@Foe (our buddy Jake ) pointed out that Take-Two Interactive Software who oversees publishers including Rockstar Games and 2K Games sent a cease and desist order to OpenIV claiming that the GTA modding software tools defeat security features in place violating their rights.
Despite an active online petition to save OpenIV (we all know how effective those tend to be ) the OpenIV Team's lead developer GooD-NTS decided to discontinue work on their editing platform after nearly 10 years dealing a huge blow to the Grand Theft Auto modding scene.
Here's what he had to say on the situation, to quote: "We feared that this day would come... And now it's here. The day, when GTA modding was declared illegal. GTA modding had long and glorious history.
Since GTA III, people have created lots of different mods: from simple texture replacements to impressive full conversions. And the modding always was a "gray zone" -- a battlefield between lawyers and PR... For almost ten years of OpenIV development, we had tried to play as nice as possible and even more:
On June 5th, 2017, we had received an official Cease-and-Desist letter. It clearly says, that with OpenIV we "allow third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights".
- Strictly following of Civil Code of Russia (only reverse engineering for interoperability).
- Only clean-room reverse engineering.
- No distribution of original data and code.
- And absolutely no messing with Online...
Going to court will take at least few months of our time and huge amount of efforts, and, at best, we'll get absolutely nothing. Spending time just to restore status quo is really unproductive, and all the money in the world can't compensate the loss of time.
- Yes, this letter is illiterate both technically and grammatically (really, they don't even bothered with proof-reading the text).
- Yes, we can go to court and yet again prove that modding is fair use and our actions are legal.
- Yes, we could. But we decided not to.
So, we decided to agree with their claims and we're stopping distribution of OpenIV. It was a hard decision, but when any modding activity has been declared illegal, we can't see any possibilities to continue this process, unless top management of Take-Two company makes an official statement about modding, which can be used in court.
With many thanks for all modding community for all your fantastic creations, OpenIV team. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
To make it all clear, here is what happened:
1 - At May 19th, 2017, I received an email from the legal counsel for Take Two Interactive in the USA. In this email they has requested to stop immediately any further work and/or distribution of OpenIV and "Liberty City in GTAV" projects.
2 – In belief, that we did not violate any laws, I asked them to provide more detailed information about their request. They agreed to provide details by email.
3 – On June 5th, 2017, after two weeks of silence, I got C&D letter from lawyers company (legal representative of Take Two in Russia), both in electronic and paper form, to my employer address. This C&D accuses me in Russian laws violations.
4 – After many heavy thoughts, we had decided to agree with their claims. We did not make it easily; it is very hard decision for us."
In this week's poll, we ask the question: Should offline game modding be allowed and legal?
Feel free to cast your vote and share your thoughts in the comments below!