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Manhunt's Publisher Fails to Retake 10-Year-Old Promo Site [Update]

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This is weird. was a bogus VHS snuff-porn site Rockstar established way back in 2003 to promote the infamous Manhunt series until it let the registration lapse. Last month someone took over the domain and they're using it to flack a petition for a sequel. Now Manhunt's publisher is trying to regain control of the domain.

UPDATE 11/07: The domain's owner prevailed in the complaint Take-Two Interactive brought to the World Intellectual Property Organization. "All complaints have been officially denied," he tells us. "I've been cleared of any bad faith wrongdoing and the site has successfully been protected under fair use to remain active as a fan site." The original post follows.

I wouldn't say this necessarily points to Manhunt 3 or some other sequel, but it's strange enough to notice, especially with the 10-year anniversary of the game's launch coming Nov. 18. Rockstar/Take-Two Interactive appeared to abandon the site sometime in 2011. Though the current incarnation insists it is "NOT Affiliated with Rockstar Games," it still loosely perpetuates the fiction of being Lionel Starkweather's (or someone's) snuff flick operation. There's a link over to a fan site called the Halloween Love Network, which appears to be a Manhunt/slasher-horror enthusiast blog.


Probably what tripped Take-Two's trigger is the countdown set to expire on the 10th anniversary of the game's launch. It's possible Rockstar's parent company is trying to reclaim ownership of this domain to squash the countdown's implication that a Manhunt sequel or re-release is coming. The identity of the current owner is shielded from WHOIS records.


UPDATE: The domain's current owner has replied in our comments below; he pointed out this isn't a lawsuit as it is typically understood, which is why the headline has been changed. The matter is before the World Intellectual Property Organization. "This is purely a for-fun, tongue-in-cheek fan site, nothing more," he said. "The site was retired 2 years ago, it's entirely reasonable to think that they were done with it, so in that good faith belief, I revived the site as a fan, for the fans. Nothing more sinister is taking place here.


"I've remained as polite and cooperative through this whole experience as best I can while it's really disheartening that this is happening at all," he added.


Manhunt 3? Take-Two goes after domain name of fake snuff website it used to own [Fusible]

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