Play news Take-Two tackles GTA, Red Dead Redemption and Mafia mods
Publishers are increasingly grabbing fan-made content for their games … This time, Take-Two Interactive is doing it!
Luke Ross, en modder known for creating ways to customize VR gamesjust received one message from Take-Two asking them to remove their mods of distribution.
Take-Two tackles VR mods for its games
On Twitter and Patreon, Luke Ross and Flat 2 VR (VR modding community) has issued a press release, regarding the announcement which the mother received from Take-Two:
I just received a DMCA removal notice from Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the parent company of Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc., for Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Mafia Definitive Edition.
They demand that I remove all of their copyrighted works from my Patreon page.
I immediately asked for clarification as I believe I do not host such files. As you all know, I create and distribute original mods for these games, ie. original software of my own creation that allows users to experience these games in a different way and hopefully more intense and deeper. However, none of my mods are built using software owned by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and the mods are not intended to replace their games or any way of exploiting any intellectual property or assets of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All my edits require users to purchase and own the games before they can add my edits.
I have no experience with DMCA notices, so I do not know if it will actually be possible to get such clarifications and understand what specific materials Take-Two believes are in violation of their rights. To avoid off-topic discussions, be aware that this has been categorized as a copyright issue and not a licensing issue, so the motivation for the request does not appear to be related to the fact that money is at stake.
I am posting this post primarily to update you on the situation, and secondly to ask for your help if any of you know what channels I could use to better understand what Take-Two wants.
As I have stated publicly many times, I honor and respect copyright, and it has always been my intention to give players the opportunity to experience the wonderful worlds created by Rockstar and 2K (among other companies) in virtual reality, which only translates to more customer satisfaction and more copies sold to them. I do not sell or host anything that exploits or reuses their original IPs and assets, and my mods only work if the user already owns a legal copy of their original game.
That said, if I do not get any clarification from those who allow me to decide what they want to remove, I will of course be required to remove everything, even remotely related to any product manufactured or distributed by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc.
Again, as I have always said, if left in the dark, I can only err on the side of caution and I will not risk other games getting involved in the purge if Patreon would choose to close my side. This means that all messages, images, tutorials, recommendations, tutorials and especially my VR mods for GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Mafia: Definitive Edition, Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Mafia III: Definitive Edition will be removed and not longer available for download.
I refuse to believe that is what Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. wants as it would be a terrible customer and anti-gamer move on their part. But I do not want to get into a legal battle with them. If what they want is to assert their commercial dominance with player interests as a parallel injury, I have no power to stop them.
EDIT: You are infallibly amazing, both in good times and in bad times !! Thank you so much to everyone who responded to all of this, with words of encouragement, words of warning, legal or semi-legal advice … even increased your commitment! Honestly, I’m overwhelmed by your reaction and I love you all <3
Sorry I can not answer each and every one of you personally!
As promised, however, I will keep you updated: no news from Take-Two yet, but Patreon has offered to try to establish a direct channel. I am grateful for this and hope that the effort succeeds and leads to a positive solution, as I am convinced that what we do can in no way harm Take-Two’s bottom line.
It is here first time that Luke Ross receives this kind of complaint from a publisher. Take-Two complains about his mods on GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Mafia: Definitive Edition, Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition, which makes it possible to play these games in VR. But Ross maintains he has no never used Take-Two’s hardware or their assets or their code. According to his claims, he only “adds” content, but does not download or reuse it.
A vague request
Take-Two requires everyone copyrighted content is removed from his Patreon side, but he has not no specific request on this or that content it is therefore still in the dark. Ross says he does not count not participate in a legal battle with Take-Two, which we can understand. But note that even in the opposite case, even if he disputes the withdrawal notice of this content on his side to which he is entitled, he still need to remove all protected content on his part pending the judgment on this challenge. Without this, Patreon could suspend his side (although Ross in his post-update seems to indicate that Patreon wants to engage the mother in dialogue with Take-Two).
The website Kotaku contacted Luke Ross, who expressed his opinion about the situation:
I never present the games as my creations, I do not reuse any of the original software, assets or more generally intellectual property, and my mods always need the original games to work. So it’s just extra sales for the developer / publisher, and the opportunity for gamers to enjoy a kind of experience they otherwise could not get on a flat screen.
Luckily I have other mods for other games. So those who support me will not be left behind, but it would be such a shame, because every day new RDR 2 fans come to my Patreon to experience the game “from the inside”.
Take-Two is used to such complaints
Take-Two is not in its first attempt. Several times already the company has sent DMCA complaints to modders or sites that host mods require removal of mods. Most of them are created by independent modders or small developer studies fans of these licenses. Usually they do not lacks the necessary financial means and legal advice to a legal battle with Take-Two Interactive, a company with a market value of 18 billion. Especially because we know it Take-Two is known to be very aggressive and procedural about its intellectual properties.
Knowing them, we could even wonders if these DMCA complaints announce a release of game modes in VR for their game … They really are usually tackle mods before releasing their “commercial” version shortly after. Among the competition, we note that some publishers seem more conciliatory: Bethesda in particular has just hired Fallout London against lead author Stephanie Zachariadisfor their studies.
If you want to enjoy Take-Two’s games in VR, unfortunately it seems that you have very little time left … We will follow the consequences of this case on the page, if there are any.