The Lawyer Strikes Back: Thompson Coutersues Take Two

Earlier this week, Take Two Interactive did a role reversal and decided to go after lawyer Jack Thompson. The company is suing him for his attempts to ban Grand Theft Auto IV and Manhunt 2 from being sold in Florida. But Thompson has decided to file a countersuit and claims that Take Two is not only violating his right to free speech, but is also in violation of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) act. The RICO act was passed to put persons who engage in any organized crime functions out of commission. The RICO act is best known for its effect in putting away Mafia crews and bosses behind bars.

Thompson believes that the distribution of the two upcoming games constitutes an organized effort of distributing "obscene and/or sexual material harmful to minors…" and therefore, falls under the RICO act. How has Take Two taken away his freedom of speech rights? According to Thompson, it is preventing him from expressing the view that Manhunt 2 and GTA IV games should be banned.

The counter lawsuit, according to GameSpot, also accuses Take Two of extortion acts against Thompson, obstruction of justice by trying to tamper with a witness in a similar video game court case in Alabama, and finally lumping together Penny Arcade, GameSpot and the Entertainment Software Association — among others — as co-conspirators in racketeering activities. Thompson believes 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."

Thompson also states that it was impossible for his actions against Take Two to be seen as infringing upon its right to free speech. According to his logic, "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."

The struggle between Thompson and the game industry has set off fireworks in both camps in trying to defeat the other. This latest battle between the two combatants won’t be the last one, and you can bet your copies of GTA on that.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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