Take-Two’s War On Its Own Modding Community Continues, Harming Take-Two
from the c'mon-guys dept
Over the past couple of years, we’ve discussed several battles in the war on the modding community Take-Two and Rockstar Games launched. I’ve never seen a coherent explanation for why this war was needed at all, from either the publishers or speculators. Almost without warning, Take-Two went on a DMCA blitz on sites hosting these mods, many of which had been around for years. And these aren’t merely mods that allow people to cheat in online games. Many of them are mods for the single-player game, allowing players to do new and interesting things. You know, making Take-Two’s product more valuable, in other words.
But the war continues anyway. Luke Ross made virtual reality mods for several Take-Two games and woke up recently to find that Take-Two had filed copyright claims on his Patreon page.
Earlier today, Ross shared on his Patreon page and Twitter that he had just received a notice from Patreon informing him that Take-Two had filed a copyright claim against his page and its content. Ross creates virtual reality conversion mods for popular games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption II, and Mafia II: Definitive Edition. All of these games are published by companies that Take-Two Interactive owns.
The notice reportedly orders Ross to remove all “copyrighted content” from his page or risk suspension by Patreon. And here’s where things get messy. For starters, the notice doesn’t identify which specific content needs to be removed. That’s kind of important, because Ross insists that his mods don’t actually use any of Take-Two’s code, assets, or intellectual property.
“I never misrepresent the games as my creations, don’t reuse any of the original software, assets, or IP in general, and my mods always need the original games to work,” Ross told Kotaku. “So it’s only additional sales for the developer/publisher, and the possibility for the gamers to enjoy a kind of experience they could not have otherwise on a flatscreen.”
And this is what makes this all so damned frustrating. Once again, Ross’ work results in no negative outcome for Take-Two. In fact, his work — done for free, by the way — actually only makes the company’s games more attractive and valuable to more potential buyers, namely those that want to play the game in VR.
And for being a hobbyist who manages to provide this benefit to Take-Two, Ross gets a vague threat letter and no help in figuring out what Take-Two is actually seeking to have removed. Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, folks.