A group of modders behind the popular reverse engineering fan projects of Grand Theft Auto re3 and reVC have responded to a lawsuit from Take-Two, arguing that their projects are protected under fair use.

As reported by Torrent freakThose behind the projects oppose a lawsuit by Take-Two after a dispute over whether the fan’s work should be removed. Following the initial release of the reverse-engineered versions of the games earlier this year, TakeTwo and Rockstar filed a DMCA deactivation notice on Github to remove the repositories from the website that alleged copyright infringement. However, when the files were restored by the team through a counter-notification submitted on Github, the publisher took a different route and filed a lawsuit against those involved.

The lawsuit filed in September alleges that the projects were to create and distribute pirated copies of GTA 3 and Vice City and seeks damages under copyright law. The lawsuit alleges that the modders “deliberately and maliciously” copied and adapted the source code of the games before distributing it without the publisher’s consent.

However, the modders responded to the lawsuit, stating that their actions were lawful and protected by copyright law. The defense allegedly alleges that any copyrighted material used in the projects was created in such a way that the team could fix bugs that were present in the original games.

So this would suggest that the material was used to add something new to the code rather than simply copying it, which is a transformative use of that content. The defense is of the opinion that these acts are protected under fair use and should therefore not be punishable by law.

Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition screenshots

Not only have the modders group found their actions added to the game, but a number of other points in their defense as well. In addition to the fact that the modifications cannot be used without a player already owning a copy of the original game to load the mod onto, the group reportedly also advised that Rockstar has stopped releasing bug fixes and patches for the Original Games did a number of years before the modifications came about.

While Take-Two is hoping to seek damages from the defendants for their use of copyrighted material after the mods are released, the defense has also challenged the lawsuit itself – claiming that the mods will only have a positive effect on the the market for the original games, considering that players would have to buy them to use the mods in the first place. In the course of the proceedings, it becomes clearer whether the Group’s fair use claim is valid in court or not.

For more GTA news, check out this article which describes how Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition got off to a very difficult start for several reasons. If you want to know what the controversial new trilogy of remasters is supposed to add, check out our list of differences and changes. If you’re already playing, we have a list of cheats and secrets for you.

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