Modders postpone Take-Two’s Grand Theft Auto lawsuit

A man in a blue suit points a machine gun at an offscreen target while riding a motorcycle.

Screenshot: rock star games

Lawyers representing the four defendants in the Take-Two Interactive Software case copyright infringement lawsuit against a group of Grand Theft Auto modders recently responded to the video game conglomerate’s complaint, categorically denying multiple allegations of wrongdoing. They also claim that their clients’ work constitutes fair use under US copyright law.

This whole mess started earlier in 2021 and quickly escalated. On February 13, the developers currently sued by Take-Two released re3 and reVC, reverse source code for Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City respectively. The code sought to improve lingering issues with classic games and give other modders a foundation on which to build cool new things, like Switch and PlayStation Vita ports.

A week later, Take-Two DMCA withdrawals adopted against the re3 and reVC repositories on Github, to which the codeshare platform almost immediately nodded. Modders issued their own counterclaims Shortly thereafter, arguing that the deletions were a mistake, the two projects were again uploaded for public download. Take-Two then filed a complaint against the developers in September, arguing that he owed her more than $ 300,000 in damages. And now the defendants are pushing back those allegations.

“Any complaints about copying copyrighted material that have occurred, if any, have been made to allow software interoperability and ‘bug fixes’,” the defense read. affirmative laden with legal jargon, which was filed Nov. 12 in the Judicial District of Northern California. (h / t TorrentFreak). “Such actions, including reverse engineering, are transformative use.”

The legal document then specifies that neither Take-Two nor Grand Theft Auto the developer Rockstar Games has released patches or bug fixes for the original games in question, which are decades old, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City, in years. In fact, neither of the two games are even purchasable through legitimate means after being removed from both the publisher’s store and third-party platforms like Steam to supposedly make way for the highly criticized final editions released last week.

“On information and belief, any complaint regarding the copying of copyrighted material that has occurred, if any, has not affected the software market that is the subject of the complaint,” concludes the reply. “Any complaints about the copying of copyrighted material that have occurred, if any, were not made for profit or commercial purposes. “

Take-Two’s action against these developers, while crappy in itself, comes at a time when the gaming community’s opinion of the company is already at an all-time low. The “improved” Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy is a total bug and glitch disaster that is only made worse by the fact that you can’t even buy the original games anymore. As usual, it was up to the modders to solve the worst problems, but with the constant threat posed by Take-Two, it will be surprising if anyone wants to deal with the same legal issues.