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GTA modding group fights back against Take-Two takedown

Team behind reverse-engineered project has filed a countersuit against the company

A group of developers behind two Grand Theft Auto fan projects have filed a countersuit against Take-Two Interactive, following the company's move to have the projects shut down.

The team of programmers claimed to have successfully reverse-engineered the source code from Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, as part of its re3 project.

Take-Two sent a DMCA to the group back in February, claiming that the source contained "copyrighted materials owned by Take-Two." However, one member of the team filed a counter-notice with GitHub, where the project was being hosted, and was successful in keeping the modded versions of the games online.

Rockstar's parent firm then sued the group in September, aiming to once again have the project removed from GitHub. It also sought a payment of up to $300,000 in damages for causing "irreparable harm to Take-Two."

On November 12, the modding group hit back at Take-Two's suit, claiming that any actions taken by them constituted fair use under the US Copyright Act.

With regards to the project's development, it claims that if any copying of copyrighted protected material did happen, it was “undertaken to allow for interoperability of software and fixing bugs.”

Additionally, it says that any use of said copyrighted material was “minimally creative, nearly functional or factual or completely functional or factual”, and was “kept to a minimally required amount.”

It claims that such actions are “transformative.”

The suit also highlights Take-Two's historic support for the development of mods, and claims that the company has "allowed others to undertake the development of 'mods' of its software."

The company has clamped down on the modding community of late, firing out several DMCA notices to modders working specifically with older GTA titles.

Take-Two released the GTA Trilogy - Definitive Edition last week -- a remastered collection of GTA 3, GTA Vice City and San Andreas -- and has been met with criticism over the quality and functionality of the titles across several platforms.

In light of the problems, modders have started to create their own fixes to some of the bugs and errors found in the three games, such as remodels of characters, weather effects and typos on in-game objects and buildings.

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