

He goes on to mention September 11, accusing the New York City-based publisher of "spewing its pop culture sewage to the world's children" from near the former site of the World Trade Center. Calling depraved US pop culture a recruiting tool for extremists, Thompson asks, "What is America's rebuttal to the Islamic Fascist recruitment call? This counterclaim is the rebuttal, not just to these terrorists but to Take-Two."

Later in the countersuit, Thompson draws parallels between himself and Jeffrey Wigand, the Big Tobacco whistle-blower portrayed by Russell Crowe in The Insider, saying that former Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein threatened to sue 60 Minutes to keep him from appearing on the program.

As for the actual claims in the countersuit, Thompson levied a number of accusations against the publisher. The countersuit reads, "In addition to the RICO predicate act of extortion (intimidation) of Thompson by Take-Two, Take-Two has committed other predicate RICO acts, including but not limited to fraud, distribution of obscene and/or sexual material harmful to minors, as already determined by the United States Federal government...and other predicate racketeering acts. Additionally, upon information and belief, Take-Two, through its Blank Rome lawyers, sought in Alabama to tamper with a witness in a pending criminal case, according to that witness' lawyer."

Thompson's counterclaim also accuses Take-Two of obstructing justice "by derailing an FBI investigation of its criminal infringement of the civil rights of Thompson by persuading the Justice Department, improperly, to drop that FBI investigation of Take-Two. This conforms to the now known politicization of the Justice Department by the Bush Administration on behalf of political cronies, none of whom is better connected than [Take-Two's legal representation] Blank Rome."

According to Thompson, Take-Two had still more help in breaking the law. The countersuit mentions a number of companies and media outlets--including the ESA, Penny Arcade, and GameSpot--as having collaborated and conspired with Take-Two to commit racketeering activities.

Thompson is seeking to be awarded damages and reimbursement of his legal fees.

Discussion

1307 comments
Huggy12345
Huggy12345

These lawyers need to keep their F**kin traps shut. The majority of people are not against GTA. Stuff you see in GTA games are on TV and in movies and everywhere else imaginable, why can't F**kin a$$holes like Jack Thompson sue TV shows and movies. Thompson needs to keep his head in his own ass and stop trying to push it up Take-two's ass. GTA games are also not the only violent games, what about Saint's Row and Scareface, why is Take-Two the only ones who are being targeted. But no matter what people like Thompson try to do, GTA IV is still coming out.

kutty12000
kutty12000

"The countersuit mentions a number of companies and media outlets--including the ESA, Penny Arcade, and GameSpot--as having collaborated and conspired with Take-Two to commit racketeering activities." Gamespot, Penny Arcade..? LOL WUT?!

NickKangWilson
NickKangWilson

It's been proven by scientists that violent and shooting games like World Tour Rampage and Grand Theft Auto can help build people's concentration and alertness plus can prove to be a real stress-buster. GTA:LCS made fun of Jackas* Thompsonofab*tch with Citizens United Negating Technology For Life And People's Safety — a dubiously acronymed (C.U.N.T.F.L.A.P.S) organization decrying the Internet, narrated by a person suspiciously similar in tone to Jack Thompson. This is the most common commercial with 4 different versions, 2 each on Head Radio, Lips 106 and LCFR. JACK THOMPSON SHOULD SHUT THE FUK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NickKangWilson
NickKangWilson

If Jack **** tries to file a lawsuit, he will be violating the first amendment (Right to free speech). That guy should have been sued for being a god-damn leech and nuisance to the public. Remember, the public has the right to KNOW (about how crime works, maybe).

skeetts
skeetts

Wow, this is big....

Ray2259
Ray2259

he's the Bill O. of the gaming world....

Razel42
Razel42

As long as nutters like Thompson are the ones attacking video games I'm sure their side will mostly be politely dismissed by any rational thinking people. I wonder how he would like it if the Bible was banned for the violence and depravity in it. Glorifying someone's willingness to murder his first born (Abraham & Isaac) is far worse than anything i've seen in a video game to date in my opinion. Jack Thompson, GET A LIFE!

yumilikepie
yumilikepie

Jack Thompson is a Jerry Fallwell of video games... only he doesn't offer a convincing argument at all. He's a charisma leader with no charisma, as is evident from the complaints filed by the judge who heard one of his cases. I.E. the one to the Florida BAR about Thompson's behavior in court. The man needs to be ignored, and then, eventually, he will realize that not enough people agree with him for his agenda to be pushed anywhere and he will give up.

Huxxar
Huxxar

can we sue HIM for being a public nuisance?

Hamsterkirby
Hamsterkirby

hmm.....This guy might have a point..... .......EEEEK!!!! OMG!!!! Ppl commenting on this r gonna rant me!!!!Oh well.... I AGREE WITH HIM!.....There. I am ready for bad posts

flynsk
flynsk

What a bastard. Does this guy even have kids? If so, they're probably so screwed up.

KageHonooJap
KageHonooJap

That dude is over reacting, just because the game is violent doesn't mean that we are going to do the exact same thing. Besides the only thing games are doing is drawing the younger audience away from gangs and drugs.

Arnoc
Arnoc

Jack Thompson just needs to shut the f**k up about video games. Hell I know for one thing, violent video games help me with my rage :P Instead of getting into a fight with someone, I just go off and play a few rounds in some FPS usually and calm down.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

JT would find Pack Man offensive (and about 600 IQ points over his head)

DX_HBK_HHH
DX_HBK_HHH

What a d*ck th quicker this muthafu*ker dies the better i wonder if jack thompson secretly plays videogames in his spare time

DXfan1448
DXfan1448

And He DESERVES To be BURIED ALIVE in CONCRETE And he is a D*p S**T After all! and a Muthaf**king, Son of a Bi**h, who is really a piece of Dip S**t!!

knowah
knowah

Thompson says that GTA: Vice City is a "violence and sex simulation game" that perpetuates racial stereotypes, asking "What else would one expect of Scottish sociopaths sipping their single malt Glenlivet in between brainstorming software programming sessions?" To Thompson I say this, calling them Scottish sociopaths sipping Glenlivet IS stereotyping YOU PIECE OF SH*T!!!

digimrm2004
digimrm2004

There are plenty of pornographic movies and violent weapons in kids hands today and yet he picks a fight with something that is an equivalent of a toy gun. He only countersues because Take-Two intimidated him yet he was the one who instigated it. I hope his f**king greed kills him. (Also, if anyone didn't know, this **** had a problem with The Sims 2) Seriously, he should pull the **** out of his ass already and shut up.

indycolts112
indycolts112

lol at samthesolidman.......jack thompson still plays with dolls

gothicdragon216
gothicdragon216

The best part of this all is that Jack blames Take Two for distributing "material harmful to minors." He might as well sue the alcohol and tobacco industries, because those products are harmful to minors. There is a big "M" on the box, which means retailers aren't allowed to sell to people under 17. Sue the retailer.

Hunter47
Hunter47

The RICO Act of 1970 was aimed at dismantling organized crime in the United States eg The Mafia. Any reasonable judge will throw out this part of the lawsuit and warn Jack Thompson that his actions can constitute disbarment. Also that this lawsuit has no founded ground and that this a personal vendetta against a company trying to defend its product in turn constituting disbarment.

SweatBlood
SweatBlood

AFWorm: If you like video games it is a bad idea. Him making money = our games suck.

AFWorm
AFWorm

Actually, it's not a bad idea if he makes a ton of money!

SweatBlood
SweatBlood

Just a note, Jack Thomson does not care at all about the people or religion or some 'just' cause. He is a lawyer, and he has found success bloodsucking on GTA so all he is going to do is continue to berate it until he makes a couple more million. He is a leach.

ish_gibbor
ish_gibbor

This is what following a religion does to you. You set out on a pointless cruisade to stop video games. Well fundamentally following religion anyhow.

samthesolidman
samthesolidman

Jack Thompson...PLEASE GET A LIFE. Video games are for the kids in the 21st century...So stop trying to take away this privillage from us, it is not your right..go try and sue a company that actually is affecting the well being of society, (any fast food chain). I'm sorry for ranting, but stuff like this pisses me off, trying to make a living off of sue, and ruining reputations of companies, i mean, c'mon, GET A LIFE!! You don't know ANYTHING about videogames, sure focus on the negative, but there is also a positive side...It's entertaining, and fun... So dont take that away from all the people who enjoy playing GTA or Manhunt. I Mean if you were a kid you'd enjoy playing with your dolls.. what if i took that away? IT WOULDN'T BE RIGHT so stop trying to be a hero, because your not

Mattyrock
Mattyrock

I wish that jackass could shut the **** up and stop whining

ebrock
ebrock

this man has gone to far with his accusation, it hurts me because gaming is one of the few things i look forward to and it would devastate me to lose GTA. Im not going to slander him because I would be lowering myself to his level, he is wasting his time here. its sad to see someone so head strong at bringing down someone else:(

americaonline
americaonline

thompson better relax, its only a video game. A video game for cryin out loud. Wat this all boils down to, which Im sure you will all agree with, is that if a parent doesnt want their kid exposed to “violent or disturbing material” they shouldnt let them play games THEY believe fall into that category, not some lawer-politician person, if a child is exposed to games parents think r “harmful” thats the parents fault for not monitoring what your kid does. Back to my first statement, Jack should lay off before he really ticks off some random person and something “violent” happens to him. But all s--t aside......I have my Manhunt 2 preorder in and cant w8 til the release. Go Take-Two! Fight the machine!!

hampsterman1
hampsterman1

he refered to VC of having sex but its vice SA wut a dumb ass as a child his dad came in his room naked and beat him

Silicon_Noob
Silicon_Noob

"Thompson refers to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a "violence and sex simulation game" that perpetuates racial stereotypes, asking, "What else would one expect of Scottish sociopaths sipping their single malt Glenlivet in between brainstorming software programming sessions?" " Take-two perpetrating racial stereotypes....scottish sociopaths...... I could say something about pots and black kettles but theres really little point. This guy would have to be the crazyest fringe dwelling lunatic since reverend fred nile. I'm seriously tempted to start up a petition for the forced sterilization of Thompson and all his progeny, so as to prevent him from passing on his obviously shallow and defective gene-pool to any future generation.

Virus013
Virus013

Huzzah! Jack Tompson the Crusadur for all "Good" and civil rights and looking out for ol' timmy who is only ten and playing GTA: Vice City! Behold as he sues every freaking other game that is rated "M" for Mature. [Sarcasm] But seriously, how can he sue someone for making a product that is for a Mature audience? Shouldn't he be selling the kids who buy the game? And sueing the same kids who watch rated R movies?

thevoidkid
thevoidkid

WTF is wrong with this psycho? Did his mom watch him in shower at 14 yo?

underflo
underflo

yeah well I dont think that the man should try to sue pretty much every game company out there... I mean honestly this sounds pretty close to that girl sueing micky dees... I mean all he wants from it is money and an easy way to get it... and as for the fact that these video games are getting in to the hands of children... well I am sorry but parents are terrible for letting there children have whatever they want... the child goes up and shows their mom the game... the mom doesnt glance at it just throws it in the cart and purchases it... and then is disgusted when she gets home and the child is beating the crap out of a prostitute... well perhaps if parents where more involved with what there kids where doing instead sticking them in front of a television to be raised ... perhaps we wouldn't have people like jack Thompson coming up with stupid lawsuits against things that are considered adult... honestly he justs sees a way to exploit the system to benefit himself and he believes he will get support from all the disgusted parents out there... well let me just say this... grand theft auto games are rated M for a reason... they shouldnt be in the hands of impressionable children... but it isnt the game designers responsibility... they followed the law and let their game be subjected to a rating system... it is in the hands of the parents to make sure that they dont end up in their childrens playstations... then old stupid jack up there would have nothing to sue about..

can0of0cheese
can0of0cheese

Well thank the monkey ancestors there is only one Jack Thompson.

thehauntingsoul
thehauntingsoul

But it IS illegal for these games to be sold to minors, idiot!

driver64
driver64

Don't you get it, Jack Thopmson is concerned for the minors that might play this game, not the adults. Sure, he is againsted the game itself, but he does not seem to be succeding in banning it. So be quiet and stop calling HIM an idiot because YOU like the game and don't want it banned. So now you're probably going to think that what I just wrote is "crap" because that is how you people think. In some respects, the phrase "child see; child does" (or something like that) is true. If a 10 year old kid playes this game then chances are he will come off it hyper and aggresive. He will look forward to playing the game when he gets home. I'm not on Jack Thompsons' side nor am I on "your" side, (which is to "stop Jack Thompson at all costs"!!!) Lay off him, come on. The ESRB will decide what this game is rated, but then what? It is not illeagal for this game to be sold to minors, THAT is what Jack Thompson is working on.

_NinjitsU_
_NinjitsU_

this guy is nuts he has a problem with the real word and the fact that homosexuality in games can't be put as more "wieard" than the sraigth one ... and by the way this guy wont rest untill all games are about birds and bees. anD the creative rigth is reduced to Zero in video games

705H1R0
705H1R0

"Leave it to ESRB to decide AND THE FANS." Don't forget parents and retailers. Jackie-boy can never win. MUST never win.

XRacer06
XRacer06

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

Vegna_Infamous
Vegna_Infamous

I also think Jack Thompson should shut his mouth about anything game related. Leave it to ESRB to decide AND THE FANS.

Vegna_Infamous
Vegna_Infamous

I live on Long Island and I may be moving soon, maybe Florida. Lets see....I get the game on Long Island than move to Florida where it's banned (Which it's not) haha, you can't stop me!

Gogandontas07
Gogandontas07

Irish as in you live in Ireland? oh lord it must be so nice to live that far a way from lil' jackie

vapidzark
vapidzark

ah well another law suite that doesn't make sense, anything is possible in my country.

Drunkenvagrant
Drunkenvagrant

Jack Thompson is just buying into the american pop-culture of sueing everyone for everything,Although I would have preferred if he'd just spilled drink in a supermarket and slipped. Still I think it's funny "Land of the free,home of the brave" and bollock-face lawyers that wanna ruin everything for everybody else because they don't like something.I'm glad I'm Irish.

keith22
keith22

your such a dum ass thomson go and get a life rockstar clearly states that its games arent for children you moron

JBiker51
JBiker51

That segregation story is a load of BS. He probably promoted it.