Take two to sue GTA modders trying to evade DMCA
For the past few months, Take-Two Interactive has been on the lookout for Grand Theft Auto modders who have been working on proprietary graphics updates for older games in the series. With the imminent release of the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy – Definitive Edition, it’s clear the company is sabotaging the competition – and they’ve been hit with a lawsuit when one group fights back.
As our previous reports on the phenomenon have pointed out, Take-Two is specifically targeting modders that amount to fan-made remakes of GTA games without altering or adding original content — in fact, they’re deliberately going after any gamers who might Considered a replacement for officially released remakes of free stuff.
Most mods and mod teams that publish DMCAs do so quietly, obeying takedown notices and removing all content. No individual or small hobby group wants to get entangled with a large corporation that is ruthless in legal matters. No, only one.
The modders behind Re3 and reVC, two projects that reverse-engineered the code and assets for GTA 3 and Vice City in order to visually and mechanically improve the original title, ignoring published DMCA notices. The project’s host, GitHub, initially removed the files after Take-Two’s announcement, and the modders countersued through official channels.
Since Take-Two did not contest the counterclaim, GitHub reinstated everything. In retrospect, it’s possible that Take-Two deliberately ignored the counterclaim as an opportunity to escalate things further after the fix, and set a terrible example for others trying this tactic.
Indeed, Take-Two’s legal team has launched an infringement lawsuit in California, immediately following GitHub’s removal of all Re3 and reVC content, again with the project and its forks before.
The legal team is also getting straight to the point – Take-Two is seeking damages and setting a significant precedent specifically for the use of counterclaims, calling it “malicious” to essentially poison the feature against future use.
The Defendants are well aware that they have no right to reproduce, adapt or distribute the derived GTA source code or audiovisual elements of the game, and that doing so constitutes copyright infringement.defendant [aap] He even publicly stated that he was “very worried” about TakeTwo’s discovery of the re3 and reVC projects. And, when Take-Two attempted to remove Defendants’ infringing source code from the Internet, at least three Defendants (acting with the participation and direction of other Defendants on at least one occasion) knowingly filed malicious counter-notices that grossly misrepresented their legitimacy. content, apparently claiming that because they allegedly “reverse-engineered” the game’s source code, they were somehow not responsible for copyright infringement.
The teams behind Re3 and reVC have argued that their projects fall under fair use, but it’s unclear whether this will hold up in court.
If the latest reports are true, the final version of Grand Theft Auto: Trilogy will be released this November. This will bring remastered versions of GTA 3, GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas from Unreal Engine to PC and current consoles. It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will play out.
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