A small group of passionate fans of GTA are currently on an ongoing legal battle between Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two Interactive for alleged copyright infringement. In early September, we reported on our Twitter page that Take-Two filed a civil action lawsuit against 5 individual fans. This cause of action comes after the group filed a counterclaim on GitHub weeks after Take-Two sent a takedown notice for a full removal of the reverse engineering projects for GTA III and GTA Vice City. The group of passionate enthusiasts argued that they were not using any infringing code, thus believed the project was legal. Take-Two were supposed to respond to the group’s counterclaim but never made one so GitHub reinstated the project.
Somehow out of the blue, Take-Two’s legal team made the decision to take the case much further beyond with a full-on a lawsuit battle based in the Northern District of California. You can read the filing from Take-Two here.
It’s a huge shame Take-Two has taken this aggressive step over a few fans that wanted to improve the experience for existing owners of the game. It’s no serect that Vice City and GTA3 can be pretty difficult to play on newer versions of Windows and even modern day hardware. re3 and reVC brought back the games back to life in a much more playable state than its vanilla versions still shockingly on sale on Steam.
Whilst the lawsuit battle is ongoing the company has issued a second takedown notice today to GitHub demanding the source code platform holder for the projects to be completely taken off its platform in a takedown letter by its legal firm representing the company’s behalf. This takedown notice from its legal firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp can be viewed on the now taken down project repository.
Over the course of the last few months, Take-Two actions on the modding community has sparked outrage and demand clarity, but so far Take-Two has not commented on the lawsuit. It’s rumoured this action influenced Take-Two as it’s reported the company is bringing a new set of GTA remasters later this year, per reported by the folks at Kotaku.
Sadly the projects were taken offline earlier today and there might not be a light of return unless the reGTA team is able to win the lawsuit somehow. As for the future of the case, we’ll keep a very close on things as the case goes on over the months ahead. It sure will be very interesting to keep your eyes peeled on!