Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Courts The Media United Kingdom Entertainment Games

Take Two Sues BBC Over Drama About GTA Development 81

An anonymous reader writes: Take Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, is suing the BBC for trademark infringement over its planned "making of GTA" drama, Game Changers. The 90-minute movie was created without the involvement of the studio, which rarely comments on the GTA series' development outside of organised press events. (It is expected that it will draw upon the public conflict between Sam Houser and notorious anti-gaming crank Jack Thompson, via the expose "Jacked" by David Kushner.) After direct negotiations with the BBC failed, Take Two brought suit to "ensure that [their] trademarks are not misused." The details of the suit, Rockstar's objections, and the penalties sought, are not yet known.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Take Two Sues BBC Over Drama About GTA Development

Comments Filter:
  • Misused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @12:28PM (#49744387)

    Take Two brought suit to "ensure that [their] trademarks are not misused."

    = Take Two intend to misuse trademark laws to control discussion and criticism of their product.

    • It's tough to fight even bad journalism, and in this particular case, a particularly foul and fruitless move. Good to know they used astute PR before they made their decision to litigate.

    • There is a simpsons quote for this.

      "If Disney sues, we'll claim fair use,: Ho heigh, ho heigh ho heigh ho heigh. Ho heigh, ho heigh,:"

    • They also appear to be misusing the Streisand effect.
  • They're allowing the filming of a movie about Rockstar with Daniel Radcliffe playing Sam Houser and they want to stop a documentary that's probably going to be a bit more honest? Good luck with that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're allowing the filming of a movie about Rockstar with Daniel Radcliffe playing Sam Houser and they want to stop a documentary that's probably going to be a bit more honest?

      No. It's the Daniel Radcliffe drama they are suing over.

      • Oops. That'll teach one to actually read the article. Or the summary. And to actually comprehend what one is reading.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @01:13PM (#49744749) Homepage

      Yep, so far all they have done is to quite successfully promote the documentary. I had not heard about it till now.

      • Maybe that's Rockstar's plan:

        1. Promote the documentary with the lawsuit.
        2. See the documentary make lots of money.
        3. Win the lawsuit and take all the money.
        4. Pay the lawyers.
        5. Profit?

        OK, maybe this is the lawyers' plan.

  • In a nutshell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @12:37PM (#49744457)

    In a nutshell, what they're saying is:

    "If we can't control your editorial content in reporting about or dramatizing our behavior, we're going to sue you in an attempt to make it not worth your while to report on or dramatize our behavior"

    Fuck them. I hope the BBC has the backbone to stick up to this sort of corporate bullying. If the show isn't flattering to Take Two, they can suck it up like anyone else.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the UK laws regarding free speech (and the press) are very different than in the US. Muckraking is at a whole other level there.

      • Unfortunately, so are the libel laws... interesting that TakeTwo specifically went after trademark and not libel (especially in the UK!), isn't it?

  • by willworkforbeer ( 924558 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @12:42PM (#49744487)
    Just announced, BBC are planning another new project: it's a drama centered around the time when Take Two Interactive sued the BBC for creating a "making of GTA" documentary called 'Game Changers' ...
  • The lawyer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday May 21, 2015 @01:01PM (#49744619)
    From TFA: "The 90 minute feature will focus on the real life conflict between Rockstar President Sam Houser and the US lawyer ... Jack Thompson." Surely they mean the disbarred lawyer. He can't practice no mo'. While I agree he still has his JD even if he isn't allowed to use it at all, lawyer usually refers to someone who can actually practice law. It's not a title like say "doctor" is. While plenty of people go around calling themselves Dr. so and so, I don't remember anyone introducing himself as Laywer so and so. It's usually So and so, esquire...
    • was he eligible to practice law at the time?

      if so they're fine.

      you'd say the title of this film would never be, rockstar ex-president Sam Houser, even if houser were dead, because he was the president during the time-frame in question.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @01:31PM (#49744901)

    Do a bit on the hypocrisy of most of GTA's critics who went apoplectic over the possibility of violence against women versus the mandatory violence (in myriad forms) against men.

    (Sorta like how the reaction to what Ramsay Bolton did to Theon Greyjoy just made him a "bad, bad man" but coercing Sansa Stark into consummating their marriage made him Worse Than Hitler)

    • Maybe Tyrion will get to kill Ramsay in the end

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      As for GTA, violence against both sexes is equally bad. However, there is a problem with violence against prostitutes in real life, and it's fine for people to be upset about that. It doesn't mean they don't care about violence against men, which is also a huge problem, it just means they identified a specific issue to tackle. I don't know why that is so hard to understand.

      As for GoT, the guy is clearly evil, period. Both acts were sex crimes, and if we are making a comparison it seems like mental and physi

      • by Anonymous Coward

        As for GTA, violence against both sexes is equally bad. However, there is a problem with violence against prostitutes in real life, and it's fine for people to be upset about that. It doesn't mean they don't care about violence against men, which is also a huge problem, it just means they identified a specific issue to tackle. I don't know why that is so hard to understand.

        The villainy you teach them, they will learn well, and better the instruction.

        Modern/third wave feminism has set the precedent that if you're not with them, then you're against them. MRAs, MGTOW, GamerGate, SadPuppy, etc. are all painted with a broad brush as being about misogyny and harassing women, and not what those groups say they're about.

        Those groups used the same argument as the one you presented, that they're just focusing on issues that they choose to tackle. It doesn't mean they hate woman.

        But no,

  • They got Harry Potter to play Dan Houser? I would have gone with Sebastian Janakowski myself.
  • Trademark Fair Use (Score:2, Informative)

    by flopsquad ( 3518045 )
    Between the First Amendment protection for comment/criticism, nominative fair use (how do you do a movie about Take Two without saying "Take Two"?), and zero likelihood of confusion, I don't see how this case has any legs.

    See also Louis Vuitton v. Warner Bros (LV's suit over bag scene in Hangover 2 dismissed). This [arnoldporter.com] is a good resource generally, though it deals mainly with advertising.

    Slap a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie and call it a day. If they want to be extra safe, give it the subtitl
    • A more detailed [jenner.com] treatment of the Warner Bros case, if you care I read. There were allegations of a counterfeit bag used as a prop, so the case isn't 100% identical. But it's on point for the proposition that First Amendment concerns in expressive works often trump Lanham Act claims.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, considering this is the BBC, I wouldn't have thought it'd matter what the first amendment has to say about anything.

      • I thought about that. With a quick scan of TFA, I didn't see whether they were filing in the US or UK. Since the BBC has a solid presence in the US, it's conceivable TT could file here, especially if there were plans to broadcast the movie here.

        If the suit is in the UK, I can't comment on the jurisprudence. IIRC, they have analogous (weaker) fair use provisions for copyright, not sure about trademark. Any input from a UK IP attorney would be welcome.
        • by Holi ( 250190 )
          Well considering Take Two is a British company, I am not sure why they would file in the US.
        • by Holi ( 250190 )
          Even the reporter is British, "Daniel is IGN's Games Editor over in London. He writes about movies, too."
          • K, shit's going down in England, the First Amendment is irrelevant, fine. Damned US-centric worldview + hasty article skim, bit me in the ass.

            Anything to add about UK trademark law? Or... you know I could go for some more posts about why American law won't apply.
    • Yeah, I think the big sticking point in these types of things is who's work is it. You can use the name in trademark, but you have to be sure you don't confuse consumers about the true origins of the product in question, in this case the film. So long as they put the 'unauthorized' somewhere prominent, I think they'll be in the clear.
    • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @04:35PM (#49746235)
      Not sure what the First Amendment has to do with laws in England.
  • by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Thursday May 21, 2015 @03:21PM (#49745703)
    Have people suddenly forgot how much the media, including the BBC, has maligned the whole GTA series?

    "GTA will make kids violent", "GTA is a crime simulator", "GTA is responsible for school shootings", and most recently "GTA promotes violence against women". The BBC has played host to a wide array of nonsense claims and dubious "experts". And now the BBC is making a drama (not a documentary) giving disbarred and disgraced lawyer Jack Thompson just a little bit more airtime to further insult the company and their customers. Is it really such a surprise that they company doesn't want it's flagship product to be the target of yet another hit piece?

    Take Two's claim against the BBC is obviously bullshit, but it's a little rich for BBC to come crying now that they are getting a taste of their own medicine.
    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      Did you not know that none of that would have happened without Max Clifford working on behalf of Rock Star. That was marketing genius is what it was.
  • Time to go pirate some GTA games.

  • BBC have a bad attitude thinking that they are untouchable with a holier than thou perspective. They encroach on anyone and anywhere. They are banned some countries because of this. It's not only that. They try to compare some mythical 'pseudo-victorian' ethic, claiming that if it doesn't fit their world view then there is something wrong with it, sensationalizing these made up issues and forcing their own political correctness upon the hapless audience.
    This GTA thingy is typical of their arrogance and I f

    • So, you've seen this film then?

      Will Danny be up for a BAFTA next year?

      Nobody here knows the content of the film so, maybe we should all stop talking shit.
  • From what I have read and herd take two is the absolute norm for a horrible game studio that exploits the crap out of its employees first to buy fancy cars for the founders and then when they get pushed aside by the MBAs to buy fancy cars for them.

    At what point will someone set up a game company that is a true workers cooperative where there are no Ferrari driving founders. Just lexus driving everyones?

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.

Working...