After Take-Two put up a DMCA claim against the reverse-engineered source code for GTA III and Vice City, it's now properly back up online on GitHub.
This follows on from a developer of a fork putting in their own counter-claim back in May, which resulted in GitHub restoring their repository. Now though, the main repository from the GTAmodding team is also back online, as they also put in their own counter-claim. This doesn't actually mean what they're doing is legal however, just that Take-Two did not respond to the counter-claims and so GitHub put them back up.
As I said previously, projects like this end up benefiting the original developer / publisher due to an increase in sales. No assets are included, which means to use the projects people need to actually buy a copy of the original game. It does continue to amaze me how so many publishers dislike it and want to keep the code locked-down. Unlike other game engine reimplementations (OpenMW, openXcom, OpenRA, CorsixTH and so on), this isn't exactly "clean" in comparison which is why it's much more of a grey area.
In the counter-claim the team noted:
The code in this repo was developed by reverse engineering object code that is not contained in this repo. We believe that any code in this repo that is similar to code or other content owned by Take-Two is either unprotected by copyright or is permitted under fair use.
The question remains: how long until Take-Two get the legal cogs moving on this again, or will they just leave it be now for these two classic games?
While I see why this could be an IP case, it's about the same as reimplementing an API, as in the Java case, or reimplementing D3D9 or DX11, wine inplementation of windows APIs etc.
It's not the same code, even though it works the same way.
Legally, it's debatable, but I do not think just becsuse code works the same way it's an IP.
That's for courts to decide. But it's nothing more than a reimplementation looking at ehat the original does.
The benefit out of that takedown notice or probably in the end lawsuite for Take-Two is questionable.
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