What’s The Verdict: Grand Theft Auto Makers suing the BBC for film that covers the real-life conflict over its violent content.
Things are getting personal.
The US based video game company, Rockstar Games, is the maker of the Grand Theft Auto series; Its parent company, Take Two interactive, is filing suit against the BBC over the production of a film starring Daniel Radcliffe. But, there’s more to it. The 90-minute long film titled Game Changer is basically a documentary on Rockstar itself and the creation of the best-selling series, including both challenges and success.
In particular, the film showcases the real life battle between Rockstar’s Sam Houser and activist Jack Thompson. Houser is a British Developer to be played by Daniel Radcliffe and Thompson the lawyer and activist will be played by Bill Paxton. The two parties clashed when Thompson initiated a campaign against the Grand Theft Auto series due to the extensive amount of violence and sex in an attempt to get to stop the violent games from fallings into the hands of children. He believed there was a link between children playing violent video games and violent behavior. Thompson filed several lawsuits objecting to the violence in the games. In response, Rockstar asserted their First Amendment Rights.
All of this will be featured in Game Changer. However, Rockstar isn’t going to let this slide so easily. Their goal is to ensure that “trademarks are not misused in the BBC’s pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games.” A copy of the complaint filed against the BBC has not yet been released; however, the argument in itself seems a bit ambiguous in terms of how it will actually be infringing on intellectual property.
Lastly, it would be pretty wild for a court to object to a film that covers a First Amendment battle between two parties. Let’s see what happens. Stay tuned for updates on What’s The Verdict!