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First lawsuit filed over GTA minigame mod

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Jul 2005 21:10 User comments (41)

First lawsuit filed over GTA minigame mod And just when everybody thought this whole thing would start to quieten down, an 85 year old woman from New York has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive over the hidden sex minigames in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It seems that she went out and bought a copy of San Andreas for her 14 year old grandson when it had an M rating. Of course as we all know now, due to an investigation the Entertainment Software Ratings Board that rating has since changed to AO for Adult only.
Florence Cohen accused Take-Two of engaging in "false, misleading and deceptive practices". She also claims she is suing them on behalf of all consumers; what a concerned kind caring woman she must be! Despite the fact that the M rating actually meant the game isn’t suitable for a 14 year old, I guess Rockstar's little "error" made her earlier mistake of issuing it to her grandson just that bit worse.

Laurence D. Paskowitz, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cohen, said no parent would knowingly buy an adult-only video game for their children. "They should really make sure this doesn't happen again," he said. "The least this company can do is offer refunds." However, the thing he is forgetting to mention is that Rockstar or Take-Two never offered a way for these minigames to be unlocked, this was all the work of a third party.

Is this all being taken far too seriously? I think it is. I can understand the ESRB's annoyance and their decision to give the AO rating, but in order to use these minigames, one has to find and use the patch on the game. It was simply a mistake and it shouldn't have happened. The unmodified version of the game doesn't allow you to use these minigames at all.

The Associated Press

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41 user comments

128.7.2005 21:26

Shouldve known this was gonna happen. I dont think she will win of course. 1. the kid is 14 and it was rated M and 2 shes just lookin for an easy way to get money. Its sickening cuz when a REAL law suit comes up like a wreck it makes it harder to actually sue. Besides its not like the 14 yr old is "damaged" now to playing the game. And u have to patch the game to get to hot coffee, my kids cant even get to it.

228.7.2005 21:29

I don't think I will ever get it. Sex is worse then murder to these people. The old woman buys a game that EVERYONE knows has murder,drugs,gangs,etc. But once she finds out that there's *gasp* SEX, all of a sudden it has warped her grandsons fragile little mind. Murder+Drugs+Gang drivebys=OK. The natural human function of Sex=OMG,HOW COULD THEY!?!?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jul 2005 @ 21:30

328.7.2005 21:29

hehe i just wanted to be first to comment u know :-P wheres the edit button?

428.7.2005 21:39

Umm first of all, the game is not uncensored out of the box. You need to find the patch, like the article says and apply it to remove the censor. I seriously think the ESRB was over-reacting. And the old woman needs to die already. How dumb is she? The game is rated "M" and she bought it for her 14 year old grandson? Rated M means 17+.. now how responsible is she? Dumb b*tch. I guess she failed at trying to make a quick buck off Michael Jackson so now she's trying with Rockstar. Sorry, this article really upsets me.

528.7.2005 21:42

She too old to be trying to look for some money LOL!

628.7.2005 22:13

haha i agree with you malcdogg

728.7.2005 22:18

"My little Jonny can murder, steal and deal drugs all he wants; that's just fine with me. But how dare that vile video game company put SEX in the game! That's just HORRIBLE! What's this world coming to???" LOL. That's a good point about it being a mod too. Little 'Jonny' would have had to download the mod and intentionally unlocked the disabled areas of the game. Who knows, maybe grandma was cheering him on while he did. Anyway, he (or they) knew exactly what he was doing - it was no accident.

829.7.2005 0:07

I would not be suprised if she won! If they can make this AO of something that stupid, anything is possible. People are uninformed. We are. It's a shame isn't it. Our entire country is really messed up. It's true. As some on said earlier, you can see more graphic sex on tv at only 8 o'clock. And, I also feel that there is nothing wrong with that. Keeping kids away from sex can make it worse lol. They might resort to downloading it on the net and infect their computer with viruses because they were really stupid noobs! SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX

929.7.2005 0:21

Give me a f*&*($^ break!!!!!!!!

1029.7.2005 1:08

"Give me a f*&*($^ break!!!!!!!! " I second that. Dear 'Granny,' Please stop now. Just say you made a mistake, and walk away. Stop embarrassing the rest of America to the world by being yet another in a long list of boobs who can't take responsibility for even the smallest error in judgment. This is what I think happened. The parents would not buy this game for their kid. So where does he turn? He goes to Gammy. What does she know about video game ratings? She got taken for a ride by her grand child, the parents got uber-pissed at her and she had to do the perverbial backstroke. So who's fault is it? The Kid, Granny, the retailer? Nope, Rock Star games. Why?! Dear Jebus Why!?

1129.7.2005 1:32

"Stop embarrassing the rest of America to the world" Wow, too late dude...

1229.7.2005 2:35

Yep, way too late.

1329.7.2005 2:42

Achilles3 - You've got a good point there.

Umm first of all, the game is not uncensored out of the box. You need to find the patch, like the article says and apply it to remove the censor. I seriously think the ESRB was over-reacting. And the old woman needs to die already. How dumb is she? The game is rated "M" and she bought it for her 14 year old grandson? Rated M means 17+.. now how responsible is she? Dumb b*tch. I guess she failed at trying to make a quick buck off Michael Jackson so now she's trying with Rockstar. Sorry, this article really upsets me.

1429.7.2005 3:43

**SIGH** I know it's too late. America, Land of the Free....sure, Free to do as "they" tell you. Don't take that wrong, I love my country but it just makes me so freaking sad to see stuff like this. I am not familiar with the inner-workings around the rest of the world but are we the only place in the world where NO ONE is willing to take any responsibility for their own actions when they screws up? Or, is it just a general people thing? I never hear stories of this kind of crap from anywhere else. My personal favorite sadness still being the fat chick from NYC who tried to sue McDonald's for her being, well FAT! The case never made it to a jury and was thrown out, but why dear lord, WHY?!

1529.7.2005 7:12

Here is something that came up around the water cooler this morning(Thanks Ray). The Grandmother should be charged with corrupting a minor. She knew the game had a mature rating, and she willingly gave it to her grandson, a minor. The big M tag even lists why the game got the M. Giving that child this game is pretty much the same as her supplying him with alcohol. Any thoughts on this???

1629.7.2005 9:24

What I cannot get my head around is the fact the this old baggage managed to find a lawyer who was willing to fight the case for her! I mean, how much contempt for the whole legal system do you actually need before they let you become a fully fledged lawyer? These civil claims are a complete joke. What a complete waste of everyones time. Is it just me or is the whole world going mad?

1729.7.2005 9:39

Yup, it's all going to hell in a hand basket. Man Google the lawyer, he is sue-happy mofo. Makes his living off rolling the dice with law suits. It's like gambling, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But it looks like he is the used car salesman of lawyers. There is no suit he will turn away for a buck.

1829.7.2005 9:52

the worst part is that no matter what Rockstar does or dosnt do about this mini game they lose(big time). yes we all know that the mini game cant be acxessed with out the patch but it shouldnt have been there on the pc ver. anyway ps2 or any of the sealed concells would have had no way of addind the patch but the pc is a diffrent animal all together. we all know some will hack and mode what ever they can to extend the game play . no grandma with half a brain would give her grandson a game where he can kill people and run down the cops. unless(her name was Gotti) sorry but her misstake and she should ask for a refund and buy him a nis "barney game " or something with the rugrats in it... the only thing this will do is make less games for the PC and or Rockstar will fold and close its doors... not good so what granny needs to do is hold on to the game and give it to him when he turns 21...

1929.7.2005 9:52

as said before.. this lady is just dumb.. it makes no sense why she would give this game to a 14 yr old... besides... parents are always complaining about the violence in video games... i've got a simple suggestion... pay attention to them... actually do something with your kids. i think that some parents buy kids all these toys and video games because they dont spend very much time with them... they're looking for a way to get away from their kids... dont get me wrong... i understand parents need to work... parents are not always able to... but there's parents that just dont care... they dont pay attention to what their kids are doing. chris rock said it best in his show... that if the kids are calling: grandma and grandpa - mom and dad... and calling mom and dad by their first names... you need to spend more time with the kids. hope i didnt tick off too many ppl off today..

2029.7.2005 9:56

Something you all may have missed: The woman purchased the PLAYSTATION2 version of the game, which doesn't have the mod. That fact alone should put this case to rest, but that the courts have to waste time even looking into it is damn shameful. It boggles my mind that it's ok for your kids to see things you never want them to do (violence) but heaven forbid they see SEX, something most all of them WILL do at some point. Effing ridiculous.

2129.7.2005 10:00

Everyone needs to read Maddox's take on this. Maybe then they'll stop suing and start cracking up.

2229.7.2005 10:10

also might I add it was that ungreatfull grandson of hers who isnt supervised who added the mode to see something he'll never see again... once this gets out that his grandma is sueing a company everyone will know hes nothing more then a little PERVERT who beats to his own drum or is that with his own drum anyway no prom date for him and let all the world point at him and say shame on him and thats grandma for pointing this out so we can lock or daughter away from this little perv.... so whats his name? and where does he live.......

2329.7.2005 12:25

As a parent and a gamer I take very seriously what my daughter sees and hears. I agree with Earlacy, mom and dad didnt want to get it for him and grandma did. She gave the game to a minor. I have the game and find it a bit raw. Raw to the point that I make my daughter leave the room when I am playing it. I am doing what a parent should do, protecting her from stuff that I dont think that she should see or hear. The grand parent f'ed up this one and she is trying to shift blame to rockstar. Why cant she just take responsibility for her mistake. The comment of the lawyer really pi$$es me off. The final protector of the child is the parent. Who ever said that the world is going to hell in a handbasket is right.

2429.7.2005 12:29

I think this is all about money! Also I presume it is against the games licence agreement to allow anybody to chage modify or alter the games content is it? If so how can you file a law suit about something you did that was illgeal?

2529.7.2005 18:12

Of course it is all about money. Rockstar is making it and someone else wants a piece of it. I mean that is what litigation lawyers do. They sue. I imagine this getting thrown out of court but you never know. I have said it before, I don't think the GTA series is that good. But oh well, if someone has a finger they need to point it somewhere, right? Me, my finger is on my mouse clicking away. (Please resist and finger-stuck-someplace jokes, if you can...if not fire away...) It will go away. Will GTA stand the test of time? Who can say for sure, does anyoen know where 2LIVE Crew is there days? Heh heh heh...

2629.7.2005 19:10

Toiletman Funnier than hell!!!!!!! ROTFLMAO

2730.7.2005 7:55

There are several issues here, and all of them point to one thing...lack of responsibility. Grandma and every other person who purchased this game has a responsibility to review the product they are purchasing e.g. the M rating plainly states that violence, strong language and mature sexual themes may be present throughout the game. That fact pretty much should rule out any court win. Rockstar has a right as the creator of the game to include, exclude, or patch any part of thier game. Another fact is the "sex mini-game" is not accessible in any officially released edition from Rockstar. You literally must download a patch to unlock this "aborted" part of probably many beta versions of GTA: San Andreas. Rockstar, as far as I know, has never made mention of this "mini-game" before the unauthorised patch was created. I say Rockstar and its creation team should not be targeted based off those facts. Now I do believe the guy who found the disabled content in the game should be held responsible for tampering with copyrighted material. He solely and deliberately created a patch to unlock the "mini-game" even though Rockstar had chosen to release the game without the possibility to ever play this part. As I said it was basically aborted. I do not however think any person who bought the game and downloaded the patch should be able to sue the patch creator. He has only an issue with Rockstar, not any consumer. His patch was not an official release and therefore is not supported by Rockstar. Moreover, I am sure when he uploaded the patch on the web, he never implied or expressed any liabilty. So I say Rockstar should be filing lawsuits against him; but they probably won't. So who is to blame? I'll tell you who, all the people who have tried thier hardest to find something to sue ROckstar for since Grand Theft AUto 3 was released. Back then the game was targeted by politicians and parent groups to name but a few, all seeking to "ban" this game and take down Rockstar for releasing in effect an "mature rated"(based off ESRB) title that is protected under the Freedom Of Speech guarantee. If the ESRB needs to be redifined then so be it, but to blame a company for releasing a game of thier creation and claims of misrepresentation and deceit is just plain absurd. America is slowly becoming a country which controls every citizen from not doing anything which "they" deem bad for you. Does not matter what you think is bad, "they" can see something effect one person adversely and make it "bad" for everyone. Parent groups are the worst of all. Made up of some of the most underhanded, manipulative, cowardly bastards you will ever come across, these "saints" are the gerd of society. They get up in your throat and make you want to vomit. Thier idea is that if they believe it is bad then by God it is; and you are a slime-ball parent if you don't agree. They will stop at nothing to get thier point through. I have a 6 year old son, and it is my responsibilty to determine within legal parameters, what he does and does not do. Not some stuck-up Dr. Spock wannabe who thinks he/she is the epitomy of parenting. To hell with them all. I'll end by referring to a very fine film starring Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society. As most of you have probably seen this film you can probably remember the scene where Robin WIlliams chracter is talking to the Head Master of the school. Robin Williams character says that he always thought the idea of education was to teach each person how to free think. The Head Master returns sharply that, "these boys are too young to know what they need. They must be taught discipline and traditional ideas." I may be off with the exact phrase but you get the meaning. Free thinking and being responsible for ones self is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

2830.7.2005 13:21

It goes to show that it's OK to shoot people in the head, beat them up with a bat, burn down their houses, steal their car and run them over with it, commit robbery, etc etc... But it is not OK to have a little sex scene? So let's say the little kid is too dumb to tell that it's a game and not real.. say he goes out and mimic what he's been seeing in the game, what do you think of those activities I listed above: which is the most dangerous one for him to re-enact?

2930.7.2005 13:47

depends.... is he using a condom? :)

3031.7.2005 0:31

The Mod can infact be unlocked on the PS2 version with the help of Action Replay. The code is on the internet. -Mike

3131.7.2005 14:53

Greedy old bag.

3231.7.2005 19:08

IF she is successful, and the game is removed from the shelves altogether, can we all sue this lil old granny for removing our civil liberty rights? (or what ever it's called?) After all, she would be restricting everyone's right to choose for themselves what they, legally, want to do. And good point pro`noob - I believe it's a condition in all licences I've seen that says you're not allowed to modify the code in any way unless you've been given permission to do so. So Rockstar Games should counter sue, for at least three times as much as she's sueing for, this granny for breach of the licence agreement!

3331.7.2005 20:05

The code should not have been in there in the first place. The code should not have been written. The blame is on the company for putting it in the game in the first place. They knew that somebody would find the hidden stuff and write a patch for it. How many more games did they sell since they get so much free publicity. Come on guys don't be that stupid you know they did it on purpose - look at the game it only makes sense for them to do that.

3431.7.2005 20:34

So according to this old bag, the coffee mod is wrong but killing officers is ok?? As well as carjacking and running over old lady's like herself?? gimme a break, even if this coffee mod never existed, granny still should not have bought this game for a 14 year old. She fucked up and she wants rockstar to pay for her fuckup??? Somebody should call Dr. Kevorkian and put this old bag out of her misery

3531.7.2005 23:26

I wonder if Granny has paid her annual ARA (American Rifle Ass) subscription yet.

361.8.2005 2:57

"The code should not have been in there in the first place. The code should not have been written. The blame is on the company for putting it in the game in the first place. They knew that somebody would find the hidden stuff and write a patch for it." I disagree to a point. Maybe it was strategic marketing; maybe the developers refused to extract thta part. Whatever the reason was, Rockstar has every right to leave any dormant material in the game. Yes we all know someone would find it; yes Rockstar may have more sells now. But if even one old lady wins a lawsuit then they have loss money. GTA has become one of the biggest francises in video games. It clearly was hailed and praised by millions as a great game, so I don't think Rockstar needed to add more controversy. As i said, since GTA 3 was released every do-gooder out there has been trying to have the games banned. Back to the code. Here is a good example. Look at dvds. If it was not for being able to read the key codes; we would not have the ability to make back-ups of dvds. No dvd is intended for copying as it plainly states that on the disk. But someone wrote the code to "unlock" the decryption keys and viola! we can now copy them. You want to blame the dvd distributor for the keys being so easy to decrypt? Satellite TV is another great example. Access cards are the property of each company e.g. Dish/Directv. It plainly states that no one is authorized to tamper with these cards. But again, someone broke the code and used it to view every channel availible. And there are many channels that were never intended for the public to view e.g. test channels, corporate, and product testing. So I guess we blame the satellite companies for leaving the code on the cards? Give me a break. These companies may know people are going to hack thier software, but to say they are at fault? Plainly stated, YOU HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS. No one forced granny to buy the game and no one held a gun to the guy's head that found the code and developed the patch. I wish I was a lawyer. I'd call up Rockstar right now and take the case for free!

371.8.2005 6:11

omfg how lame can u be! this shouldnt even be a thought on any legal professional's mind. clearly, the game is rated "M" for mature. it does not belong in the hands of a 14 yr old. the fact that this lady buys the game, gives it to her minor grandson w/ out being aware of its rating or its content is bs. ignorance is no excuse....period. what needs to be asked is - if this case is allowed to proceed, and if these people win, (which, IMO, is another great example of how the US's lawsuit cases are poorly executed and handeled) then that just opens the door to many many many other frivulous cases. hell, whos to say she didnt hear bout hot coffee last week, went and bought it and gave it to her grandson w/ the intention of suing? sweet lil old lady my ass.........

381.8.2005 9:03

I hope that this Granny loses her house and all her money by paying Rockstar for there counter sue ! This is the biggest load if shit that I have seen in a while. Someone just put her out of her misery !

391.8.2005 13:54

Ok first of all here's a link to all the lawsuits this lawyer has been linked to.$120%20Million%20Cash%20Settlement Second of all, even though I'm a Democratic Liberal who's almost considering joining the Socialist Party. I hate the court system and here is the email I sent to this lawyer. Hello, My name is Spencer, I am 27, married and I have a 2 year old kid. I must ask you to stop this ridiculous lawsuit against rockstar inc.'s Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. What the hell is your 80+ year old client doing purchasing a game that is already mature in the first place for her 14 year old grandson. Any sales person who sold it to her should have told her it wasn't a game for kids, but im sure her grandson through a whinining nagging fit like most spoiled brats are nowadays until she caved. I know I did the same thing to my grandmother when I was a kid and mortal kombat hit the shelves. The violence are why people buy games always will be. I used to play the most violent games I could fine, because it's things that a normal person wouldn't do in reality, it gives you a break. Now being a gamer with a kid if my kid was 14 would I buy Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for him. Of course I would, even now that the pc version is rated AO because the the adult content is not unlockable without a hack that you download off the net. That reason alone is why you will lose this case, im praying for it. The company took it out a hack put it back in. Why would I let my kid play GTA: S A? Because parents coddle their kids to much anymore, they want to protect them from everything bad. When in truth, it doesn't help them get to know what the real world is like. I would be shocked to find a teenager who didn't know any bad words or never played a violent video game.Trust me im a democrat and after googling your name, I sure as hell can tell that you are. Looks like you've made your entire living by finding some ridiculous lawsuits that tie up our courts for real cases. GET A REAL FUCKING JOB!!!! AND STOP THESE PETTY CIVIL SUITS NOW YOU FUCKING MORON!!!! I THINK YOU SHOULD DIE AND BURN IN HELL!!! P.S. GO AHEAD AND SUE ME FOR THINKING ABOUT IT. THERE IS STILL SOMETHING CALLED FREEDOM OF SPEECH. AND LAST TIME I LOOKED THERE WAS NO LAW AGAINST THINKING!!!!!

401.8.2005 16:48

Once upon a time there was the land of the Souix now there is a land of the suit created by the suits to suit them and their lifestyle. Law is now suet mixing with sewerage.

412.8.2005 5:31

Hey Sgt. Spanky- let me get his email address! I thought u had written a pretty decent letter there. however, couldve gone w/o the profanity. but still thanks for sayin what most of us here would like to do. *bravo* now if we could just get that grannys email.....LOL u think the grandson is hated on at skool?

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