Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lawyers Win Again in GTA Hot Coffee Suit

Take Two Interactive has set up a site for folks who were offended by the Hot Coffee mod available in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas after losing a court battle over the improper game content. The amount of settlement received depends on how much proof of purchase you can supply, but do not get to excited with receipt in hand because the max payout is a whopping $35! At worst, you could only receive $5. Check the link for full information on receiving the settlement you deserve. Speaking of deserving, because of their great public service, the lawyers are taking home a cool million; they should have had the settlement site just give away the "And all I got was this lousy T-Shirt" shirts.

T2 Pays Out

Having read about five different coverages of the story, it is clear that the writers out there at video game sites, really are taking issue with the fact that the lawyers are getting paid so much. I don't blame them, but it is the nature of the class-action lawsuit beast: usually, the individual payouts are not large, but the cost of litigating is very high, and the lawyers get to take about a 1/3. One site mentioned an estimate of about $2.5 million in settlement, which would put these lawyers fees in that general range. To me, more silly than the lawyers' fees, is the idea that somebody was actually offended $35 worth by having the option to hack a game and see something they do not want to see (I know the hoopla was over the rating and "misleading" consumers). It is also very strange to me the way they set up the settlements. I realize that paying based on the harm suffered is not an option, but proof of purchase has nothing to do with whether or not you were harmed by the actions of the suit. On top of all of that, you have to read and send back a huge contract, not is probably not worth $5 of your time.

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