BREAKING: Take Two Sues Jack Thompson over Manhunt 2, GTA4

March 16, 2007 -
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 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."

Take Two is also seeking to recover from Thompson its attorney fees and other costs incurred related to the pending legal action.

For his part, Thompson criticizes the Take Two complaint in a writ filed with the Florida Supreme Court, and rather dubiously takes credit for a recent shareholder revolt which is expected to result in the firing of CEO Paul Eibeler as early as next week. The attorney writes:
So successful has Thompson been in exposing the fraud and criminal conduct of Take-Two on the national stage... that a corporate coup by 46% of Take-Two’s shareholders is set for March 23, which nearly all financial analysts... are predicting will be successful and which will result in the firing of all Take-Two management and the entire board...

Comments

They already have a letter from him stating that he plans to do it. That's either a statement of intent or using his legal status to attempt extortion.

And so the tables turn

what with this and the other cases against JT that are coming up I think this is going to be a bad year for Mr Thompson and I shall be laughing my ass off when he finally does get his just deserts

I can see Take Two's positition, but I'm really not at all happy with the idea that we can have prior restraint on someone filing a lawsuit.

I certainly don't like the idea that they could prevent him from doing something that he may not actually be planning to do (unlikely, I know, but I stand by the point) and then charge him for it.

This is gonna get interesting. I wonder of JT is going to try counter-sueing or something...

@Dan: Nice, even though I've seen it before. Unfortunately, the critics will want to see the statistics on juvenile offenses specifically, and will always point to school shootings as evidence of youths being corrupted. I think Michael Moore's "Bowling For Columbine" defeated the lie just fine on its own, but no proof is ever enough for some people....

Yes, repeatedly filing suits with no legal basis can get you disbarred as well as causing civil judgements like this. It's a form of harrassment. I doubt the court sees many of these as most lawyers will at least try to preserve their careers.

pix, he does have an attorney to represent him, so I imagine that would continue.

@Ashla:

That is not how costs work.

There are 2 kinds of costs awards. One based on a rather outdated fee listing and the other based on what a the client has actually paid. Neither of these have anything to do with the actual bill accumulated by the client. Think of it as getting some sort of a discount.

However, all costs have to be 'reasonable' for the action. Things like rediculous costs (hiring 28 lawyers) will not be awarded by the court. Then again, if the losing party was exceptionally unreasonable (delaying, not producing proper documents, wasting court's time...) then the cost award will increase.

@pistolpete2

Yes, he always writes his Press Releases in 3rd Person. The reason is obvious. Most people don't bother to find out the name of the author when reading news items, so they assume that it is a factual 'News' report, not just Thomspon blowing hot air about himself.

so what would happen if the florida bar barred him before take 2 take him to court?

its interesting to see just how quickly jack's world is falling apart, he has to be worried about this even if he still acts like he is king of the world

@squigs

With just cause though, it's allowed. And seeing as he's bombarded them with tons of frivolous lawsuits, the court could be persuaded to at least put some restraints on what he can file against them.

They've tailored their complaint pretty narrowly too, to only limit his ability to file "public nuisance" suits against them in the state of Florida. They can also argue that his threat of a lawsuit plus his history is enough proof that he was fully intending to file one anyway, so that's why they have to do this.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

[...] Breaking: Take-Two Sues Jack Thompson [Game Politics] [...]

Thompson is pretty delusional if he thinks that a new board and CEO at Take Two would ever want to disrupt the cash cow they've got in Rockstar... It's TT's most profitable product. The shareholder revolt is because of financial mismanagement. The shareholders want MORE money, better managed. So if anything, they'll want to cut unprofitable subsidiaries, and expand Rockstar...

Now then, I'm in favor of a pre-emptive lawsuit. TT has all the evidence it needs to prove that Thompson is engaging in a personal vedetta against the company, and had filed lawsuit after lawsuit in an attempt to bully them (ha!) into doing what he cannot compel them to by drafting laws. Thompson himself has admitted as much, and has in fact bragged about dragging them into court. He considers it a personal victory, even when the court turns his suit down.

I doubt that the court would award court fees, but I can certainly see them ordering Thompson to refrain from filing lawsuits in a Florida courtroom for a while...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Damn I forgot you can't use the 'Not equal to' thing. I mean Rockstar is not the same as Take 2 in the first sentence of my last post :)

Does he always talk in the 3rd person, or just in ridiculous press releases?

Just to add, with Thompson blathering on about Take Two's management issues he seems to have forgotten that Rock* Take 2.

As I understand it, this is Take 2 suing on behalf of Rockstar's First Amendment rights, so, to be honest, the managerial status of Take 2 is moved even further back in relevance.

My question is "How can a game be declared a public nuisance if it is played in private?"

It doesn't make since to me. As for T2's action I applaud them. All his bogus lawsuits and Bills have been based around T2 and R* I think he was just burned because a nephew of his kicked his butt in a T2 game.

Never thought I'd say it, but kudos to Take Two for doing this. While I do not know about First Amendment rights in cases like this, what I hope is, whether they win or lose, it'll start a domino effect, causing others to take legal action, or just initiative in general, against Thompson perhaps on other, more effective, grounds.

I don't know, I'm no lawyer.

its about fucking time.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to rumble!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. This is going to be very interesting.

Its about friggen time that Take Two grew a pair and took it to Thompson himself, hopefully they'll succeed and get rid of him once and for all.

@DoggySpew: True, Jack can rant all he wants, but taking legal action against TakeTwo is infringing on their 1st Amendment rights. It's not the babble he spits out, but the legal action he takes while doing so.

Althought I applaud this pre-emptive strike against Thompson, I don't think they'll win.

Unfortunately, Thompson is protected by the same First Amendment.

Hahahahahaha...... ha.

Seems they're fighting fire with fire, with a legal team to back it up I bet.

What can they get from him? Can he get disbarred through this?

So the other hand is on the other foot this time, eh Mr. Thompson?

At least for once someone is taking direct action against him. But let's not get too excited yet, kiddies. Jack is a slippery devil, and I doubt he hasn't planned for this contingency. This is a good start, though.

P.S., Can anyone find a pic of Jack Thompson not copyrighted by Associated Press or anyone? The Wikipedia article on him needs one.

Excellent, excellent.

Thompson could not be reached for comment as he was too busy working on a cardboard diagram for his upcoming court appearance.

[...] Looks like Take Two is trying to stop Jack Thompson from declaring GTA 4 and Manhunt 2 as nuisances.read more | digg story [...]

Typical Thompson, defending his actions with unsubstantiated claims that have no bearing on the legality of those actions.

On one hand, I think Take Two's "preemptive strike" might work since Thompson's case against Bully resulted in him having to show cause for why he should not be held in contempt of court (still no resolution on that, I think... speaking of which, doesn't the Florida Supreme Court still have to rule on his misconduct complaints?). On the other hand, Bully deserved its "T" rating (instead of "M") and some stupid judge might determine that GTAIV, which very well might receive an "AO" rating, is a different matter entirely. Overall though, I see this as one more opportunity for him to get himself disbarred and I hope I see that consequence come to fruition some time this year.

it's about time somebody finally did this, the man is a public nuisance to any video game company or gamer on the planet.

Well, I'd say the threat of 3 lawsuits against 3 different games in under 6 months, all games written by the same company, would be a pretty clear case of harassment anyway.

That's a court battle I want on YouTube!!!

Finally

It's about freakin' time. Hopefully this will shut Jackyboy up for good.

WOOHOO take that Thompson *sticks out tongue and does a raspberry*

Good to see a company take pro-active action, rather than keeping strictly to reactive.

All the GTA games and their ilk are crap anyway.

'So successful has Thompson been in exposing the fraud and criminal conduct of Take-Two on the national stage'

Errr.. This is nothing whatsoever to do with Take Two's financial position, nor the fidelity of its management, what the hell have they got to do with anything? If Paul Eibeler screwed up and gets booted, fine, but if Thomspon thought that would somehow stop everything that Take Two was, long before Eibeler ever joined them, then he is obviously delusional.

So his argument against being stopped from making another two public nuisance lawsuits and wasting money is that the company he is constantly harassing has management issues?

Not an auspicious kick-off for Thompson so far. I don't see this suit being started if Take Two weren't pretty sure of a positive result, they know better than to feed the troll, so I'm not letting Thompson wriggle out of this one just yet.

Take-2-Interactive has now inspired me. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope all of you realize that Mr. Thompson has essentially said that the children of our country have no free will of their own. So...for that I am going to begin planning a class-action lawsuit by gamers and the parents of gamers against Mr. Thompson for slander. Slander against their children because he's stating that they have no free will of their own, and slander against the parents because he is accusing them of neglect and essentially calling them horrible parents. E-mail me at hektorcv@hotmail.com if you wish to be a part of this campaign.

To "SUM GEEZER FROM DA UK", Jack Thompson is a lawyer who has something against video games, especially those made by Rockstar. In fact, his real name is John Bruce Thompson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_%28attorney%29

He's been at it since about 2002 time, and he blames virtually every killing on video games, especially GTA. It's time for him to come to his senses. I sure hope Take 2 and Rockstar win. Mr Thompson is a moron.

Jack Thompson.......Who the hell is he?

why settle this in court? why doesn't take two just hire a couple of henchmen to beat the shit out of thompson (this is a serious question by the way)?

It's about freakin' time. This a**hole has been annoying the crap out of companies and gamers alike. I honestly don't know how games can be a nuisance and I believe that if you have a problem with a game or any other form of entertainment that you just simply don't play, watch, or read it. I also have a problem with this guy saying that games can turn you into psycho-path or make you kill people, but I know different being that I'm living proof that this theory is incorrect. I've been playing games my whole life, I picked up and played my first one when I was three and became a full-blown gamer by the time I was five. I've played some of the most violent, most controversial games ever created including: Wolfenstein 3d when I was four, Mortal Kombat when I was five, Doom when I was seven, and even the original Grand Theft Auto when I was ten and I still haven't killed anyone or even thought about killing anyone. In my opinion, this guy is the public nuisance and is just as responsible for game-related violence as Take2 being that he's basically telling people to blame video games.

Jack Thompson is right damnit!!
You heard me, RIGHT!
Because of him I play lots of video games that are violent (to see how BAD these games are). And then when I don't slaughter 15people a day, I get MAD! I get MAD at these games and JACK for their BROKEN PROMISES! I WANNA BE A PSYCHO BUT DAMNIT THESE GAMES AREN'T DRIVING ME CRAZY!

And that MAKES ME CRAZY! I wanna kill somebody.

I think I should start with THE person that let me down the most. The promise maker of promise makers. The person that said "YOU TOO CAN TURN PSYCHOTIC!".

JACK.

YOUR TIME IS UP.

/starts chainsaw and starts implanted tracking device monitor.

A hunting we will go... a hunting we will go... hi ho the dairy-o a murderous rampage on Jack Thompson we will go.

oh my hoenstly personnelly i would like to torture jack thompson. just when he gets home from work on a dark nioght. run up behind him and shock his body with a electric shocker(watever it's ccalled thath the police carry). take a syringe and inject with a chemical to paralize him. take undergound to a plce where noone can hear us. tie him up by the legs and hag him of the ceiling. tie his armas to the floor. and take a blowtorch and fire away as stomach and dick

Yes! Maybe they will finally shut up Jack. He's the nuisance. He should be the one getting fired.

Looks like other companies will follow. And win. Microsoft an1? :)

[...] That’s right! The folks over at Take-Two got a few late night “I’m gunna beat you up after school tomorrow” messages from Jack who is drooling like a fat kid in a donut shop at the prospect of them giving him more things to sue them for, so they trumped him by suing him first. (Source, Gamepolitics.com, who rock btw.) [...]
 
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