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GTA modders behind re3 and reVC fire back in court

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The ongoing saga of modders versus Take-Two continues on, after some people behind the Grand Theft Auto fan projects "re3" and "reVC" got their work taken down from GitHub and then sued.

With the two projects, the developers recreated the game engines used for Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City, which were done through reverse engineering. There was a bit of back and forth as Take-Two sent a DMCA claim to have the projects taken down, a counter-claim was filed that put both back up and then Take-Two formally sent in the lawyers with the lawsuit to get payments in damages.

As expected here, the developers in question who are in the firing line have decided to attempt to fight back as reported by TorrentFreak who shared the PDF. A lot of it is just plain outright denials of what Take-Two are accusing in their argument. The main defence is trying to get it "constituted fair use under the Copyright Act" and that any copyrighted material included was to "allow for interoperability of software and fixing 'bugs'" and also that it was "transformative use".

Part of the counter-argument might not hold as much weight now though, as it mentions "for video games released over fifteen years ago". Recently, Take-Two put out the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. As it turns out, it's a true hot mess of bugs. Still, they're not the same versions and sold separately so it likely can still count.

Continuing, the defence does clearly mention how anyone using it would need a copy of each game (the projects did not include the data files). To that end, the defence mentions how it would "not affect the market for the complained of software" and in fact "would positively affect the market for the complained of software" and goes on to mention how previously Take-Two "showcased" some mods and even "released portions of its software" to the devs of Multi Theft Auto.

What a shame, can you imagine what they could have achieved if they worked together?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta
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31 comments
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NeoTheFox 18 Nov
There should be no need for the "old game" argument. AFAIK the repo contained nothing owned or copyrighted by Take-Two, the reverse-engineering effort is clean room, I'll be surprised if there's not precedent set for this exact court case.
psy-q 18 Nov
Quoting: NeoTheFoxAFAIK the repo contained nothing owned or copyrighted by Take-Two, the reverse-engineering effort is clean room [...]

It wasn't clean-room, unfortunately, the team decompiled Take Two/Rockstar's binaries to get there.
AussieEevee 18 Nov
It sucks, and the community version was better… but that doesn’t make it legal, and this doesn’t sound like fair use to me. (Hashtag not a lawyer)
Solitary 18 Nov
Quote...they're not the same versions and sold separately...
Except they are not sold separately, because they completely removed those old GTAs from stores.
AussieEevee 18 Nov
Quoting: NeoTheFoxI'll be surprised if there's not precedent set for this exact court case.
I did some brief research to try to answer this, but it seems most fan developers just accept defeat and don’t take on a major publisher in court.

That said, i believe copyright extends beyond the physical data (source code, etc).
Liam Dawe 18 Nov
Quoting: Solitary
Quote...they're not the same versions and sold separately...
Except they are not sold separately, because they completely removed those old GTAs from stores.
That doesn't change my point.
Bite the shark
Zlopez 18 Nov
  • Supporter Plus
I still have the same opinion on this. Once the developer stops supporting the game, release the code under Open Source license, so the game could either live if there is a community around it or die, if it isn't good.
ElectroDD 18 Nov
Store the project on EU servers.
There was a recent ruling saying that fixing bugs was not a case of copyright infrinment.
Reverse ingeneering is protected under a law in itself to allow interoperability of software on hardware and under this law you can even break DRM to a certain extent.
At least, that's what I understand...
TheSHEEEP 18 Nov
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Quoting: ZlopezI still have the same opinion on this. Once the developer stops supporting the game, release the code under Open Source license, so the game could either live if there is a community around it or die, if it isn't good.
Yes, but then how could you make money with it?


(I know the answer, and that open source doesn't exclude selling a product, but many bored lawyers and clueless executives have no intention of ever understanding this)
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