Rockstar Games has issued copyright takedowns to beloved modder LukeRoss. LukeRoss who has brought Virtual Reality to games like Cyberpunk 2077, Mafia Definitive Edition, and Red Dead Redemption 2 calls this move by Take-Two “anti-consumer.”
Right now, some of LukeRoss’s biggest work is in danger as Rockstar’s DMCA takedown request requires him to remove his GTA 5, Mafia, and Red Dead Redemption 2 mods. LukeRoss took to Patreon to express his disappointment:
I just received a DMCA takedown notice from Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., parent company of Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc., in relation to Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Mafia Definitive Edition.
They are demanding that I remove all their copyrighted works from my Patreon page.
I immediately asked for clarifications, since it is my belief that I’m not hosting any such materials. As you all know, I do create and distribute original modifications for those games, i.e., original pieces of software of my own creation that allow users to experience those games in a different and hopefully more intense and profound way. However, none of my modifications are built using software belonging to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc, and the modifications are not intended to replace their games, nor are they a means of exploiting Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc’s proprietary IP or assets. All of my modifications require that users buy and own the games before they can add my modifications.
I have no experience with DMCA notices, so I don’t know whether it will actually be possible to obtain such clarifications and to understand what materials specifically Take-Two believe to be in violation of their rights. To prevent unrelated discussions, please note that this was filed 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 there is money involved.
I’m publishing this post first and foremost to keep you appraised of the situation, and secondarily to ask you for help in case any of you knows what channels I might use in order to get a better understanding of what Take-Two wants.
As I publicly stated many times, I honor and respect copyright and my intention has always been to allow gamers 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 for them. I don’t sell or host anything exploiting or repurposing their original IP and assets and my mods only work if the user already owns a legal copy of their original games.
That said, if I get no clarifications from them allowing me to determine what they want removed, I will of course be forced to take down anything even remotely related to any product made or distributed by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc.
Again, as I always said, if left in the dark I can only err on the side of caution, and I will not risk other games being involved in the purge in case Patreon elects to shut down my page. That means that all posts, images, guides, recommendations, tutorials and above all my VR mods for GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Mafia: Definitive Edition, Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Mafia III: Definitive Edition will be taken down and will no longer be accessible to download.
I refuse to believe that is what Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. wants, because that would be an extremely anti-customer and anti-gamer move on their part. But I am not getting in a legal battle with them. If what they want is to assert their corporate dominance with gamers’ interests as collateral damage, I have no power to stop them.
However, this isn’t the first time Take-Two has issued a takedown copyright strike. Before the GTA Trilogy Remaster came out, a group of modders had reverse engineered GTA 3 and GTA Vice City but were hit with a DMCA takedown from Rockstar.
While I do understand where Take-Two is coming from given these are their IPs, this seems like a petty thing to do, and for something so harmless. Perhaps Rockstar is planning on implementing VR support for their games and this was something they had to contend with? Who knows,but it doesn’t paint the company in a positive light.