Modders are heaven-sent. These people toil away for dozens if not hundreds of hours doing things that the developer itself did not think of, all without getting paid a single dime. This is why most of the gaming community have no problems defending modders whenever they find themselves in hot water from publishers and other companies. Case in point, the groups of modders who've been hit by Take-Two Interactive with a lawsuit, among other allegations, for their work on Grand Theft Auto.
Having said that, the aforementioned modders are now fighting back against Take-Two Interactive and have filed a new counterclaim docket against the publishing giant.
Modders fight against Take-Two as GTA Trilogy suffers
Earlier this year, a group of longtime Grand Theft Auto fans modded and reverse-engineered Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City to release re3 and reVC. These fan-made enhanced versions of the classic PS2-era GTA titles quickly grew in popularity among the GTA community. Unfortunately, because the project probably hit too close to Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, Rockstar Games' publisher issued a DMCA takedown to have the project's files removed from Github. Eventually, Take-Two's legal team filed a lawsuit against the modders and accused them of piracy.
According to Take-Two's lawsuit, the modders used pirated versions of GTA III and GTA: Vice City. The company claims that by distributing illegal copies of the recreated games, the modding community caused Take-Two "irreparable harm". However, the modding team has since responded. They argue that the mods require original games to play and that they recreated the modded game using modern coding languages.
A report from Torrent Freak also adds that the counterclaim filed against Take-Two states that the Copyright Act protects the "lawful" actions of the modders. The legal team representing the modders denied most of Take-Two's allegations. In addition to this, the counterclaim explains that the modders only used copyrighted materials so they can fix the bugs present in the original games. Because of this, the two modders behind the controversial project believe that their actions are protected under fair use.
The modder's counterclaim also raises several interesting points. For example, Rockstar had stopped fixing the original games long before the release of reVC and re3. In addition to this, Rockstar had even encouraged modders to work on its games. An example of this is when Rockstar itself rewarded a modder for fixing a bug in GTA Online. The modders are also claiming that their projects had a positive effect on sales as they required players to have legal copies of each respective game to play it with enhancements.
If we're being honest, Take-Two's actions are baffling to the point of greed. The publishers' games have some of the most active modding communities. Instead of antagonizing modders, they should have worked with them. If this had happened, who knows? Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition probably wouldn't have been such a buggy mess at launch.