Tags: grand theft auto | bbc | game | changer

'Grand Theft Auto,' BBC Bend Fenders Over 'Game Changer'

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 09:22 AM

The maker of video game Grand Theft Auto has sued the BBC in London, claiming trademark infringement in the upcoming movie "Game Changer."

The suit was filed by Rockstar Games through its parent company Take-Two Interactive.

"Game Changer," a motion picture that highlights the story of the conflict between Rockstar president Sam Houser and Grand Theft Auto critic Jack Thompson, is already being shot and expected to air next year, reported IGN.com. "Harry Potter's" Daniel Radcliffe plays Houser and Bill Paxton portrays Thompson.

"While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project," Take-Two Interactive said in a statement about its lawsuit. "Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC's pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games."

"We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary," the statement said.

The Guardian reported that Thompson has fought Rockstar over its display of violence and sex in the popular computer game. Grand Theft Auto and its sequels have long received criticism for its depiction of crime.

The Hollywood Reporter said Rockstar is already in court, attempting to buck a suit from actress Lindsay Lohan, who charged that a character in Grand Theft Auto V uses her image and persona without permission.

Take-Two Interactive has called Lohan's lawsuit frivolous and asked the court to dismiss it. The company claims that "artistic work" in the game cannot be the basis for publicity claims.

"Lohan is suing (Rockstar) on rights of publicity grounds while Rockstar is suing (BBC) for trademark infringement, but the free speech principles are similar," wrote Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter. "In many circuits, courts apply something known as the 'Rogers test,' which examines whether there's 'artistic relevance' in creative works making use of someone's trademark."

The Guardian noted that the film, which started shooting in April, is directed by Owen Harris with a screenplay by James Wood.

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The maker of video game Grand Theft Auto has sued the BBC in London, claiming trademark infringement in the upcoming movie "Game Changer."
grand theft auto, bbc, game, changer
Friday, 22 May 2015 09:22 AM
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