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Grand Theft Auto 4 maker sues Chicago transport chiefs

Game ads pulled, free speech rights violated. Apparently

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Take-Two Interactive is suing the Chicago Transit Authority after the metropolitan transportation organisation removed a series of Grand Theft Auto 4 ads from the city's bus shelters.

The posters went up across the city on 22 April, the result of a $300,000 deal struck between Take-Two, and the CTA and its ad agency, Titan Outdoor, the games publisher said. Within days, it claimed, all the ads had been taken down.

Grand Theft Auto IV

GTA IV: Liberty City, yesterday. Not Chicago, OK?

The publisher, which filed its lawsuit in Liberty City New York rather than Chicago, wants its $300,000 back and the CTA to be forced to re-run the ads.

Quite apart from the alleged violation of its contract with the CTA, Take-Two maintains its right to free speech was violated, the Reuters news agency reports.

The CTA has yet to comment on the case, but it's been reported that the ads were yanked after a local TV news station criticised the Authority for accepting posters promoting a game featuring vehicle theft and drive-by shootings - all of which have been a particular problem in Chicago of late, it seems.

Not that the ads appear to show such behaviour, focusing instead on the game's characters.

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