Friday, March 16, 2007

Take-Two Sues Jackass

From Game Politics:
In the wake of a recent legal threat by Miami attorney Jack Thompson (left), game publisher Take Two Interactive has launched a pre-emptive strike.

With Thompson threatening to file suit to block the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Manhunt 2, Take Two has petitioned the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida for relief.

The software publisher seeks to block Thompson from trying to have the games declared a public nuisance under Florida law. Thompson filed a similar action against Take Two’s Bully last October, but a Florida judge rejected Thompson’s contention, allowing Bully to be sold by retailers.

In its complaint, Take Two claims the action is necessary because:
Thompson has a history of making multiple threats of legal action, whether substantiated or not, both against (Take Two) as well as the retailers who purchase the video games and offer them for sale to the public. Thompson has made such threats again in connection with Manhunt 2 and GTAIV…

The suit alleges that Thompson’s public nuisance tactic essentially violates Take Two’s First Amendment rights. Lawyers for the game publisher argue that the Florida statute under which Thompson is seeking to have the games declared as nuisances essentially makes the controversial lawyer “a private attorney general on behalf of the State of Florida.”

I envisioned a day where Take-Two might sue Thompson, but not like this. I wanted them to sue him for inflammatory and libelous statements, and make him defend specific statements he'd made about the Grand Theft Auto series. Because so much of what he says is ridiculous, self-aggrandizing hyperbole, that could have really left his self-infatuated nuts in a twist.

The reason you want to sue Thompson for libel is because in that lawsuit, Take-Two is still a victim. And he would have to get on the witness stand and explain himself, and he would sound like a complete idiot. He would be unequivocally established, permanently, as a fool.

This lawsuit, though, is trying to bar him from using the public nuisance law as a basis for attempting to stop the shipment of GTA IV and Manhunt 2. Instead of trying to hold him accountable for what he's already done, they're trying to stop him from what he might do.

In doing so, Thompson might even be able to portray himself as some kind of victim, being bullied by the big corporation.

Sueing Thompson? Interesting move. Sueing him for this? Bad move.

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