Take-Two Has Sued Developers Who Reverse-Engineered Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City

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Take-Two Interactive has sued a team of developers who reverse-engineered Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for their Re3 project. Re3 allowed the games to be ported to PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, and Wii U, and added new cheats to then. According to Take-Two, the defendants’ actions constitute copyright infringement.

The timing of Take-Two’s legal action is interesting because rumors emerged recently that it plans to release remastered versions of GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas for current and last-gen platforms, including the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Take-Two alleges that the defendants knew their actions were illegal, and when the publisher attempted to scrub the source code from the internet, the developers filed “bad faith counter notifications.”

Part of the filing reads:

Defendants’ conduct is knowing, willful, and deliberate. Defendants are well aware that they do not possess the right to copy, adapt, or distribute derivative GTA source code, or the audio visual elements of the Games, and that doing so constitutes copyright infringement. Defendant Angelo Papenhoff even stated publicly that he was ‘very much worried’ about Take-Two’s discovery of the re3 and reVC projects. And, when Take-Two attempted to remove Defendants’ infringing source code from the Internet, at least three Defendants (acting in at least one instance with other Defendants’ participation and direction) knowingly filed bad faith counter notifications that materially misrepresented the legality of their content, apparently claiming that because they allegedly ‘reverse engineered’ the Games’ source code, they somehow cannot be liable for copyright infringement.

The full filing is available online.

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