Friday, December 3

Grand Theft Auto Modders Strike Back in Copyright Lawsuit | Digital Trends Spanish


In 2021, Take-Two Interactive, the company behind Rockstar Games and the saga Grand Theft Auto, sued a group of modders who released improved versions of GTA III and GTA Vice City by using reverse engineering. But these, far from being cowed, responded: their actions correspond to a fair use.

According to the lawsuit imposed by Take-Two, these modified versions called re3 and reVC They were illegally distributed, as the authors used the game’s source code without permission. And also, they did it maliciously, knowing that they were violating the property of Rockstar Games, only for the purpose of promoting the use of pirated versions of the aforementioned titles.

On other occasions, the authors of mods or alternative versions remove the files and prevent the lawsuit from taking its course; going to court with companies the size of Take-Two is not always a good idea. Nevertheless, the defendants responded with arguments that do not leave Rockstar Games on a good footing.

One of them has to do with the nature of these new modified versions, which cannot be used without the base games. Therefore, the argument that these mods lead to piracy is inappropriate, because those who wanted to use them had to purchase original copies.

On the other hand, the defense of modders argues that Take-Two has encouraged the use of mods in their games and that even in the past they allowed other developers to use part of the code, as in the case of Multi Theft Auto, a project that added multiplayer mode to old titles. With Multi Theft Auto, Take-Two seemed to have no problem.

The modders they also bring to light the fact that Rockstar stopped adding patches or fixes to GTA III and Vice City. And so that mods could work without problem, there was a need to use portions of the game code protected under the laws of copyright, but this was limited “to the minimum”, according to the defendants.

When the lawsuit was introduced in September 2021, it was suspected that beyond the problems of copyright, one of the reasons had to do with the future existence of remastered versions of the Grand Theft Auto of PlayStation 2. These remasters would have to get to compete with re3 or reVC, They already included improvements of their own, and Rockstar’s work, if not good, could be called into question.

And that’s what happened, since the new versions of GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas They have several very good details, but others that leave much to be desired.

It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit ends, since while facing a giant company like Take-Two is risky, the modders they must have strong reasons to end the legal fight in front of a judge, with all that that means should they lose.

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