Rockstar as been in a court room over something stupid, and i'm sure it won't be the last. >>>there is some Money Hungry People out here....
Judge rules that San Andreas developer's fictional "Pig Pen" doesn't violate trademarks of real-life Los Angeles strip club The Play Pen.
While the wildly successful, wildly violent Grand Theft Auto series of games has sparked a number of controversies and court cases in recent years, developer Rockstar Games can now put one such case behind it. Last week, US District Court Judge Margaret Morrow sided with the studio in a civil suit brought against it by a strip club.
E.S.S. Entertainment, a Los Angeles company better known as the strip club The Play Pen, filed suit against Rockstar in April of 2005, alleging that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas infringed on its trademarks. At issue was one of the sprawling game's East Los Santos businesses, a strip club called The Pig Pen.
According to court documents, E.S.S. Entertainment argued that the in-game club's awning and logo were too similar to The Play Pen's and that it represented a violation of trademark rights. The Pig Pen's name is written in a similar, if not identical, font, and its exterior featured the words "totally nude," which were also used by The Play Pen. Rockstar Games employees had toured the area and took reference pictures for the game, and the artists who created The Pig Pen had taken photos of The Play Pen.
To mount a successful free-speech defense in the case, Judge Morrow said Rockstar had to satisfy two criteria. First, it had to show that the use of the Play Pen-like business in San Andreas was artistically relevant.
"The Pig Pen has artistic relevance to defendants' twisted, irreverent image of urban Los Angeles," Judge Morrow said, noting that Rockstar intended not to parody the patrons of The Play Pen or make light of pigs. She ruled that Rockstar's "aim in creating East Los Santos was to evoke an image of East Los Angeles, but to tweak that image to fit the overall 'look and feel' of San Andreas, as well as the narrative of a city overrun by gangs, drug dealers, and prostitutes. Any visual work that seeks to offer an artistic commentary on a particular subject must use identifiable features of that subject so that the commentary will be understood and appreciated by the consumer."
Second, the use of the business could not "explicitly mislead consumers as to the content of the game." Basically, Rockstar had to show that the intention was not to suggest that The Play Pen created, had endorsed, or was affiliated with San Andreas. After noting that the Pig Pen location wasn't used in TV or print ads for the game, doesn't appear on the packaging, doesn't play a role in the game's missions, and that a gamer could play the game for hours and never encounter the club, Morrow ruled that Rockstar met the second criteria as well.
"As these facts show, defendants' use of the Play Pen trade dress and mark presents little, if any, chance that consumers will be misled about the content of the game," Morrow ruled.
This is just crazy, everyone is After Rockstar, and RockStar knows it, and they have their T's Crossed and their i's Dotted, this isn't the first time Rockstar as been in a court room over something stupid, and i'm sure it won't be the last. there is some Money Hungry People out here.... Git-R-Done RockStar!
Everyone trying to make a quick buck. I must say i did spend a lot of time in the Pig Pen while playing the game though. lol
this sucks.. Like someone said earlier.. I'm hoping this doesn't affect the next GTA game at all. I want them to make it seem just like the city, and not be scared now on what names they can use for certain locations.
I'm Thinking this wasn't so much for $$ as for Publicity. The Marketing people actually exploited Rockstars Media Attention by going after this lawsuit. Now every major newspaper will print Play-Pens Name. Regardless if Play-pen won or lost the case, they still won, major free publicity. Until now, i've never heard of the Club.
These people are nuts. I promise to never be an ****ole like these greedy politicians. And I agree with the comment before. It said: "can't wait until the u.s. navy sues for putting that aircraft carrier in san fierro, or the casinos from vegas suing rockstar for ripping the names and looks of the casions from them. it seems like san andreas is a pot of gold."
oh god...not another stupid lawsuit. i can't wait until the u.s. navy sues for putting that aircraft carrier in san fierro, or the casinos from vegas suing rockstart for ripping the names and looks of the casions from them. it seems like san andreas is a pot of gold.
it's all crazy. People wanna sue rockstar because they think they can make a fast buck because of their success and controversial nature. Kinda like Michael Jackson really... except in the style of a games developer LOL Next up would be people trying to sue nintendo. Just you watch! All I can say about this news is that the judge was freakin AWESOME! It goes to show that some people really DO look into these kinda of things and not just say "oh, controversial game? LOSERS!". I'm glad that the higher-ups in the law are actually not being "paid off" so to speak, to create yet another media frenzy..
I heard about the club before the lawsuit and thought if there was a connection. My suspicisions were true. When I first thought about it I was surprised that this didn't happen sooner. Well Rockstar does copy a lot of things but all it is is that they want to add more realism and mounuments that people will recongize to associate with a factual place. All of this doesn't surprise me. I'm sure this will not be the end of it.
ironic that a strip club sues a video game. Same people who would have the strip clubv shutt down are the same ones who want to shutt down GTA in the name of "decency". Hope the pen gets what comes to them, hopefully the city of L.A builds a school in this zone and causes for the club to be shutt down. Copyright my a**. I too will sue GTA for carpal tunnel syndrome and i cant help but run over people on motorcycles to see them fly comically. Sheesh
eh, they tryd...i guess they didn't get enuff of a windfall from the "free advertising". half of youse don't even know what ironic means. in case you didn't know, strip clubs are legal and suing is legal whether you like it or you don't.
lol look for the "it poisions minors minds" and "will sleep soundly when the series fail" comments, these are the same people who claimed elvis was the devil, television will ruin the world and all the other mindless arguments from small mindedpeople who like things better they it used to be than the way things are now. shouldent you folks be attending a book burning instead of posting on the web? maybe theres an abortion clinic you can be setting on fire while you refuse to adopt children with no parents. Its always the ones that are first to want to curtail your rights to do the things you enjoy that are the most selfish, evil, guilt ridden, hypocrites with a hard drive full of child porography and ten drunk driving convictions, trying to get over the guilt they feel of their wasted life by shoving their beliefs down other peoples throats.
Rockstar gets so much stick for the GTA games, I think people just assume that they are an easy target.
Yeah!!! Take another cheap shot at Rockstar!!! Kick 'em when they're down!!! Don't let them get up!!! :P This lawsuit is just pathetic. Not worth talking about.
Fenriz is right. If a company makes a huge success off a videogame, there's no doubt someone will attempt to sue you.
It's become pretty common now that if a company does something well and makes a lot of money someone, somewhere is going to sue you. I suppose it's easier than actually earning your own money. You'd think that the strip club would be happy about the free publicity.
Ok, this is one of my favourite games and the most controversial of all the saga. It's obviously that the goverment wants Rockstar son (Grand Theft Auto) out, of "exageration-reality". Because the most of the people of LA and periferic places will be agree that it's the reality of this places in the 90's (corruption by police, "the hood", drugs, the strip clubs, etc.). So we know the goverment when it see something "dangerous to the society", want to shut up the people or the Corps. And procced with this "loyal work". Is it a way to fight with Grand Theft Auto after the no-procced of the law by the gobernator????.
I like Rockstar and their games as much as the next guy, but that lawsuit was not as frivilous as many of you are making it out to be. The judge made a good, objective ruling, but Play Pen definitely had a legitimate trademark infringement complaint. Any company whose logo and storefront were represented so closely in the game would have done the same thing and had good cause to do so.
willripyouanew1, I can hate the game all I like. It's theme, activities, etc. border too much on real-life for my personal tastes and I think that they are more harmful than Mortal Kombat or any other questionable series ever could be. It is because of this series much of the gaming industry has come under fire, and when playing the game, all I saw were mediocre graphics, mediocre controls, and just... a little bit of everything. Sure, the idea was unique, and it's mainly the idea I dislike... but if it wasn't for the idea/theme, people wouldn't play this game. After all, it's control scheme, ability to gain affinity with weapons, etc. aren't backing it up as a great game. So yeah, I will sleep soundly if/when this series dies, for it's cause enough trouble for the industry we all love.
DONT HATE THE GAME , NOR HATE THE PLAYER, We all have different taste, and regardless of what GTA represents, IT IS A GREAT GAME and has lot of great features not often seen in any other game, such as the free roaming enviroment, great sound tracks and originality, c'mon its GTA
I hate the games but I am always glad to see free speech in games upheld. Still GTA really is defensible only by the first amendment.. Most games you can defend the violence by pointing out that the hero is only using violence to achieve some good or one could point out that the ones being harmed are in most cases criminals or monsters. GTA presents killing for the sake of killing and the targets are most often random innocents. And the nudity. . . . there is no excuse for putting anything sexual in a video game. Still despite the fact that I am repulsed by GTA and would never buy the game or play it for that matter (I have played it in the past so I know that it is not a game I would ever play again) I do believe in complete free speech so I am glad to see anything that means games can tell the stories they want to tell and present them in a manner that is fitting. If GTA and trash like it continues to escape public censorship it means that good games like Resident Evil will not be censored for the violence in them. BTW why would you buy three versions when it's only going to be on 2 consoles. (playstation and xbox) or is this game going to be on the PSP too?
I've been to the Play Pen, and for those who dont know, IT is not in East LA , though it is in a crapy neightborhood. As for the ruling I say good riddance, this dumb frivolous Law suits need to stop. I think Rockstar should counter suit thiese clowns. Oh and the PIG PEN name was probably given to the club because of the mega fat security gards that work at the Paly Pen Joint....Just my opinion
mysticssj5gohan Has a point. Some polititions are trying to ban violent video games completely! We don't want to feed their wants with more lawsuits. Video game nudity sucks anyway.
good and smart judge. i didn't notice pig pen in the game. Half-ass people gotta stop sueing rockstar. Next time i'll help rockstar out by buying all three versions of gta IV.
In response to TVR_Fans comment 2 spaces below me... No. That would just give the Government more ammunition in there fight against us. I've sent enough emails and signed petitions to my senator as it is. I don't want to have to send more...
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