Thompson Warns Midway over Mortal Kombat Armageddon, But...

October 27, 2006 -
This whole user-created content thing is so confusing to some folks, apparently.

GamePolitics was cc'd on cease-and-desist letter sent by Miami attorney Jack Thompson to Midway, publishers of the recently-released Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. The letter reads, in part:
"It has today come to my attention that the newly recently Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game." 

"You are commanded to cease and desist immediately from the distribution of this game because of this unauthorized, illegal content..."

"It would appear that your company has done this at least in part because I sued you all in the Paducah school massacre case and further because I appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 when your company came out with your profane, violent, and idiotic Blitz:  The League."

However, Thompson seemingly fails to take into account that the depiction of him to which he is referring is not part of the published game, but rather user-created content. A utility known as Kreate a Fighter is included with the game and lets players make their own combatants.

The creation of the Thompson character is detailed at Gaming Target, which describes the various settings and rationales behind the design of characters depicting Thompson, Hulk Hogan, Silent Bob and others. Documentation for the Thompson character says:

Jack Thompson is all legs and is a deadly mid-range opponent.

Jack's personality meshes perfectly with many of the Kreate A Fighter options. He fights with the Aggressive Shotokan stance as it gives him that puffed out self-important look...  His projectile is a big fireball known as the Chi-Blast because he's always spouting flames on the Internet...    


Comments

Wasn't he going to sue Take Two over that whole "jt@citizensunitedagainsttechnology.org" email about being offended by "high school water sports" on teh interweb, and the mother who found a "Jack" in her son's closet?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

*snort*

BWAHAHAHAHA

Seriously though. It would have taken LESS time to look up the fighters available in the game on midway's website or wikipedia or something than it would have taken to write a C&D.

Verify first. Threaten later.

Anyone remember Hackers?

Remember when they had that contest to out grief the police chief?

This is all just so familiar . . . :)

"You are commanded to cease and desist immediately"

Ahhh, his fave words!


I love create a charecter modes, especially when you make someone you hate just for the purposes of beating the crap out of them :)

Regarding both JT's asinine letter and the last article on the "Hot Coffee" class-action lawsuit: To Dennis and everyone else with access to the non-gaming public via a widely-read blog, newspaper, or any other form of media...please, PLEASE get the word out to the ignorant masses that user-created content and user-made hacks to access incomplete code A) do not fall under the rubric of the ESRB because by definition they doesn't exist or aren't accessible until after the game's been purchased by an individual and modded, and B) are not the responsibility of the game developer or producer. This disconnect is getting really, really tiresome, and as I and many others have pointed out again and again the ESRB has really, really dropped the ball on this one by re-rating games based on user-made hacks and mods when they shouldn't have.

Im making him in SmackDown vs. RAW 2007!!

@Howell2751:

His weapon should be a giant placard with the definition of assault on it. You can use it to taunt but not attack or defend. Alternately, the weapon could be a bullhorn with no batteries.

His special move would be summoning a team of fighting "experts" who actually don't know how to fight; instead they accidentally run over Jack and he loses half his health.

He has no finishing move, although he can automatically lose at anytime by randomly shooting himself in the foot.

@Brother Darqness

The issue is that, like many other old fuddy-duddies, Jack still doesn't seem to fully grasp what "user-created" means. The last games these people have played (assuming they have ever played any) were stuff like Galga and Pac-man, where such content was unheard of. Hell, a lot of politicians still talk about Hot-Coffee as if it were something you could access in the pause menu.

@PHOENIXZERO

I'm not really sure how to make a template. The template I used used to be online, but I can't seem to find it. Jack might have threatened the person who posted it.

Wow, just wow. Is this guy actually a lawyer? With all of these lawsuits, shouldn't he be broke by now? Any judge worthy of his title would look at this and tell Thompson to get the heck out, and stop wasting the courts time with frivolous and useless accusations.

@PHOENIXZERO

Wouldn't you know it? Just after I posted, I found it...

http://awel-cruiz.livejournal.com/

That would be mine. And here I was about to post it myself. I never heard from Jack about it, though. I'm a little insulted, quite frankly!

Get over yourself, Jack. Not everything is about you.

You owe Midway an immediate apology, Thompson. Get on that and make sure you cc everyone in the world as usual.


Andrew Eisen

Ahh, Jack. How you think the world centers around you. Stop being a such noob please.

Sincerly,
Teh World LMAO.

I was laughing my ass off about this yesterday.

This seems like Jack Thompson's typical morning to me:

1. Wake up
2. Google "Jack Thompson"
3. Send harassing e-mail to anyone and everyone if the link titles bear the words "Jack Thompson" and "video games"
4. Eat breakfast
5. Gain respect in GTA: San Andreas

"5. Gain respect in GTA: San Andreas"

No, that would be beyond his character to gain respect even in the virtual world...

So much anger Jack...so much. Anyone else see the irony here?

Paul

Jack has absolutely NO case here, as it clearly falls under both Fair Use and Parody. See Allen Vs. Men's Outlet.

To Thompson > To jump to an ill informed opinion and immediately revert to insults and irritating comments without bothering to check facts.

User created content, Midway did not put this in the game directly, no case at all, blah blah blah, nothing to see here. Honestly, are we at all surprised? This man has got to be one of the most desperate individuals I have ever seen in my life. Literally every other day I read about him threatening somebody with legal action. I'm willing to bet this is payback for having his head stuck in a toilet in elementary school. :P

I literally laughed out loud on this one. This guy is just such a raging jackass, and yet how much of a jackass he is continues to amaze me with each new act of jackassery. Somebody neuter this guy so he doesn't pollute the world with jackass kids...and if he has already...well...God help us all...

Wait... So gamers everywhere can now take a swing at JT in the most violent fighting games franchise in the world? I'm probably not going to be picking up this game for a little bit (not with Guitar Hero II coming down the bend in a week) but I'm noting these settings right now... This makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Awesome.

And to think, after all the contoversy MK has been through in the past, the only reason even Jack Thompson with attack it these days is due to a user-created character. Just shows what I've said about these people in the past. They have short attention spans and it's only a matter of time before they move on to the next social evil.

Laughter at Jack for making such an elementary mistake... AGAIN: going to legal action before checking his facts.

Praise for Midway for nifty features in their fighters.

And beer for the person(s) who made the JBT fighter.

The hilarity here speaks for itself, no further need to mock JBT.

Would someone PLEASE disbar this psycho already?

@BTW

Don't talk about the man's children, man. They're innocent in this matter. No one is able to choose their Dad and Mom.

In other news, GamePolitics received an email from Hulk Hogan, which was cc'd to other various press, that he is ordering pop singer Brooke Hogan to cease and desist her use of his chin.



Okay, that was mean, but that has a better chance of being successful.

wow o anyone can be a lawyer in america huh? cos it seems like you'll let any idiot be one from where im sitting.

im waiting for the GP headline "jack thompson found dead, suffocated with head upown rectum"

Sombody should school jack onuser created content, not that he would listen as he is an arrogant loud mouth but in most professions it helps to have at least a small idea as to what you're doing.

They're probably having a good belly laugh at Jack at Midway right now, and deservedly so.

Poor old Jack, he thinks its the companies that dislike him, most of the them couldn't care less. The only people he's really managed to annoy, apart from Blank Rome and numerous judges and Louisiana politicians, are ordinary, everyday people.

Great work. LOL

JT really has a screwed up sense of priorities. If I were in the middle of a contempt hearing, the last thing I would do is fire off a cease and desist order over a create-a-character mode.

OMG! this is so funny! My school has a videogame club after school, and my friend brings in MK all the time. I am totally making JT just so people can wip the crud out of him. After this half-baked attack he needs a good crud wipping.

Somehow I think that if one were to explain the concept of user created content to Thompson it would be an exercise in fultility. He seems to be of the belief that if it's in the game it's because the developers put it there intentionally.

I wonder if, once JT learns about "user created content", he would have the balls to try and sue anyone who creates (or at least tells how to) him in MKA.

"And if he somehow manages to win the day, Jack has no victory pose because, let's face it, he's never won."

Priceless.

@Fallenone:
I didn't actually say anything about his kids (if he has them...I don't know anything about the man's personal life aside from that he's married) that wasn't hypothetical. I was merely saying God help us if they turn out to be jackasses like him.

@Everyone:
Thompson will probably still try to sue Midway under the claim that they purposefully put in the pieces to build him in the game.

This case will get laughed out of court. people will remember his rampage from just a few days ago.

You forgot the best line, Dennis.

And if he somehow manages to win the day, Jack has no victory pose because, let's face it, he's never won.

Like I said in the other thread (and mentioned in the forum), I've had a Jack CAW in SmackDown vs. RAW 2006 for months... in fact, I think it was someone on the old LiveJournal site who provided a link.

What next? Will he sue Bic if one of us draws a crude drawing of him using one of their pens?

Jack should admit that he's wrong and apologize to Midway. Somehow I doubt this will happen. I would love to hear Jack's thought's on this situation now that these facts have been brought to light. Maybe he'll just never mention it again and hope everyone forget that he said something stupid.

Or maybe, just maybe, he'll try to snap back with some reason why Midway is somehow in the wrong here anyway. "They should know better than to allow people to create their own characters! They willfully enabled these gamers to make fun of me!"

Now I don't have MK Armageddon yet. So I don't know if this is possible or not but...

Shouldn't they have dropped the chi-blast in favor of Sindel's Scream?

I think he has the scream thing, too. I've had JT on my CAW Smackdown roster since day 1. Hell, he and I are tag team champions together XD

No chance he'll with this. With the whole Marvel suing City of Heroes, there was trademark potentially being infringed and stuff. This is just something that lets you make a character in the game that looks like Jack and I'm pretty sure Jack hasn't trademarked himself or his likeness. So yeah, weee, more Jack wasting more of people's times with stuff that has no meaning.

I read it like this.

Jack: You are making me look stupid! I'm going to tell mommy on you if you don't stop! *begins to sob like a little girl*

Jeez I'm starting too feel sorry for ole Jack. I think these recent defeats have taken it's toll on his mind(or what's left of it.)

Why don't you sue Microsoft too because Mortal Kombat runs on Windows.

Jack is a public figure. This is a parody of said public figure. Jack may find it offensive, but he has striven to create himself as both a media celebrity and a political figure (writing laws for other states, running for local office). You can't go into a fist fight with the expectation that you're not going to take a few punches. He needs to suck in his gut and take the punch like a man. While there are lines that can be crossed in using the appearances and names of public figures in parody situations ... I doubt if it has been crossed here.

Except that it doesn't run on Windows ;)

@The Land of Smeg

I'd love to see Mr. Thompson have a go at Microsoft. Microsoft is windmill that tilts back.
 
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