Grand Theft Auto Company Settles With Jack Thompson - InformationWeek

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4/20/2007
02:17 PM
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Grand Theft Auto Company Settles With Jack Thompson

After years of fighting Take 2 over allegedly violent video games, attorney agrees to drop lawsuits against the company.

Florida attorney Jack Thompson has reached a settlement with Take 2 Interactive, the maker of video games Bully and Grand Theft Auto.

Thompson sued the company several times, charging that its games are violent and could inspire real-life tragedies, including deadly school shootings. He also tried to stop the sale of the company's video games. Then, Take 2 filed a lawsuit against Thompson for trying to block sales. Thompson countersued, saying the company was in collusion with judges and others in a conspiracy to discredit him.

After years of fighting the company, Thompson has agreed not to sue or threaten to sue the company, or try to communicate with anyone outside of Take 2's legal department. The settlement also bars Thompson from communicating accusations of wrongdoing to the company's business partners. He has also agreed not to block sales or distribution of the company's games. Finally, Thompson will dismiss his counterclaim.

The video game maker has agreed to dismiss legal claims against Thompson.

Thompson can still criticize the games in other contexts and represent third parties in lawsuits against Take 2. Thompson tried to block the sale of Bully, a video game in which a new kid at school takes on bullies and fights back. He said that young players could emulate the main character's use of violence. A court shot down his argument, and free speech advocates defended the game, saying it was less violent than many television programs.

It was unclear Friday whether Thompson still faced disbarment proceedings in Florida. A woman who answered the phone at the Florida Bar Association said she would look into the matter. Thompson is still listed as a member in good standing.

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