Rockstar Files Lawsuit Against BBC Over GTA Drama

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[UPDATE] Take-Two's full statement on the matter is below.

"Take-Two Interactive has filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie currently titled 'Game Changer' as it relates to Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto video game series.

While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project. Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC's pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games. We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary."

The original story is below. It has been updated to reflect the clarifications in Rockstar's statment.

Rockstar Games, along with its parent company Take-Two, has launched a lawsuit against the BBC in a bid to prevent the broadcaster from misusing its IP for the upcoming drama based on the real-life story on the development of Grand Theft Auto games.

The corporation said the action was "necessary" after failed talks with the broadcaster. In a statement sent to GameSpot, Take-Two said it has "filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie currently titled ‘Game Changer’ as it relates to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto video game series."

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GameSpot understands that the Game Changer production team had not been assisted by Rockstar Games employees during the research stage of its programme.

Take-Two suggested that it had been in talks with the BBC on several occasions, though didn't explain its intention in those discussions, and claimed that no resolution with the public broadcaster had been reached.

"While holders of the trademarks are referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project," the publisher said.

"Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC's pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games. We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary."

In a statement, the BBC said it "does not comment on legal matters.”

Game Changer, a 90-minute TV drama, stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser, alongside Bill Paxton as anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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    GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

    Avatar image for Vodoo
    Vodoo

    How could the BBC air a show based on all fiction and report it as fact? Rockstar, nor Take Two, had ANY involvement in the creation of this show. The BBC has no first hand knowledge of anything that went on behind the scenes. There goes their credibility (BBC's).

    Avatar image for shaunjones111
    shaunjones111

    its BBC i dont blame anyone for suing them over and over and over again, they dont care about giving you honest representation of anything these days

    Avatar image for Unfallen_Satan
    Unfallen_Satan

    Alleging trademark infringement is clever, but Take-Two's official statement is terrible. An official account by Rockstar Games about Rockstar Games or GTA? If we only had that, we'd never have any remotely objective documentary on issues worthy of investigation.

    But this is a docu-drama. How many people want to watch it because of Grand Theft Auto? Even if the BBC uses the Rockstar and GTA trademarks in a meaningful story, how much of the viewership is gonna watch for the story and how much simply due to "Grand Theft Auto"? This is a considerably more litigatable and settleable issue than defamation. Clever, scary, but clever.

    Avatar image for nothingformoney
    NothingForMoney

    **** THE COMMENT SECTION

    Avatar image for obiken
    obiken

    A Rockumentarty on how a video game is made? That's gotta be like watching grass grow.

    Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
    AyatollaofRnR

    How come some articles have the old comment system and some have the inferior new one?

    Avatar image for Navardo95
    Navardo95

    @AyatollaofRnR: Exactly..I seriously do not get it.The new comments section is so horribly inferior and so much more slower.

    Avatar image for FKlepackiFTW
    FKlepackiFTW

    And here I was thinking Rockstar was cool and never do stupid shit like this. Bitches. Sorry to say this but your manliness just went down a bunch in my books.

    Avatar image for onefai
    Onefai

    BBC documentary on GTA V. Sound too <fake British accent> fabulous to pass on </fake British accent>.

    Avatar image for Unfallen_Satan
    Unfallen_Satan

    @onefai: The last paragraph describes the BBC show as a TV drama.

    Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper
    StokeMeAClipper

    @onefai: You've never met a British person, have you?

    Avatar image for genjuroT
    genjuroT

    Spoiler highlight to view: Comment system is bad.

    Avatar image for dante9006
    Dante9006

    This comment system seriously blows.

    Avatar image for kalibore
    kalibore

    Rockstar are about to go NikO Bellic on you BBC!!

    wtf is with this comment system? it's like 1994 all over again

    Avatar image for i5204
    I5204

    comment system is cancer

    Avatar image for G4mBi7
    G4mBi7

    1) comment system is terrible.

    2) idk who is right and wrong, take 2 or bbc. oh well.

    Avatar image for xolivierx
    xolivierx

    Gamespot is getting more lame every year. It was better a few years back with the old comment system and the ''user levels''. It was also easier to read users' articles and to browse various categories, may it be by console, reviews or upcoming games.

    this is highly fugly and good articles are hard to find. and bring back feedbackula and that other show that was too ''offensive''

    Avatar image for bioswat
    bioswat

    I like how many rockstar fanboys trying to say that all that rockstar do is right. You never disappoint me

    Avatar image for ChunkyDrawers
    ChunkyDrawers

    Bravo! Friggin bbc

    Avatar image for Ultra_Taco
    Ultra_Taco

    Holy crap this comment system sucks compared to the previous one.

    Avatar image for b1ank
    B1ank

    @Ultra_Taco: It's so messy for a comment section. You get this near endless page with a smear of comments dangling off the bottom

    Avatar image for xolivierx
    xolivierx

    @Ultra_TacoI would like your comment but .....:

    Avatar image for Tricked03Hemi
    Tricked03Hemi

    Lol bbc..

    Avatar image for Tricked03Hemi
    Tricked03Hemi

    Lol bbc..

    Avatar image for case_70
    Case_70

    Um, what?

    Avatar image for Zombunny
    Zombunny

    Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser - cancel away asap

    Avatar image for saturatedbutter
    SaturatedButter

    So it's like the HBO biopic "Game Change" about Sarah Palin...

    but instead it's about Rockstar Games and called "Game Changer".

    Avatar image for bfa1509
    bfa1509

    What? BBC involved in controversy? Well I never...

    Avatar image for wallacom
    wallacom

    @bfa1509: LOL. Revenge for Jeremy Clarkson.

    btw, what's wrong with the comment section? What a garbage.

    Avatar image for Maj_Wood
    Maj_Wood

    just right

    Avatar image for brandonmacleodE
    brandonmacleodE

    Enough with this stupid new comment system. We need a way to like comments and see which comments had the most likes. This system has to go.

    Avatar image for Elixir99
    Elixir99

    Maybe they hate the BBC I know I and many others do.

    Avatar image for PETERAKO
    PETERAKO

    What? I thought that this was being made under an agreement.

    Avatar image for Leeric420
    Leeric420

    I demand a "Like" button!

    Avatar image for jonnyc0mbat
    JonnyC0mbat

    Oh the irony.

    So they can dish it out, but they can't take it?

    I wasn't going to watch it but I will now. Rockstar won't win this fight, their case has absolutely no merit, and the Beeb are used to this kind of response.

    Avatar image for maitkarro
    maitkarro

    @jonnyc0mbat: So let's say everybody can make up anything about you and you can't do nothing about it, and they can make profit of it while doing it, while screwing up the idea of what you really are.

    Avatar image for deth420
    deth420

    @maitkarro: on the other side of that. they maybe trying to report shit that rockstar does want out. they are after all owned by a group of lawyers.

    Avatar image for jonnyc0mbat
    JonnyC0mbat

    @maitkarro: that's the modern press for you

    Besides it hasn't even aired yet. Why does everyone think it will show them in a negative light?

    Avatar image for braincore06
    braincore06

    Got something to hide eh?

    Avatar image for deactivated-5acfa3a8bc51d

    Then everyone who Rockstar parodied in GTA should file a lawsuit against them.

    Goodness.

    Avatar image for Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k

    @playmynutz: Parody is different from a documentary with actors playing real people.

    Avatar image for Leeric420
    Leeric420

    @playmynutz: That situation is a little different, the medium itself for example.

    Avatar image for deactivated-5acfa3a8bc51d

    @Leeric420: the part where BBC and Rockstar were in talks but never came to an agreement but BBC went ahead anyway is pretty messed up

    Avatar image for Leeric420
    Leeric420

    @playmynutz: Ya that by itself is questionable lol.