Jack Thompson Cites SPOnG In Court Filing

SPOnG - and competitors - accused of conspiring with Take-Two.

Posted by Staff
Jack Thompson Cites SPOnG In Court Filing
[b]STOP PRESS: Just before filing this story, we emailed Mr Thompson for his comments. This is what we received as we were about to hit the Publish button.

” By the way, tell me what weeks in the next few months are best for your deposition.”


We await formal contact by the relevant US court officers, with the relevant and formal request, of course.[/b]

The latest round of litigation between US attorney Jack Thompson and Take-Two Interactive software has been loosed by Mr Thompson – and SPOnG has been caught in the cross-fire.

Thompson is attempting to challenge Take Two et al under the United States’ Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) legislation. This 800lb gorilla that was enacted to combat the Mafia, and emerging drug barons by placing the organisation, rather than specific individuals at the sharp end of litigation. Thus when the US government cannot pin a crime on an individual, it seeks to undermine them by terrorising their known associates. These statutes have been effective in making organisations as diverse as the Hells Angels and the Mafia re-assess their operational procedures.

Towards the end of a filing made in the United States District Court For the southern district of Florida in relation to the case numbered 07-20693-civ-altonaga, Thompson claims:

”34. Take-Two, either directly or through its agents, including but not limited to Blank Rome, has collaborated and conspired with third parties to commit these racketeering activites (sic, including but not limited to the Entertainment Software Association, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the Entertainment Consumer Association, Gamepolitics, Kotaku, SPOnG, Joystiq, Gamespot, ign, Game Informer, Electronic Gaming Weekly, Penny Arcade, Doug Lowenstein, and others.

“35. As a result of this collaboration, individuals have repeatedly threatened the life of Thompson, visited his residential neighborhood to hand out libellous (sic) pamphlets, filed SLAPP Bar complaints against Thompson, having been encouraged to do so by gaming web sites, sent dozens of items to Thompson’s home and office via overnight courier and mail, sent sex aid products to his wife, threatened Thompson’s son, shot at his home, sought to incarcerate Thompson, “bookstormed” his book, Out of Harm’s Way, at Amazon.com, orchestrated and knowingly incited harassing phone calls and letters, and Case 1:07-cv-20693-CMA Document 6 Entered on FLSD Docket 03/21/2007 Page 33 of 37 34 generally engaged in a knowing, purposeful, and illegal “shoot the messenger” strategy against Thompson directly and through surrogates.”


Now, this comes as quite a surprise to us as we would have expected to have been contacted directly by someone who places SPOnG so high up his list of alleged Take-Two co-conspirators in racketeering.

So, we called Mr Thompson at a number he provided in a recent email entitled, “Hooah!” (a standard US Marine Corps response) to find out exactly if and when we are supposed to appear in Florida. The phone rang, and rang, and rang – with no voicemail cutting in. Therefore we’ve emailed him with an offer for him to state his case against us and the other named ‘co-conspirators’ directly – to be published verbatim.

We also called Jim Ankner, Vice President of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Take-Two Interactive Software in the United States in order to discover if Take-Two has any records of our alleged joint conspiracy. Of course, being in cahoots with the publisher as alleged by Mr Thompson (and totally denied by us) you would have expected Jim to pick-up the hotline. We left a voicemail and hope to hear back.

However, with Take-Two’s board currently under threat, profits lagging behind expectations, and Mr Jack Thompson accusing the company not only of racketeering but also of being “thuggish pornographers” in filings to court, maybe Mr Ankar has more pressing matters on his mind.

Whatever the outcome of the suit and counter-suits between Thompson and Take-Two, SPOnG is certainly not going to stop providing coverage. Nor are we going to be bullied by Thompson from a Florida court into retracting any of our previous coverage.

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Comments

Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 21.
LUPOS 22 Mar 2007 15:04
2/21
"We're a movin' on up! movin' on up! To the east siiiide!"

Electronic Games Weekly.... EGW? perhaps he has soem sort of vertical dyslexia? Or perhaps that's a real publication and I've just never heard of them. None the less we beat out 1up! ;)
______
rogueleader 22 Mar 2007 15:11
3/21
Seriosuly, this is beyond funny now. It is just a mockery of the court systems.
He really is a obssessed man, an obsessed man who wishes to take down a whole industry down single handly. despite the fact it is one of the most successful industries. He should just leave the battle as it is just making himslef look even more of an idiot then about 2 months ago. Anmd that itself is a feat.
I salute you jack Robinson for being a complete and utter smeghead.
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Svend Joscelyne 22 Mar 2007 15:18
4/21
One man... against all the odds.

tyrion 22 Mar 2007 15:29
5/21
rogueleader wrote:
Seriosuly, this is beyond funny now. It is just a mockery of the court systems.


Tell the world!

Oh, but don't mention that SPOnG is in the UK, we want to see if he'll go through the extradition system to get to us! Should be fun, I've always wanted to visit Florida and apparently Jack has to pay the air fares.
Svend Joscelyne 22 Mar 2007 15:32
6/21
tyrion wrote:
Should be fun, I've always wanted to visit Florida and apparently Jack has to pay the air fares.

Can I come? <3 I've been reading up on my Phoenix Wright. "Objection!", etc.
cube_game 22 Mar 2007 15:39
7/21
Son of a bitch

Im glad you guys arnt backing down... because that guy has some serious issues.
tyrion 22 Mar 2007 16:37
8/21
cube_game wrote:
Im glad you guys arnt backing down... because that guy has some serious issues.

It's difficult to back down when you haven't actually done anything.
ajmetz 22 Mar 2007 17:36
9/21
So bad PR is now called Racketeering?
PistolPete 22 Mar 2007 20:21
10/21
"As a result of this collaboration, individuals have repeatedly threatened the life of Thompson, visited his residential neighborhood to hand out libellous (sic) pamphlets, filed SLAPP Bar complaints against Thompson, having been encouraged to do so by gaming web sites, sent dozens of items to Thompson’s home and office via overnight courier and mail, sent sex aid products to his wife, threatened Thompson’s son, shot at his home, sought to incarcerate Thompson, “bookstormed” his book"


GOOD.
RiseFromYourGrave 22 Mar 2007 20:40
11/21
man alive! he really is getting carried away isnt he. oh well, the steamroller of sanity shall crush him and his claims publically soon enough. i hope (its america).
Tim Smith 23 Mar 2007 10:14
12/21
PistolPete wrote:
"...sent dozens of items to Thompson’s home and office via overnight courier and mail, sent sex aid products to his wife, threatened Thompson’s son, shot at his home..."


GOOD.


No, threatening the man's family, upsetting his wife, shooting at his home - if these things happened, then that's not good at all.

He has opinions I don't support. He airs them in ways that bemuse me. But just because you don't agree with what he's got to say, doesn't make violence, threats of violence, or targeting his family valid options.

From a pragmatic point of view, this kind of thing supports all his arguments.

From a moral and ethical point of view, this kind of thing provides support for the kind of people who will bomb you if they don't like your cartoons; or black-list you if they don't like your politics; or kick the crap out of you because they don't like the team you follow.

Personally, I can live without that, thanks. I want the freedom to play imaginative, immersive, creative, fun, entertaining (some want 'art' but there you go) video games. And because I'm also in a very lucky position, the freedom to write about them as well.

We'll keep reporting on all of this and, if necessary we'll fight our corner against threats of litigation or of gagging our right to report. We'll defend the fact that we are independent and have not and will not ever take money to present positive editorial about a product or person, but I for one am not going to support anything that supports violence or intimidation.

Tim
Rod Todd 23 Mar 2007 11:51
13/21
Tim Smith wrote:
And because I'm also in a very lucky position, the freedom to write about them as well.

It's no THompson and his bafoons/baboons that take away your freedom to write about video games. It's the media manipulating corporations who publish them, who keep there exclusives for advertising discount, and who pull support if they get a review they don't like.

Corporate control of the media is a far greater threat to modern life as terrorism is. It affects all of us.



Tim Smith 23 Mar 2007 12:10
14/21
Rod Todd wrote:

Corporate control of the media is a far greater threat to modern life as terrorism is. It affects all of us.


Oh no, this was never supposed to happen. I was never supposed to agree with Rod Todd.

Then again, I don't... entirely; it's been a threat to life for far longer than 'modern', whenever that started.

Phew.
Rod Todd 23 Mar 2007 12:25
15/21
I was never supposed to agree with Rod Todd.

Taking the position that you will never agree with someone, before you have heard and evaluated every single one of their opinions, is incredibly closed minded.

Tim Smith wrote:
it's been a threat to life for far longer than 'modern', whenever that started.

Modern life started in 1969, everyone knows that.

But corporate control of the media used to be controlled by checks and balances that those same corporations have now eroded completely.

PistolPete 23 Mar 2007 18:26
16/21
"This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.”

So, ok, the way his family have been treated is unfair, but all I can see this nonsense as is Jack Thompson basically attempting to not just limit, but destroy the creative freedom of a lot of people, of an industry, under the pretence of some ancient righteousness, rather than the obvious vainglorious (sorry, been reading a lot of Fitzgerald recently..) nature of his assault.

Violence, indeed death threats are an admittedly extreme form of counteraction, but this man has the potential to destroy video games as we know it; if he beats Take Two, it will simply add fuel to his fire, and video-games could end up with the same ridiculous censoring systems as films on American television, as they use the same medium (I've been in Colorado for 3 months skiing and stuff, for funsies (actually, I meant to rant about St. Patrick's Day in Aspen, being Irish... but I'm quite lazy..) and I've attempted to watch films ('movies') out here on t.v but they are awful; swear words are replaced by the most banal offences, nudity is a complete no-go (ruining, to the utmost, The Girl Next Door), and even the violence is toned to laughable levels.)
And if one f**king fanatic has the potential to create (more than the already often) inexpressive, hackneyed (is that spelt right?) attempts at making money, not art, based around censorship taken from a religious imprudence of what 'children' should and should not be subjected to... if he has that potential - to create another intolerant industry teaching reticent, circumscribed behaviour, rather than the freedom and empathetic nature of spontaneity and sincerity (I also clearly a fan of Captain Beefheart) then I think he deserves everything he gets.

Although maybe murder of his family is going a tad far... I mean, even though his righteousness is taken from ancient teachings, humanity (I like to entertain) has evolved since then.. so the means of counteraction should at least be more humane than his own delusion. But then, you make your bed...
tyrion 24 Mar 2007 11:27
17/21
Another perspective from one of our fellow "racketeers".
Tim Smith 25 Mar 2007 02:37
18/21
PistolPete wrote:
"Although maybe murder of his family is going a tad far... "


Not even in ironic jest.

Now, about Scott Fitz and IceScreeeam for Crows?

Tim Smith 25 Mar 2007 02:44
19/21
tyrion wrote:
Another perspective from one of our fellow "racketeers".


Brilliant... Another perspective just brilliant.
PistolPete 25 Mar 2007 03:08
20/21
As for Fitz, I just finished The Beautiful and Damned, which completes his four main works (although The Great Gatsby is obviously his finest achievement, I did love Tender is the Night so completely.. in fact, I love it all... and the, maybe gingerly, optimistic ending of This Side Of Paradise was a perfect first attempt, and a damn sight less perturbing than the ending of The Beautiful...) are you familiar with his literature?

And Captain 'Bat Chain Puller' Beefheart, if you listen to him then I may love you too. Not as in the adulation I tend to genuflect toward Don Van, but in a more 'I've found another one, sweet lord!' (I have maybe only two friends who actually appreciate his softness)

Well done! I like this website much more now that I know, for sure, that the editorial director is efficiently cultured! I suppose it's too much to presume an affection for Tim Buckley?

But ah shucks, ya got me all into rambling again.. totally forgetting the issue I had with an implication of conspiracy... but f**k it... what issue?

Oh, and the reason I'm replying so quickly is that I'm in Colorado, so it's only 20:00, what god forsaken time is it with you?

p.s http://www.beefheart.com/walker/dog.htm





Arthur Storey 26 Mar 2007 00:48
21/21
I saw a clip of Tim Buckley this weekend singing a Fred Neil song called Dolphins, apparently filmed a feew weeks before he died

PistolPete wrote:
'I've found another one, sweet lord!'


And another one. The Captain rules!
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