Rockstar Games, the developers behind the Grand Theft Auto series, is suing the BBC in London for trademark infringement over the upcoming docudrama Game Changer. The film, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton, will focus on the real-life conflict between Rockstar President Sam Houser and Jack Thompson, the U.S. lawyer who has been very critical of the Grand Theft Auto series. Rockstar Games released a statement to IGN, explaining the reasoning behind the lawsuit.
“Take-Two Interactive has filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie currently titled ‘Game Changer’ as it relates to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto video game series.
“While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project. 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.”
When IGN attempted to contact the BBC, the broadcasting company responded with “We do not comment on legal matters.“
It’s worth pointing out that the BBC could not legally ask Rockstar Games for permission because the broadcasting company is entirely publicly funded. If Rockstar or Take-Two had influence over the production of the show, it would be illegal for the BBC to broadcast the show. What are your thoughts on the legal dispute between the two companies? Sound off in the comments below!