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Well this is a shame but in many ways to be expected. Take-Two Interactive Software, the parent company of Rockstar Games, has filed a lawsuit against the developers of the reverse-engineered GTA III and Vice City code.

This is a bit of an ongoing saga, as Take-Two first got the GitHub repositories taken down, which were later restored when the developer of a fork submitted a counter-notice which wasn't argued so they all went back up. The repositories are still live on GitHub right now. The notice mentions this with Take-Two saying the counter notices were "were made in bad faith, and knowingly and deliberately misrepresented to GitHub the contents".

Plenty more is argued as well of course. In the notice it complains how the code now runs on platforms it was never released for where the "Defendants have sought to exploit a potential market that belongs exclusively to Take-Two", it argues against new cheats enabled in the source code which "are strictly prohibited under Take-Two’s terms of service". It goes further, complaining about modding which Take-Two say "encouraging users to further infringe the original Games and to violate their agreements with Take-Two that prohibit such activities".

As a result of the code being public, Take-Two are claiming it the "Defendants have caused and continue to cause irreparable harm".

Take-Two are looking to get damages paid which as of yet "are not currently ascertainable", so they want it to be worked out. On top of that they want the "maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each work infringed" and they also want their "attorneys’ fees and full costs" paid as well.

The point about cheats is a funny one. Single-player games from the early 2000s have cheats added in? Extra modding too? Oh no, how completely terrible for people to further enjoy them.

Why was this lawsuit coming to be expected? Well, reverse-engineered code tends to be a grey area with it often being against the law, and code from leaks is a big no for all sorts of obvious legal reasons. That said, the source code did require people to actually buy the games for the data, so Take-Two would have still be getting revenue thanks to it.

Sadly though, like most major publishers, they shy away from any sort of open source. In this case, Take-Two and Rockstar are reportedly doing a big GTA Remastered Trilogy so moving to fully protect their code was obvious.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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108 comments
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Bogomips 3 Sep
It would be nice to have people understanding video games in those big corporations, nowadays it is just a line of ROI in a spreadsheet but never the fault of the studio when a game is completely broken…

And sure wait 20 years to say a remaster is coming because it seems money can be made again with no risk because lots of people worked on it already and the numbers seems to be good (but nothing will really be done).

That's why I like indie games.
It sounds a little like they don't like mods, something i understand for multiplayer, but for single player...

Quote"Defendants have sought to exploit a potential market that belongs exclusively to Take-Two"

I don't like this argument, it could be use against OpenMW, even if the engine it's a clean room project. Even can be use against some mods like DarkSouls fix, especially since can take some "market" from the remaster...
I might be misunderstanding but it doesn't look like a clean room implementation like OpenRA, CorsixTH, OpenMW and GemRB. Instead they've reversed engineered the binaries to get the source code.

QuoteAs long as it's not linux/cross-platform skeleton/compatibility layer, all of the code on the repo that's not behind a preprocessor condition(like FIX_BUGS) are completely reversed code from original binaries.

This was always going to get in legal problems because of that reason and it is almost like they posted the original game .exe on GitHub it just adds an extra step (compilation).

However I still don't agree with Take-Two's arguments.

QuoteDefendants have sought to exploit a potential market that belongs exclusively to Take-Two

The reversed source code still requires that you buy the game to get the game's assets so that you can play the game so one could argue that re3 has brought more money to Take-Two by bringing their game to new markets for free.

The biggest problem I see with this argument from them is that if they go to court and win on that argument then the same argument can be applied to OpenRA, CorsixTH, OpenMW and GemRB because the fact that they are clean room implementations and not reversed engineered does not matter.
elisto 3 Sep
Copyright need to be removed from existence.


Last edited by elisto on 3 September 2021 at 9:52 am UTC
They appear to be taking down any alternatives to their GTA remasters, I don't know I'm just spit-balling here
slapin 3 Sep
  • Supporter Plus
Well, either Take-Two lawyers are extremely unprofessional or it is total fraud/freevolious.

"irreparable harm" means it can't be fixed by money, which is totally not
the case here even in worst case scenario. Unless they will bribe judge I don't see
how this claim won't get dismissed.
slapin 3 Sep
  • Supporter Plus
Also I wonder how some "market" can belong to Take-Two exclisively. That is kind of funny as even in car parts business you can produce car "enhancers"/mods and not pay any royalties. They try to stop that but they can't and they never claim "market" belongs to them. Something really strange is going on. Need to buy a full truck of pop corn for the show...
I guess in the context of GTA Remastered the meeting probably went like:

Oh no, we are about to do a low effort Remastered version and the source port might be better in terms of stability visuals as it is moddable and content too because of being moddable. Unlike that product we're working on.
How should we make money with a shitty product then?

I have an idea! Let's make a DMCA claim and if that doesn't work let's fill a law suit!
The lawsuit will us cost in the worst case 115k $ and the expected revenue by out shit remastered product is way above 1M$ as we only put one developer on the task which only costs us 30$/h.
At the end the code is down and when (not if) we win we'll get some extra $$$$ to spend for [insert various adult things here]!

Yessss maximum profit!
Quoting: slapinAlso I wonder how some "market" can belong to Take-Two exclisively. That is kind of funny as even in car parts business you can produce car "enhancers"/mods and not pay any royalties. They try to stop that but they can't and they never claim "market" belongs to them. Something really strange is going on. Need to buy a full truck of pop corn for the show...

Count me in!
Ardje 3 Sep
"Defendants have sought to exploit a potential market that belongs exclusively to Take-Two"
A market is where you exchange value for value.
You can't exactly say that giving away for free something is exploiting a market, because then you do not understand capitalism. Exploiting means you gain something of monetary value. None of the hackers gained something.
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