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Jack Thompson vs Amazon? 300

Zorglub writes "Feeling his book page at Amazon has been harassed by bad reviews, nasty tags, and a user-submitted vomit pic, anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson threatens to sue Amazon if the offending material isn't removed."
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Jack Thompson vs Amazon?

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  • by charleyb123 ( 618476 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:44AM (#14075280)
    Isn't all publicity good publicity? At least there's interest in his book. ;-))
    • Way back when I was starting my first software company, one of my investors set up a dinner with an ad exec who had a long history of wins in advertising. That night was the first time I had heard the advertising dictum, "I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right."

      I guess Jock Thomsen had dinner with the same ad exec.

  • Amazon safe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by a302b ( 585285 )
    I'm sure Amazon & their team of lawyers has covered their backs. Shouldn't he be suing the people who posted the comments? But then he couldn't milk a mulit-million dollar cash cow then, could he?
    • There's going to be a vomit posting teenager, running from a lawyer very soon.
      • by JWW ( 79176 )
        Hey, that would be a great game. You could have a crazed lawyer chase down everyone making fun of his ridiculous antics and serving them with a lawsuit.

        Heck I pay someone $1 to make a game like that. Unlike Thompson, I would make good on my offer....
    • Re:Amazon safe (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:55AM (#14075342) Journal
      I'm sure Amazon & their team of lawyers has covered their backs. Shouldn't he be suing the people who posted the comments? But then he couldn't milk a mulit-million dollar cash cow then, could he?
      That has never stopped a lawyer froms suing before. More precisely the sort of crackpot that would write this kind of book is exactly the sort that would sue, in the face of any common sense.
      • Hey, everyone knows only lawyers win from lawsuits and never lose, right? Perhaps someone should inform Mr Thomspon that is only the case for lawyers who aren't their own clients as well.
    • I don't know if I'd call them safe, because this lawsuit will cost big bucks to defend, but I think the consequences of Amazon backing down would be severe both to their reputation and the overall cause of free speech on the net.

      In a trial related to the content of this book, the judge has threatened to disbar Thompson [gamesindustry.biz]. In response Thompson has withdrawn from the case.

      With that kind of record, I don't even need to read the reviews to know the book is bad. And yet there they are. I read the first 30 of th
  • by Coopjust ( 872796 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:45AM (#14075289)
    Does Amazon even own the comments? Like Slashdot, they probably have a disclaimer. Even then, isn't it considered free speech?
    • Nope. Having an opinion is officially a crime.
    • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:51AM (#14075318) Homepage
      Amazon.com does claim reviews as its own property. There's a notice to that effect on the submissions page.
      • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:36PM (#14075884) Homepage
        Amazon.com does claim reviews as its own property. There's a notice to that effect on the submissions page.
        I think your information is out of date. They used to claim ownership of the copyrights on reviews, but I don't think they do now. Here's some info from their conditions of use page: If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon.com and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media. You grant Amazon.com and its affiliates and sublicensees the right to use the name that you submit in connection with such content, if they choose. You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content that you post; that the content is accurate; that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity; and that you will indemnify Amazon.com or its affiliates for all claims resulting from content you supply. Amazon.com has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content. Amazon.com takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content posted by you or any third party.

        I just went through the whole process of creating an account and writing a review, and looked carefully at all the legal stuff at every step along the way, and this licensing agreement really does seem to be the only thing you have to agree to as a reviewer. The reviewer continues to own the copyright, but grants Amazon the permanent right to use it.

        I run a site that accepts user-submitted reviews of free books (see my sig), and I used to have warnings saying that users should not submit reviews that they'd already submitted to Amazon, because Amazon owned the copyrights. Recently, a user e-mailed me to say that my info was out of date, and he was right.

    • Even then, isn't it considered free speech?

      Free Speech only applies to Governmental agencies/places/etc. Amazon.com is a private company who wholly owns the website (not sure about the comments disclaimer). It is up to them what does and does not reside on their private proporty. Even so, if Amazon.com did choose to remove the comments, nobody's rights would be violated.
    • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @03:32PM (#14076855) Homepage
      Amazon has already been sued in a very similar case over negative reviews, and won.
      The court held that Amazon is immunized by the 1998 Communications Decency Act (which replaces the 1996 version struck down by the Supreme Court)

      47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1) provides:
      "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

      Schneider v. Amazon.com, Inc.
      http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/cases/lib_cas e261.cfm [phillipsnizer.com]
      (Wash. Ct. App., September 17, 2001)
  • Eh, Slashdot? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This guy is obviously an attention whore, so why indulge him?
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:46AM (#14075293) Homepage Journal
    The list is amusing, heres the few on the page:

    First tag: lies (6mullet on Nov 17, 2005)
    Last tag: Propaganda

    Lies (7),Propaganda (5),Childish Name Calling (4),Unfounded assertions (4),Slander (4),Unscientific (4),Defamation (3),Self-promoting with fake reviews (3),Biased (3),lies (3),Racist (2),Scaremonger (2),toilet-paper (2),Money grabbing lawyer (2),Ambulance Chaser (2)

    The amazon page listing them [amazon.com] is here.
  • by Reality Master 201 ( 578873 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:46AM (#14075296) Journal
    Short of slander, whatever nasty stuff someone says about you in a situation like that is fair game. If he doesn't like the attention, maybe he should shut the fuck up and stop making an ass out of himself publically.
    • It's also very difficult for famous people to prove slander. And since Jack Thompson voluntarily put himself in the spotlight, he has no right to complain
    • I think you misunderstand his motives and underestimate his strategy. He loves the attention. And by reacting with a caustic war of words convinces the media and slashdot to post more and more links to his content, drawing ever more attention to his cause.
    • Short of slander, whatever nasty stuff someone says about you in a situation like that is fair game. If he doesn't like the attention, maybe he should shut the fuck up and stop making an ass out of himself publically.

      Trash talk on Amazon simply proves Thompson's point: that the gamer hasn't the maturity to cross the street alone.

      There are damn few public forums where gamers have a chance to break through to a larger audience. Amazon isn't obliged to provide you that platform.

  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:46AM (#14075299) Homepage Journal
    Word is Amazon has just patented a mechanism for being sued by insane book authors.
  • This is America where we have freedom of speech. This includes what other may call abuse, defamation, belittling etc.
    • by Nazadus ( 605794 )
      Freedom is speech only applies to the government.
      For example: Bush says we can't say "Bush sucks".
      That would be illegal on his part.

      However, I can tell you that you can't say anything bad about my website or I will sue you.
      I can sue you.
      Now, whether or not I will win is arguable and all depends on if you are telling the truth or not (libel, right? or is libel spoken? bah humbug).

      Anways, you get the point.
      Welcome to America. Anyone can sue anyone -- but they aren't gurranteed to win. In US the squeeky wheel
      • For example: Bush says we can't say "Bush sucks".

        But I have heard people say that..."Bush lied to the American people to justify the [IRAQ] war."

        Others have said he's not sincere and so many other [nasty] things. Some outside America have called him a chimp! Will he sue them? I doubt.

      • I hope you are kidding.

        The freedom of speech is a natural right; you are born with it. The Bill of Rights says that Congress has no power to abridge this natural right.

        You are free to speak as you please on your pwn land and on government land. Your ability to speak on the property of others may be restricted, if the owners prefer. You can always leave their land.

        Amazon.com is private property. They are free to moderate the reviews. For market superiority, they prefer not to.

        I don't believe in the crim
      • Your website sucks. Ironically, someone must really hate your site, because it's "Hacked by Pinguingillo" (good luck with that :-/ )
    • The right to freedom of speech does not mean that you are allowed to say anything you want. It means that the government cannot try to stop you from saying whatever you want. This is meant to protect us from the government going the way of many others and trying to suppress people's beliefs. This does not protect you in such a way that you are allowed to tell other people to go fuck themselves, or to say things that ruin a person's character or reputation. You are still held liable for what you say, which i
  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:51AM (#14075322)
    That message board where the link points to is absolutely scary. The way I saw the piece:

    1. Jerk writes book.
    2. People who hate the jerk play underhanded amazon tricks to sabotage book on Amazon.com
    3. Jerk complains to amazon that such tricks are clearly against amazon's rules and asks amazon to remove the offending material, which amazon does poorly or incompletently.

    I expected the mesasgeboards there to be filled with "I disagree with what Jerk says, but I respect his right to say it in a fair way", instead it is full of Vigilante Logic such as pointing to Jerk's supposed jerk activities in a vein of "two wrongs make a right" logic criticizing the guy for asking for amazon to play by its own rules.


    • I expected the mesasgeboards there to be filled with "I disagree with what Jerk says, but I respect his right to say it in a fair way"

      Just out of curiosity, what the hell kind of a psychotic utopian community do you live in!? Why in God's name would you ever expect that kind of reaction from ANYONE, much less an internet message board?
      • by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:00PM (#14075660) Homepage Journal
        Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write. -- Voltaire

        I disagree with many things, but I only get upset by one-sided debates and conclusions made without reason. So as long as it's said "in a fair way" I respect their opinions. I may debate their opinions which is enjoyable for both parties if thought has gone into the respective conclusions for both sides (who doesn't want to get another person on 'their side'); but debate does not indicate disrespect of their right to have an opinion.
        • <Inigo Montoya> You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. </Inigo Montoya>

          Voltaire was talking about a person's right to express themselves, (think first amendment) not saying that stupid opinions should be respected. If anything I think Voltaire would be on the side of those who think Thompson is a fucking moron: "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O, Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."

    • I expected the mesasgeboards there to be filled with "I disagree with what Jerk says, but I respect his right to say it in a fair way",

      I disagree with what Jerk says, I don't respect what he says or how he says it. But I do respect his right to say it.

      Having said that, I respect the people who review his content to have the right to say what they want to, in reviewing the content.

      criticizing the guy for asking for amazon to play by its own rules.

      I don't know what rules these are, or how well they're enforce
    • Jerk in this case specifically engages in censorship and defamation. What the gamers are doing is a much lighter of what he does. In this case its the punishment fitting the crime. For example Giorgio [amazon.com] killed civilians as part of the New Red Brigades and everyone believes he has the right to tell his side of the story. Even with something like anti-jewish/anti-black arian nations books [amazon.com] you don't see this kind of behavior.

      I think we have a good example of the punishment fitting the crime (to a limited ext
    • People who hate the jerk play underhanded amazon tricks to sabotage book on Amazon.com

      I don't see how filing a review of a book that contains what is self-evidently an unfounded argument that claims that the argument of the book is unfounded is underhanded. It's what the review system is there for, right?
    • I expected the mesasgeboards there to be filled with "I disagree with what Jerk says, but I respect his right to say it in a fair way",...
      What, now every comment needs to come with a PC disclaimer*.
      * PC disclaimers can be useful sometimes, but only if the writer deems it nessarary to clairify his intentions.
  • Irony (Score:4, Funny)

    by Raleel ( 30913 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:52AM (#14075329)
    Perhaps someone else has a sense of humor, but there were these three links to "Listmania!" below this book... all three were to how-to books for gay men. One was about handballing...
  • by notthepainter ( 759494 ) <oblique@NOSpAM.alum.mit.edu> on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:53AM (#14075334) Homepage
    Not a bad review per se, but a review which revealed the ending of one of my wife's books. We don't enjoy bad reviews, of course, but they are a fact of being an author. But when when we saw a review of The Illusionist which gave away the ending, I contacted amazon and they took out the offending sentance within 24 hours.

    Now this was about 4 years ago, maybe they've changed since then, but we've found amazon to be pro-author.

    • Now this was about 4 years ago, maybe they've changed since then, but we've found amazon to be pro-author.

      Well, sure. If you deal with them politely. But Jack Thompson...?
    • the problem is that [IDNRTFA] apparently he shot first. If he'd just reported it, but no he had to threaten a lawsuit
      • the problem is that [IDNRTFA] apparently he shot first. If he'd just reported it, but no he had to threaten a lawsuit

        If I understand correctly, he reported it, Amazon took down a bunch of bad negative reviews (and a couple of bad positive reviews, which really pissed JT off), and more bad negative reviews appeared. So JT started threatening them for basically not policing his book's reviews 24/7. Or something like that.
    • by steve_l ( 109732 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @01:31PM (#14076226) Homepage
      I am the author of a computer book Java development with Ant [amazon.com]. A self-publishing house is doing a competing book Java Ant notes [amazon.com] and filling it with fake 5* reviews, which is obvious because they always get the case of Ant wrong ("ANT"), and they like the book. All the real reviewers give it 1* for being awful.

      Amazon are refusing to take down the fake ones because they dont explicitly break their rules, and instead pull the ones complaining about the fake reviews.

      To make matters worse, when someone adds a 1* review to the self-published book, they copy that negative review to either my book or the o'reilly alternative. So we are getting our ranking pulled down by real reviews written about a different book.

      This has been ongoing for months and amazon are doing nothing about it, even though it shows that you can't trust amazon reviews at all. What interested parties can do is go to this page [amazon.com] and leave 1* comments to balance off the fake ones.

      • "What interested parties can do is go to this page and leave 1* comments to balance off the fake ones."

        I'd propose that instead of doing this, people would actually read the book in question and then leave their rating. People should not leave reviews for books that they haven't read, not even as a form of vigilante justice.
    • Did you have any luck getting amazon to pull the reviews that mention the Oprah episode where your wife is exposed about lying with regards to being an Ivy League graduate? How do you feel about her lying to sell more books and never recanting on that fact?
  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:56AM (#14075349) Homepage
    I don't agree with Jack Thompson but I do not see a problem with him expressing his point of view in our culture of ideas. Posting a very gross picture of a kid vomiting and an absurd cartoon does the anti-Thompson no good. Winning a debate does not occur when call someone a "poopyhead" enough times. Though I don't know if Thompson will win this sort of case, but if I found my product page defased in such a manner, I might do the same thing if Amazon were unwilling to remove these sort of items when requested. It hurts Amazon as much as Thompson to have vomit pictures on their website.
    • I wish that were true, but the reality is that we live in a world where one gets a bestselling book by calling all liberals traitors, no one flinches when one asserts that while we have a second amendment right to bear arms, we do not have a first amendment right to disagreement with the government we vote and pay for, and every says hip hooray when the freest most compassionate country in the world tortures detainees, even though this was something we used to justify our own traitorous acts when the US was
    • While I'd like to agree with you, John (Jack) Thompson is basically a Troll with a JD & a publisher.

      http://croqaudile.com/?article_id=10299 [croqaudile.com]

      People who behave like he does (in general, not just in that one example) would get modded down as a troll or flamebait if they posted to /.

      We don't tolerate behavior like his because, when it isn't lowering the level of discourse, it ruins it all together.

      I don't hate him for his point of view, I hate him for refusing to participate in anything other than a 1-sided
    • I do not see a problem with him expressing his point of view

      So.. suing people is "expressing his point of view", while people actually *POSTING* their point of view is not?

      You're essentially saying "the only real expression is legal action."

      Whatever it is you're on, you either need to up or cut the dose.
    • On the one hand, I totally agree that this isn't the way to win an intellectual argument.

      On the other hand, Jack Thompson has taken it so far outside of the realm of intellectual arguments that making rational statements in his general direction is basically pointless. Jack Thompson is not a normal person advocating a position. He's a media figure lawyer who is attempting to establish a legal censorship doctorine through heavy lawsuits and lying to the media. It doesn't hurt that he gets paid handsomely
    • by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:37PM (#14075890)
      At this point, Amazon has three options:
      1) Do nothing and get sued.
      2) Remove the offending comments and get a reputation for censorship.
      3) Remove the book entirely from the Amazon website and don't sell it anymore.
      I guess 3) would be the least painful version, and it would also show Thompson that he cannot do business with Amazon AND tell them how to run their website. Good riddance.
    • Winning a debate does not occur when call someone a "poopyhead" enough times.

      Well then you haven't been paying attention to politics have you.

      One of the most common fallacies (I believe anyways) is that when superficially presented with two conflicting arguments, many people believe that the 'truth is in the middle'. Trouble is that when one is an insane rant (think 40% of Fox News), a logical conclusion if often rejected, however, it's really hard for any fair minded person to go to the opposite opinio

  • Child's play (Score:4, Interesting)

    by matt me ( 850665 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:56AM (#14075351)
    First I must agree with every rational person posting here that this guy is an idiot, and has no right to sue Amazon. So to him I say, fuck you! Sue Slashdot now :P

    But as we're on the subject of the supposed negative influence of games, I must post something original about Child's Play, a charity that provides games to children stuck in hospital. (previous Slashdot coverage http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/08/ 1647245&tid=105 [slashdot.org])

    To quote founders Gabe and Tycho (pennyarcade.com)
    "For two years now we've set up and organized a charity called Child's Play. We set it up because we were angry the media decided to blame all the world's problems on games and gamers. Basically they said that gamers were bad people, and we thought that wasn't right. Apparently, you guys agreed: through Child's Play you sent nearly a million dollars in toys, games, and cash to the sick kids in Children's Hospitals around the nation."

    So at some good (he'd disagree) did actually come indirectly from this guy voicing his wrong opinion. Argh, he makes me angry. Now excuse so I can kill some stuff in HL2.
  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:56AM (#14075353) Homepage
    just wait until the slashdot crowd gets finished writing their reviews.
  • Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:57AM (#14075354) Journal
    The more Jack Thompson opens his mouth, the more of a joke he becomes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.google.com/search?q="jack+thompson" blowhard [google.com]

    Here's an e-mail exchange between Jacko and a 14 yr. old boy.
    http://croqaudile.com/?article_id=10299 [croqaudile.com]
    The original e-mail is long, but if you keep reading you'll see how quickly Thompson's replies devolve into complete and utter asshattery.

    Loud doesn't = right
    lemme say that again for Jack's benefit
    • Loud doesn't = right
      lemme say that again for Jack's benefit

      Alright, alright. We got it. You're right! : p
  • If you look at the book for sale on Amazon, they'll tell you what other books people are buying if they've bought Jack's book.

    Here's a sample:
    How to Use DRM to Improve Your Profits
      by Sony BMG

    In The Line of Fire:
    A Case for War
      by Scooter Libby

    Censorship for Dummies
      by the Parents Television Council of America

    [yes these are all made up titles]
  • Really, is this guy going for the 'Jerk of the Year' award? Darl McBride must be shaking in his boots.

    Personally, I think Amazon have got their arse covered on this one, especially given the legal might they could probably rustle up - from the site (emphasis mine):

    "Customers tagged this item with First tag: lies (6mullet on Nov 17, 2005) Last tag: Propaganda

    Lies (7),Propaganda (5),Childish Name Calling (4),Unfounded assertions (4),Slander (4),Unscientific (4),Defamation (3),Self-promoting with fake re

  • Gees, first Jack Thompson takes on Penny Arcade, and loses.

    Then he takes on VG Cats, and loses.

    He also took on a news reporting website, and lost (I forgot the name).

    If history is any indicator on how successful he's going to be with this "lawsuit" (and I'll beleive it when I see it, this guy is a known liar [penny-arcade.com] after all) as he was with Penny Arcade.

    He should just do what Anne Rice does, and beat people who say bad stuff about him to a pulp both online and offline. [somethingpositive.net] I'd also like to go on record as saying that
  • I estimate 90% of reviewers have written just one review, for this book. So of the 53 reviews maybe 45 are from the one person/group.
    • Re:Sockepuppets (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      Or maybe 45 people found his book so offensive/ignorant/etc that they got off their lazy order-books-off-the-internet duffs and wrote what they think.

      A general rule of thumb is that: for every complaint you see or hear, at least 10 other people didn't bother to complain.
  • Then don't be surpriced to get kicked in the face.

    In other words, people as outspoken (disrespectfull) as Jack should not be surpriced to be called upon. He really think he can get away with saying thing that hurt people without retaliation?

    Wake up to the world Jack!!
  • Itsn't this freedom of speech as long as it isn't directly libel?
    • Re:Freedom of speech (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      It might be freedom of speech, but a lot of the comments on Amazon aren't book reviews.

      Freedom of Speech: Jack Thompson = Asshole
      Book Review: The author of Out of Harm's Way, Jack Thompson, comes off as an asshole in his book.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:08AM (#14075415)
    Someone should write a book about how lawyers are a bad influence on our children.
  • by miu ( 626917 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:11AM (#14075426) Homepage Journal
    Amazon already screwed up by even talking to this jackal. The second he contacted them they should have sent their own lawyers into attack mode and prepared for the inevitible lawsuit.

    Seriously, lawyers should be treated like lepers - required to scream out a warning to anyone they come in contact with for any reason. "Lawyer, outcast, unclean! Beware lest I sue ye". Amazon attempted to treat this scum like a rational human being and he will use those efforts against them.

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:12AM (#14075434) Homepage Journal
    Amazon.com Legal Dept.
    Amazon.com HQ
    November 20, 2005

    Jack Thompson

    Dear Sir:

    Per your request we have instructed our client to remove all of the materials you reqested. Please accept our sincerest apologies. To ensure that such an unfortunate incident does not occur, we have also instructed them to remove this book from their catalog. Furthermore, we are recommending they remove all works authored, co-authored, edited, forwarded, or otherwise contributed to by you.

    Again, we regret these unfortunate events and we trust that you will see that we are serious about making sure that nobody ever makes another negative comment about any of your works on Amazon.com in the future.

    The Amazon.com Legal Team
  • Most authors would probably like to get rid of all those pesky bad reviews but dont, perhaps in this case the lawyers should practice law and let the writers write the books because this guy obviously hasnt figured out theres a difference between the two.
  • On the Amazon page it has this beneath the book details:

      Better Together
    Buy this book with The World Is Flat

    Yup, I agree. Those who buy the Jack Thompson book would definitely like a book called "The World is Flat."
  • Never before have I been so proud of a domain name I purchased.

    Now I just need to get off my ass and do something with it.
    • dude... registering the domain name FuckJackThompson.com is like PlayingWithFire.org

      And even the most dedicated right-wingers should be able to crack a smile at that brazillion joke
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:20AM (#14075467) Homepage
    "If you like murdering little puppies than you will love this book! Ax murderers and serial killers alike will take ques from this wonderfully deragned book. Enjoy the life and times of this anti-bill-of-rights author that showers his reader with psycopathic rhetoric. A must read if you plan on being a dictator or child abuser."
  • The Amazon tags cracked me up.

    Customers tagged this item with:
    First tag: lies
    Last tag: Propaganda

    Lies (7),Propaganda (5),Childish Name Calling (4),Unfounded assertions (4),Slander
    (4),Unscientific (4),Defamation (3),Self-promoting with fake reviews (3),Biased
    (3),lies (3),Racist (2),Scaremonger (2),toilet-paper (2),Money grabbing lawyer
    (2),Ambulance Chaser (2)

    The part that struck a nerve with me was the book description. "Jack, an outraged father and activist lawyer, is on a mission..." IMHO,
  • Why can't he just sue someone already? He'll get laughed out of court and maybe just maybe shut his mouth for a while.
  • Thompson also just got kicked off the videogame violence case going on in Alabama because of his frequent press releases. His response? Accuse the judge of being unfit and biased. Gamepolitics said that the letter Thompson wrote was so inflamitory they were afraid that if they posted it they might get sued for libel. While that seems unlikely, that gives you an indication of how outrageous his claims are.

    I've written a lot about Thompson on my blog and, because I find it funny, I've put an Amazon affili
  • My review (Score:5, Informative)

    by Southpaw018 ( 793465 ) * on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:37AM (#14075530) Journal
    First: yes, I really did read the book.

    I decided to give this book a go after hearing that Thompson was actually suing Amazon over the reviews left here. Considering I already loathe Thompson for his consistent lies and self-serving press releases, and considering said lies and releases have him in ethical trouble, I was going in prejudiced. I really don't think that made a difference. The book is as rambling and nonsensical as many of Thompson's own statements. When obvious counterpoints to his zealous, frothing-at-the-mouth rage exist, he ignores them entirely (in the real world, he threatens legal action after committing slander. Gee, sounds familiar.)

    Read this book over the hype, if you want. Yes, it will give Thompson some more money, and that's what he wants. It's worth it, though, because it exposes just how...well...insane he really is.
  • I spent some time reading these reviews and just walked away.

    Most, not all, of the postings are just dumb. Just a bunch of drivel about the same old shit without anything specific to back it up. And the funny part is, they spend most of their time belly-aching about how Jack has no facts presented in his book. Well, neither do they.

    It's just a bunch of wind on both sides.

    They allege Jack has no facts and they provide no facts to back that up. The closest thing I did find to any truth is he probably h

  • (Bad) reviews are a form of condensed information about the book that attests to it's quality, so here's a choice qoute from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri:
    Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master. (or close to that)

    In my opinion this guys a fuckhead who thinks that whining and crying will always get him what he wants. That said - also in my opinion - he also seems to be on a puritanical crusade to ban everything that offends him. Fuck off Jack Tho
  • What really irks me is that everyone is getting very worked up over Mr Thompson. I've heard him say that "if I really am crazy, then you'd just ignore me".

    Which is the strange thing. We are getting very worked up over him. What happens when somebody posts something inflammatory, trollish or vulgar here on Slashdot? We just ignore it and get on with our lives. However, it seems to me that this usually stable mindset goes right out of the window when it comes to Mr Thompson, and he's been feeding the furnac

  • As I read this article I decided to take a look at Amazon and read such notes on this book. So when I wrote the name Jack Thompson on the search bar of Amazon I got the following reply:

    Results for: Jack Thompson
    Related Searches: out of harm's way; fire emblem; penny arcade

    Out of Harm's Way by Jack Thompson (Hardcover)
    Books: See all 182 items (Rate this item)
    Buy new: $13.59
    Used & new from $12.48
    Usually ships in 24 hours

    Advanced Sex : 101 Positions and Techniques, for the Sexually Adventurous by Randi

  • by Kildjean ( 871084 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:28PM (#14075847) Homepage
    14 year-old wins against anti-video game lawyer: Jack Thompson

    This is a very interesting post on this guy, how a 14 year old properly rebutted all he has been bs'ing about. This 14 year old is not me... just posting what he put here because i find it interesting...

    I wrote:

    I found a link to your site, www.stopkill.com, through an online forum. I looked over it, and although I think that there is some genuine concern over the effect of violent media on kids, many of your statements on that site were made in ignorance. What I plan to do in this email is to help you gain a better understanding of video games, and to show you that while your intentions are good, your current course of action is a mistake. I'm going to present my arguments calmly and logically, and you're welcome to write a rebuttal if you wish. First off, let me tell you a little about myself. I'm 14, and I've been playing video games avidly since I was 8. I'm pretty knowledgeable about the subject of video games as a whole, and I've played my fair share of Halo 2 and other shooters, including the Ghost Recon series, which is regarded as one of the most realistic FPSs (first-person shooters, in case you aren't familiar with the terminology). I also enjoy strategy games, in which the death toll is often far higher than what you'd encounter in a FPS. I'm an archer, a martial artist (Tae Kwon Do), and I was taught how to operate a gun by my grandfather, who's an experienced hunter. And, oddly enough, I've never felt the urge to kill, or even seriously injure, anyone. I imagine that killing in self-defence would be extremely difficult for me, despite my alleged desensitization. Now I'd like to dismiss a misonception (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and not assuming that you're twisting the truth) you have about games like Halo, which are called FPSs. These are not "sniper games." They are games presented in first person, in which you shoot enemies, manage ammunition, and explore levels. You may fail to see the distinction between "sniper" and "first person" based on that description alone, but if you ever take the time to play any of these games, you'll understand that there is no comparison between playing a FPS and operating a rifle. Which brings me to my next point- games can't accurately "train" you to commit violent acts, despite your claims. First off, games are innacurate by their very nature, and they give you less practical knowledge on operating firearms than watching a few hours of History Channel would. Secondly, I'm going to walk you through a typical scenario of me playing Halo 2, which is probably the best FPS available right now1) I rotate the right control stick slightly, then hold down the right trigger. There is no violent intent towards my enemy, wether it's an AI-controlled bot or a human opponent I'm facing online- it's a simple challenge in the case of the former and a friendly competition in the case of the latter.(2) On screen, a series of polygons which emulate bullet trails appear. Those polygons collide with the polygons rendered to represent my enemy, and those same polygons then emulate my opponent dying.The important distinction here is that there is no gun, no bullets, and no enemy. There is a rotation of the control stick and a pull of the controller's trigger, resulting in a change of the onscreen display. Anyone who can't see the difference between this and the act of firing a gun at a human being is clearly unfit to be playing these games and, frankly, is an idiot. Which, once again, leads me to the next point I'm going to make. No one in their right mind would ever do the things that you blame on video games. A quick glance at such actions shows that there are far bigger, far more serious causes than violent media behind them. Now, you may wonder, "Why would someone kill a person in a video game if they think it's wrong to do in real life?" Well, the truth is, no one gets hurt when you kill a video game character. There are corporeal consequences to commiting acts of violence on rea

  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @01:14PM (#14076100) Homepage
    Jack Thompson would probably lose:

    Schneider v. Amazon.com, Inc.
    http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/cases/lib_cas e261.cfm [phillipsnizer.com]
    (Wash. Ct. App., September 17, 2001)

    Court holds that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ("CDA") immunizes Amazon.com from claims of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and tortious interference brought by plaintiff as a result of negative statements posted by third parties on Amazon.com's web site, and Amazon's failure to remove them in alleged violation of Amazon's guidelines governing such postings.

    John Green v. America Online and John Does 1 and 2
    http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/cases/lib_cas e314.cfm [phillipsnizer.com]
    (3rd Cir., January 16, 2003)

    The Third Circuit holds that the Communications Decency Act ("CDA") immunizes America Online ("AOL") from claims arising out of the transmission by unrelated third parties in an AOL chat room of defamatory messages concerning the plaintiff.

    AOL moved to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, arguing that it was immunized from the tort claims asserted therein by the CDA. The Third Circuit agreed, and affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's tort claims. 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1) provides:

    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

    There is no real dispute that Green's fundamental tort claim is that AOL was negligent in promulgating harmful content and in failing to address certain harmful content on its network. Green thus attempts to hold AOL liable for decisions relating to the monitoring, screening, and deletion of content from its network - actions quintessentially related to a publisher's role. Section 230 "specifically proscribes liability" in such circumstances.

    Phillips Nizer has a really nice page on Internet Law - Online Defamation/Libel/Communications Decency Act.
    http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/topics/online _defamation.cfm [phillipsnizer.com]
  • by gubachwa ( 716303 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @03:08PM (#14076765)
    From the book description:
    Jack, an outraged father and activist lawyer, is on a mission to protect children from the violent and obscene video games, music lyrics, shock jock radio shows, and television programs he says are creating a culture of violence and degradation.
    If the answers were only that simple. If video games, music lyrics, and bad television programs caused all the problems we see today, then I would have no trouble supporting this guy. But things are not that simple. Violence and degradation has been around for a long long time, long before the stuff that Jack enjoys blaming. Our history is littered with violence and degradation: crucifixions, wars, torture, hatred, prejudice. You pick a century, and it would probably be fairly easy to find some example of man's inhumanity to man. What does Jack blame those instances of violence on? I doubt very much that Pontius Pilate was listening to his Marilyn Manson CD when he got the idea to order the crucifixion of Christ.

    But what's even worse than the fact that Jack Thompson is flat-out wrong, is the fact that he, and those like him, end up hiding the real issues. Lets take the Columbine shootings as an example. There were plenty of people ready to blame music, tv, and video games for the shootings. Michael Moore examined the absurdity of these claims in Bowling for Columbine by observing that the shooters were bowling the morning of the shooting -- so why not blame bowling? The real issue was that these kids who committed the murders were the target of ongoing emotional torment and bullying from a lot of their classmates. Rather than say, hey wait a second, maybe we have to do something to prevent bullying and to teach kids to respect one another as human beings, Jack and his ilk blame all the wrong things. But then again, it's probably easier for Jack to attack these things than reach a 17-yr old highschool jock and try to get him to actually respect people who don't fit in.

  • by brennz ( 715237 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @04:26PM (#14077149)
    I noticed a general trend.

    There is an extreme amount of hatred towards Jack Thompson. Having read through some of the correspondence (already listed as links on other posts) it is very clear how this came about.

    It is fine to have people of different persuasion or a different ideological bent. If you treat people you disagree with in a courteous & professional manner, they will most often respond in a civil manner.

    However, if you take a juvenile approach towards your opponents, belittle them, and insult them, they will respond in kind.

    Mr Thompson is only receiving what he has sown.

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @07:52PM (#14078260) Homepage Journal
    When Sheryl Crow criticized them in one of her songs, they stopped selling the album.

    Amazon should just stop selling his book(s).


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