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GTA Modders Strike Back Against Copyright Takedowns, Arguing They Enhance And Fix Games

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GTA Modders Strike Back Against Copyright Takedowns, Arguing They Enhance And Fix Games

A team of Grand Theft Auto modders has decided to fight back against a copyright lawsuit issued by Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive. 


While Take-Two has historically left the GTA modding community alone (for the most part), the publisher has been issuing takedown after takedown over the last few years. While not confirmed, it’s likely this increased legal action against modders is a result of the recently released Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. Naturally, Rockstar and Take-Two would not want mods that remasters the original games to impact sales of an official release that does the same thing. 

Take a look at some of the best wins and fails in GTA: The Trilogy below:



However, the GTA modders behind the recent fan remasters of GTA III and Vice City have hit back against the lawsuit, arguing that any changes made to the source content is entirely fair game under the copyright act. 

Earlier this year, modders successfully reverse-engineered the two games and re-released them as free mods under the names RE3 and REVC. Take-Two almost immediately hit the project with a DMCA takedown, which was ultimately overturned. In September, the company filed a lawsuit that insists the project infringed on its copyright. 

But the modders refuse to take this lying down, and have issued a legal response to Take-Two’s suit. As reported by Torrentfreak, the thrust of the argument is “Fair Use”, which allows the use of any copyrighted material under certain circumstances - this usually covers things like teaching, reporting, or criticism. 


The response goes on to argues that the “transformative” mods don’t just copy the games, but build on them. The modders point to the various improvements and updates they made to the two games, while also reminding us that Rockstar "ceased releasing updates to the complained software years before any complained actions". 

Here’s where things become slightly muddy. The modders also try to argue that their project won’t have affected sales of GTA III and Vice City, which are admittedly very old games that people aren’t really buying anymore. While this was true enough back in September, it’ll be interesting to see how that holds up given GTA: The Trilogy now exists. 

However, things could go either way there, given the disastrous state Rockstar’s official remaster package has been in since launch. The company has already been flooded with refund requests, and modders have taken it upon themselves to fix many of the more egregious issues with the three remasters. This case is definitely one to watch, and we’ll update you as we learn more. 

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games

Topics: Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games

Ewan Moore
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