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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Surprisingly Few People Collect On GTA Hot Coffee 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the simulated-murder-is-fine-but-simulated-boobs-will-warp-you dept.
Relin writes "Out of the millions eligible, less than 3,000 have come forward to collect their money in the 'Hot Coffee' settlement. While the plaintiffs' lawyer is surprised by the development, Theodore Frank of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was 'meritless' and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two."
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Surprisingly Few People Collect On GTA Hot Coffee

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  • Any surprise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kinky Bass Junk (880011) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:17PM (#23943301)
    It's $5
  • Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkey_Genius (669908) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:18PM (#23943309)
    "Seth Lesser, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs said that he is "disappointed" by the outcome, and doesn't understand why so many people don't care."
    It is, after all, just a video game.
    • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by corsec67 (627446) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:20PM (#23943347) Homepage Journal

      It is, after all, just a video game.

      It is a video game where you can regenerate health with the services of a prostitute, kill her when she gets out of the car, take your money back, kill a cop and steal his cop car, kill national guard members and steal their tank, and these people are worried about a little bit of clothed dry humping?

      • by Anubis350 (772791) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:27PM (#23943401)
        Ah, I see you were stalking me this morning :-p
      • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GroeFaZ (850443) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:33PM (#23943473)
        Free worldview improvement suggestion of the day: Google for "this is not a pipe"
      • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:49PM (#23943645)

        It is a video game where you can regenerate health with the services of a prostitute, kill her when she gets out of the car, take your money back, kill a cop and steal his cop car, kill national guard members and steal their tank, and these people are worried about a little bit of clothed dry humping?

        Exactly. I bought this game and enjoyed it. There's no way I would stick it to the people who gave me so many hours of fun game play.

        I really doubt any of the people actually purchasing this game were offended. There might be an occasional stupid parent who thought the hyper-violence in the game was tolerable, but the nudity was over the line. Regardless, it was baseless, in my opinion-- and the people who are okay with violence and freak out over nudity are rather scary. I would not enjoy living in their heads. Give me nude women any day over guns. I'll take both in my video games when it's an option, though.

        Actually, the people who have a stranglehold on America's censorship are the scariest of all. Every other TV show or movie have probably ten times the violence than sex. I remember in the 1970s and early 80s, you could, at least, see the occasional boob on UHF broadcast. Something went wrong somewhere.

        • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Informative)

          by corsec67 (627446) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:55PM (#23943687) Homepage Journal

          One minor correction to your post, although I agree with all of it:
          There is no nudity in the Hot Coffee [wikipedia.org] minigame as it was on the disc.

          • by DrYak (748999)

            There is no nudity in the Hot Coffee [wikipedia.org] minigame as it was on the disc.

            The whole controversy spanned from the fact that there's still traces of nudity (partially implemented and very buggy) on the disc.
            The minigame play as "out-of-the-box" didn't have nudity. But some fragments of the necessary file where still around.

            The whole constroversy was around this.
            Paranoid parents complaining that the files where shipped on the disc (even if unaccessible and part broken)
            Take-two defending themselves that the rating is on who the game is played (and nudity isn't normally accessed duri

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @02:56AM (#23945849)

          It is a video game where you can regenerate health with the services of a prostitute, kill her when she gets out of the car, take your money back, kill a cop and steal his cop car, kill national guard members and steal their tank, and these people are worried about a little bit of clothed dry humping?

          Exactly. I bought this game and enjoyed it. There's no way I would stick it to the people who gave me so many hours of fun game play.

          I really doubt any of the people actually purchasing this game were offended. There might be an occasional stupid parent who thought the hyper-violence in the game was tolerable, but the nudity was over the line. Regardless, it was baseless, in my opinion-- and the people who are okay with violence and freak out over nudity are rather scary. I would not enjoy living in their heads. Give me nude women any day over guns. I'll take both in my video games when it's an option, though.

          Actually, the people who have a stranglehold on America's censorship are the scariest of all. Every other TV show or movie have probably ten times the violence than sex. I remember in the 1970s and early 80s, you could, at least, see the occasional boob on UHF broadcast. Something went wrong somewhere.

          As Too Much Coffee Man said, "You can bear arms but you can't bare breasts."

        • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Informative)

          by residieu (577863) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @07:34AM (#23946883)
          There were some clueless parents who were offended. But they probably didn't understand that you had to mod the game to get the content. In a ny times article [nytimes.com] on the subject one mother says "I'm aware that there is killing in the game," Ms. Stanhouse said in the deposition. "I wasn't aware of the stealing." She wasn't aware there was stealing in a game called "Grand THEFT Auto"
        • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @08:05AM (#23947065)

          Jack Nicholson summed it up rather nicely: If you suck on a tit the movie gets an R rating. If you hack the tit off with an axe it will be PG.

          And the same applies to games. Ain't that scary? I mean, remember what those things are actually good for? Tits aren't "not suitable for children", they are first of all suitable for children, for crying out loud! That you might pop a boner when you see some is maybe some additional value, but not their primary function.

          That's what's really wrong with censorship, and society as a whole. It's more acceptable to show how people hurt each other than showing how they pleasure each other.

          We really are sick, sick animals.

      • by clarkcox3 (194009) <slashdot@clarkcox.com> on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:11PM (#23943803) Homepage
        Remember, any suggestion of sex or sexuality to children will warp their tiny widdle minds. ...but violence, that's just good red-blooded American fun.
        • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

          by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @10:59PM (#23944599) Homepage Journal

          That makes me so, so sad.
          My wife and I have had long discussions about that very topic, and we've both agreed that sex/nudity/etc. is ok for the kids to see, but Violence is what we want to protect them from.

          That my 5 year old daughter knows she has a vagina and that her brother has a penis actually offends people. My son (3) also knows the appropriate verbage to describe his body. Meanwhile one of my daughters friends thinks that she has a "WooHoo".

          Which is more degrading to a woman?
          Which is more useful in a conversation with a doctor?

          I'll shut up now since I'm just rambling, but suffice to say when my daughter walked in on me playing GTA the other day she admonished me to stop at red lights and not run anyone over. :-)

          • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Wavicle (181176) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @11:30PM (#23944819)

            Extremely off topic, but...

            Over at a skeptic forum I frequent, someone involved in investigating child sexual abuse made a rather enlightening post about children and the names of their body parts: TEACH THEM THE PROPER NAMES OF THEIR BODY PARTS. The argument went something like "investigating this is hard enough without having to figure out what a 'cookie' is."

          • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

            by A beautiful mind (821714) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:57AM (#23945615)
            Violence and sex are both deeply rooted in humanity's past. One important distinction might be is that sex is a more hierarchical, selection driven aspect. The one who gets to reproduce wins. Violence just happens, due to outside factors or it is a tool to enforce sexual wants. A huge number of contemporary murders are due to jealousy and "love sickness".

            This makes me think that sexual behaviour, the display of sexual behaviour and the depiction of sexual behaviour would tend to be more sensitive subject in the standard psychological setting.

            It takes conscious effort and education to get rid of this feeling.

            In today's world it is not a bad policy to excercise reasonable restraint on one's sexual behaviour (I'm thinking avoiding sleeping with everyone), because while violence is condemnable, sex causes violence. Yeah, some people are enlightened enough to handle sex (polyamorous relationships), but most of the people are not like that and it leads to extreme feelings, which then leads to violence.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Yeah, some people are enlightened enough to handle sex (polyamorous relationships), but most of the people are not like that and it leads to extreme feelings...

              Everyone who wants to impose their values on the world, or proclaim their superiority, calls themselves "enlightened". It's a great word, because, who doesn't want to be enlightened? And, it's nice and vague. Mormans, Southern Baptists, and all sorts of religious extremists call themselves "enlightened". So do strong-atheists.

              I object to your

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by discord5 (798235)

            when my daughter walked in on me playing GTA the other day she admonished me to stop at red lights and not run anyone over.

            Maybe she's really bad at GTA ;)

      • Re:Not surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nawcom (941663) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:20PM (#23943873) Homepage
        "Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves." - Numbers 31:13-18

        It's sort of obvious, you can't have sex with a whore, but killing her is alright. This is where the game crosses the lines of correct morality.

        *shakes head at this crazy country he lives in*

      • I think that's why so few people turned out for the cash-handout. Its really hard to rationalize a displeasure with your kid seeing video-game 'sex' when you compare it to the rest of the game that the parent knowingly purchased.

        I still don't understand how they won. Its like going to a Friday the 13th movie and expecting only drug use and murders without the irresponsible sex. Its just not the 13th without the irresponsible sex (lol).

        Should the buyers have been so surprised? lol.

      • SURPRISED! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by throatmonster (147275) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @10:18PM (#23944261)

        I've never seen so much consensus in Slashdot comments! And you're all right - the fact that gratuitous violence is more acceptable than sex is sick, sick, sick.

      • by Jurily (900488)

        Yes, sex is evil.

    • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ThreeGigs (239452) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:35PM (#23943503)

      doesn't understand why so many people don't care

      Ahh, but they *do* care.

      They care that to get their five bucks they have to fill in a few blanks. Like with their name and address. And somewhere, in some database will be a bit of trivia about just what it is they do on their computer. And I don't remember all the terms of the settlement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were possible to obtain the names of all claimants. Imagine someone posting *that* list on a public webserver that Google indexes.

      • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gewalt (1200451) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:40PM (#23943555)
        I woudlnt be ashamed to be on a list of people that own GTA, but I would be ashamed if someone thought I had asked for a rebate because a game included the content I was looking for when I bought it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rm999 (775449)

        I somehow doubt a list of people who bought the best selling video game of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto:_San_Andreas#Sales) - with 22 million sales - would generate much buzz online. I think GTA is far less controversial than the media wants us to believe; for every Jack Thompson/vocal-overprotective mom out there, 50,000 people bought the game.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Maestro485 (1166937)
      For a second there I read it as 'Seth the Lesser' and wondered why a WoW character was lead lawyer.
  • by Skreech (131543) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:20PM (#23943343)

    American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was "meritless" and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two.

    Oh boy, I can only hope. Oh please.

  • Not worth my time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iansmith (444117) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:21PM (#23943361) Homepage

    The time it would take filling out the forms and cashing the $5 check is better spent on something else.

    And frankly, anyone who buys Grand Theft Auto, the game that lets you kill hookers instead of paying them, is going to be hard to offend with some sex scene they have to use a hack to see in the first place.

    That lawsuit never should have been brought to court, I hope the laywers don't see a penny!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:35PM (#23943505)

      And frankly, anyone who buys Grand Theft Auto, the game that lets you kill hookers instead of paying them, is going to be hard to offend with some sex scene they have to use a hack to see in the first place.
      I know, seriously! And how you can blame the makers of a game that merely simulates reality? What, next some lawyer's going to be telling me I can't kill hookers instead of paying them in real life?
  • I'm probably eligible, but all things considered I'd rather they just kept the 5 bucks and bought themselves some hot coffee and get to work on some DLC for gta 4.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:25PM (#23943389)

    Being that it requited a hack to unlock the feature (aka censors already deemed the code unacceptable) and the kids who downloaded the hack could have just as easily have gotten real porn. It really isn't that big of a deal. Besides who wants to say after buying GTA I am such a prude that I want money to accommodate my suffering. I think most people will say they hypocrisy needs to stop at some point.

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:59PM (#23943715) Homepage

      the kids who downloaded the hack could have just as easily have gotten real porn

      Yeah, that's exactly why this whole issue has always cracked me up. Oh noes! If a kid goes unsupervised onto the internet, he may download a mod for a game that would show him low-poly-count boobs. We need to stop this, prevent minors from buying GTA, make Take Two release new discs without the content on it, and then, at long last, kids won't be able to find boobs on the internet!

      Really, it's just too funny.

      • by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:56PM (#23944099) Homepage

        It's called a political opportunity. It's not about reality, its about aligning yourself to an issue and making news. "The choir, let me preach to it."

        Besides, in laymans terms, the game contained material not suitable for the rating it received. The amount of work you have to do to "unlock" it via the patch (and I did out of curiosity - it took 5 minutes) is trivial, but the joke is, the only reason I became aware of it is because of the news.

        Lets face it - it was sloppy of Take Two. They didn't deserve the attention and the suit, but it would have been easily preventable. Having shipped more than a few console games myself in my day, I can assure you that whatever didn't enable the game mechanic of bangin your gf in the build was 'removed' on a pretty high level - just a boolean or the removal of a game event or trigger.

        I agree with everyone saying the lawsuit was meritless, but its a valuable lesson for all game developers. (Case in point: my friend wrote something obscene on a texture in a game that would never be readable by a customer with the in game camera. Clients get a 'free camera' mode where they can run through everything, up to any level of detail. Guess who falls on the 'right' side here? The people paying the money. My employers and the client were rightly not amused. Whats to be gained?) Ship a violent movie, and a super ultra softcore porn scene that isn't accessible via the movie on one DVD ... there is political weight to taking issue with that, if only because its possible to access it and because if its not meant to be accessed, what is it doing there?

        So to summarize, it was a meritless lawsuit, for obvious reasons, but I don't have much sympathy for Take-Two unless it was one developer who kept the assets in there technically unbeknownst to everyone else. I doubt that was the case, and while they didn't deserve the lawsuit, they certainly opened themselves to misguided criticism. There are more stable platforms to assert one's distain for overly heavy handed sexual censorship.

        I don't have to agree with somebody to necessarily not want to provide the opportunity for them to feel provoked, especially when money or political power is involved, no matter how fucking stupid they might be.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blitziod (591194)

          i am pretty sure the news from the lawsuit sold more games than the makers of GTA4 had to pay.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Opportunist (166417)

            Way more. Ponder this for a moment:

            A game hits the market. A game that already created a controversy long before it came out. Then, almost instantly (one has to wonder how much "luck" or "skill" those hackers had...), it's revealed: A porn scene, "negligently" left in by the programmers. Horror! Self proclaimed moral watchdogs with too much time on their hands and no meaning in their little life are all over the game, big discussions on national TV, moralizers condemning it and Take2 and everyone involved a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          The amount of work you have to do to "unlock" it via the patch (and I did out of curiosity - it took 5 minutes)

          That's about four minutes and fifty-five seconds longer than it takes to just find some porn with google on a broadband connection. It's not like it's hard to do, it's just orders of magnitude harder than just downloading some porn.

    • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:09PM (#23943783)

      Not to mention that the game is rated M in the US - which means that the only people who Take2 was (legally) selling the game to that couldn't legally watch porn were 17 year olds. The same 17 year olds who can see full frontal nudity and way racier sex scenes in an R rated movie, or even on M rated TV (anyone watched Nip/Tuck lately?)

      • by user (88235) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:43AM (#23945569)

        > which means that the only people who Take2 was (legally) selling the game to

        Do what now? To the best of my knowledge, there is no law in most (all?) states which gives any force of law to either ESRB or MPAA ratings... and I think this is a good thing. This means that private businesses may choose to self-limit their sales to minors if they believe that they'll more than make it up in public good will generating replacement sales. It means that if certain standards differ from state to state or locale to locale, companies are free to make their own call locally. Even better, as public opinion changes over time, policies can adjust without dealing with the political process.

        I'm worried, though, that your comment is representative of the general impression - but it worries me when people are afraid of breaking non-existent laws.

  • Everybody now..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So it might just turn out that all that moral outrage and mass hysteria was just a ruse brought up to try and cash in on a game franchise.

    Everybody now: "YA THINK!?!"

  • by mo (2873) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:32PM (#23943451)

    TFA states that the attorneys that brought the case are demanding 1.3 million in legal fees, way more than the 2,676 * (max $35) = $93,660 settlement fees that Take Two will have to pay.

    • by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:10PM (#23943795) Homepage Journal

      I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.

      So instead of $1.3M, at the moment they've 'earned' ~$12k.

      It'd stop some of the stupider lawsuits. I still remember getting a settlement offer for some memory I bought from crucial years ago - as far as I was concerned, I paid a fair price for it. Crucial sold me quality memory at a price seen more for shady chips.

      Before I ever started going after the profit margin on computer chips I'd take a look at the jewelry industry.

      I figure that most of the <3k individuals are just after a buck(five-thirty five).

      On my end, if I was the judge or jury(don't know how it was decided), I'd have thrown out the case from the sheer fact that you had to download a mod to enable the content. Might as well sue 3DRealms for the mod to Duke Nukem that put actual porno on the movie screens, made the strippers actually strip(sorta), and all around more explicit. Don't mention the fact that it was a straight image swap with the more explicit stuff.

      Heck, 'Hot Coffee' has made the value of the first edition of the game(before new disks were issued) more valuable!

      That shows deliberate work on the part of the player. Like others have said, they could have as easily downloaded far more explicit porn, not to mention outright sex games about as easily.

      • by Belial6 (794905)

        I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.
        Only if each $5 is required to be requested on a hand filled form, and sent in an individual envelope with a self addressed stamped envelope inside for the return check.
      • by SengirV (203400)

        Before I ever started going after the profit margin on computer chips I'd take a look at the jewelry industry.

        They have - https://diamondsclassaction.com/FAQ.htm#16


        I also got that crucial class action crap and pitched it as well. Seeing as I paid like $100 for memory at the time, I doubt that the $5 I would have gotten back from that would have been worth it.

      • by mrbluze (1034940) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @10:45PM (#23944465) Journal

        I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.
        How did you manage to weave Microsoft's Internet Explorer into this mess?
  • by xRelisH (647464) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:32PM (#23943459)
    Perhaps the remaining millions who did not claim the money actually, you know, liked the game?

    I don't think it would make sense for gamers to exploit a frivolous lawsuit to get a few dollars out of a company that made a game they enjoyed.
  • Cheap Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TornCityVenz (1123185) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:33PM (#23943471) Homepage Journal
    I wonder what the networth of the attention take 2 got from this is worth. Surely far more than the cost of paying out the penalty and the fees of the lawers that they probably have on full time retainer anyhow.
  • odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigdavex (155746) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:41PM (#23943567)

    Suppose I bought some porn video and there was a code that my kids found that let them play a game where they beat people and ran them over for fun. Would I have case?

    Who exactly is supposed to care about this?

    • Re:odd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:22PM (#23943895)
      Your kids would be taken away because you allowed them to access porn. Thank the puritans.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sigma 7 (266129)

      Suppose I bought some porn video and there was a code that my kids found that let them play a game where they beat people and ran them over for fun. Would I have case?

      No, since North America treats violence as equivalant to a recommended 17+ 'M' rating, while porn uses a strict 18+ 'AO' rating. Maybe something could happen in another country, but it's doubtful said rating system varies like that.

      There would be a case (a minor one) if you include 18+ 'AO' content in the 17+ 'M' game. Aside from breaching the contract with the ESRB, it's also implying that the game itself was safe enough for parents to buy for the children they believed could properly handle the 17+ rat

  • Seriously... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Golden_Rider (137548) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:43PM (#23943585)

    "I read instructions on the Internet on how to mod GTA so that I could see a sex scene, and when I followed those instructions, the game actually let me see a sex scene! Now I feel surprised, shocked and offended and want $5!"

    Sometimes I really wonder if there are any normal people left in this world.

    • by rhombic (140326)

      21,000,000 people bought the game; 3000 have claimed their settlement. So there are more than 20 million rational people left.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:47PM (#23943621)

    If the GTA makers owe me $35 for their hidden NPC sex scene, then the Second Life makers owe me seven figures for emotional trauma from the brief virtual walk I took though the general area.

  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @08:54PM (#23943683)

    are the lawyers. The lawyers don't care if everyone get pennies, because they get their millions. And if there is a settlement or verdict, it should always be in monetary form distributed automatically to every class member. Members shouldn't have to fill any paperwork. The corporations should calculate it for them. Two examples:

    1. Bank of America privacy lawsuit. [consumerist.com]

    Fees waived for deposited items getting returned!
    Fees returned for calling customer service!
    12 months free subscription to a credit card protection service (a $30 value)!
    90 free days of Privacy Assist Identity Theft Protection Service (a $17.85 value)!

    Hell no. Basically, they get free marketing. OUCH.

    2. Visa MasterCard Discovery Currency lawsuit. [ccfsettlement.com]

    They want you to calculate your foreign purchases yourself and document them for your reimbursement. Hell no. They should pay us $400/hr as they do their lawyers for the time we spend sorting through years worth of credit card statements. Some companies even charge a fee for requesting older records.

    Settling should not be an option for class action lawsuits. The client/s should decide whether to settle, not the lawyer/s. A settlement should always be an opt-in, not an opt-out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Settling should not be an option for class action lawsuits. The client/s should decide whether to settle, not the lawyer/s. A settlement should always be an opt-in, not an opt-out.
      One can always choose to litigate individually if they do not like the way the class action is handled.
      • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:27PM (#23943921)

        Ya, that is what the class action lawsuit pamphlets always say.

        "It's taken 5 years and 10 million dollars in lawyer fees to get this far, and good news, we won, and you get free Mortgage coupons! To opt out you may write the court judge at {address}."

        Ya, I am going to go after Bank of America individually. That is really a feasible option. Let me look up a lawyer in the phone book.

        Hell no.

        Class action lawsuits are for lawyers, and the wrong-doers settle to make them go away. It is never about the victims. Ever.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by maxume (22995)

          The opt out usually precedes the case. It gives the people bringing the case more leverage to actually get a settlement.

          Take this case for instance, if you wanted to put it to Take Two, would you take the $5, or would you make one of their lawyers spend a couple of hours doing paper work for another case? If the opt out came after the agreement, Take Two would work a lot harder not settling.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The system isn't designed to compensate victims, it's designed to discourage hurting them in the first place. If lawyers didn't make tons of money on class action suits, no one would litigate them and companies would lose a disincentive to causing small amounts of harm to large amounts of people. Not that this point is relevant to the case in question...

    • by corsec67 (627446) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:10PM (#23943793) Homepage Journal

      Easiest solution would be to require lawyers to be paid in the exact same manner as the class in a class action suit.

      If they class gets coupons, the lawyers should get coupons.

      • by Scudsucker (17617) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @03:09AM (#23945915) Homepage Journal

        With class action lawsuits, all the risk is borne by the lawyers. If they don't win, they don't get paid. People whine that the consumer gets a $20 coupon while the lawyers make bank, but the consumer is getting something with no effort made or risk taken on his own. So if you don't like it, hire your own damn attorney and file your own damn lawsuit.

        They say the devil's greatest trick was convincing the world he didn't exist. The devil has been one-upped; people in America have been brainwashed into thinking that standing up for themselves through unions or lawsuits is bad. They would rather money stay in the hands of those that wronged them rather than have it fall into the hands of (gasp) lawyers. They'd rather save $1000 a year in union dues rather than make another $10 an hour with 50% more vacation time. Americans excel at cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sjames (1099)

      There has to be at least a minimal amount of paperwork. For example, members of the class have the right to refuse to take part in the settlement. They may do that on ethical grounds because they don't agree with the suit or because they prefer to sue individually (perhaps they don't feel that the class-action adequately stated the case or they believe they were harmed to a greater extent than other members of the class.

      Meanwhile, accepting the settlement generally requires a formal legal agreement that t

  • Maybe this vocal minority is smaller than believed? Meanwhile, the rest of us are able to distinguish fantasy and reality, do not find the former offensive, and would prefer seeing naked human bodies engaged in sex acts rather than human bodies being brutally blown apart.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      Speak for yourself. Personally, I prefer my video games to involve human bodies being brutally blown apart than to involve sex, because simulated violence doesn't have to be realistic to be fun but the "uncanny valley" is all the more uncanny when you're talking about that particular valley.
  • by ancient_kings (1000970) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:20PM (#23943875)
    had Joe Pesci, these stupid lawyers against Take-Two and a big, fat baseball bat....
  • by jafo (11982) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:22PM (#23943893) Homepage

    I'm a GTA San Andreas player who was not at all interested in money from Take Two because of the Hot Coffee content in the game. I'm not surprised that only a handful of people have taken them up on it, the game is limited to sale to a 17+ audience, an audience that already knows (except in the states whos names start and end with a vowel) that people have sex.

    I *DO* however wonder how many of those 3,000 people were really offended by the Hot Coffee content, and how many were just going "Cool, free money!"

    The Hot Coffee patch reminds me of ROT-13 encryption. It's trivial for someone to get at the content if they want to, but you have to deliberately go after it. You can't "accidentally" see it. You're saying "I know this might offend me, and I want to see it anyway".

    We sadly live in a culture where it's more acceptable to beat up or kill a woman than it is to have sex with her. Which explains a lot of unfortunate things. It doesn't make them right though.

    You want to know what is really offensive? And I don't think I'm alone here... I find it particularly offensive that someone would sue over this. And win.

    I had so much hope for our species.

    Sean

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I thought cool, free money. Although I don't know if I will get it because I got GTA online from EB and the receipt they sent had no cash amount. Most of the offers they had required you to send in your copy of GTA for a new one and money. I'm sure that had something to do with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Koiu Lpoi (632570)

      I had so much hope for our species.
      Your problem is assuming Western, and specifically US Conservative culture is the norm for humanity.
  • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:45PM (#23944015) Journal
    I live in the GTA. Where do I get my free coffee?
  • This doesn't apply to any versions of the game sold outside of the US, correct?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by julesh (229690)

      This doesn't apply to any versions of the game sold outside of the US, correct?

      No, it doesn't. Nobody else is quite that stupid.

  • Duke Nukem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EEPROMS (889169) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:58PM (#23944117)
    Reminds me of Duke Nukem were all the sex scenes were cut out but could be activated by typing in a code word. Here is a game were you can blow peoples heads off and swear but oooh no, boobies are not allowed.......sheesh
  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:58PM (#23944121)
    Could we send in $5 to enable the hot coffee mod?
  • Actually (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @10:40PM (#23944427)
    I bought a version that didn't have the sex scene. Can I collect $5 from the people that made them cut it out?
  • by joekrahn (544037) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @11:25PM (#23944779)
    Lawsuits are more about money, especially for the lawyers, rather than defending public rights.

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