Take-Two declares modding for Grand Theft Auto V “illegal”; Main modding tool shut down

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In the PC community, modding is the heart and soul of Grand Theft Auto V. It’s what truly defines it and makes it really unique. Sure, the PC version comes equipped with fancier graphics and it generally performs better but the mods are what really set it aside from the console version. It allows people to put things like new cars, weapons, outfits, modes, and other incredibly goofy things like allowing you to play as characters from The Lion King.

The mods are usually only put into single player as to not disrupt the online community but there are some modded servers that actually allow players to role-play as cops, drug dealers, taxi drivers, and much more, giving it a more life-like feel.

As of June 5th, 2017, Grand Theft Auto V’s main modding tool, OpenIV, no longer exists. The team behind the tool said they received a Cease and Desist letter from Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two which declares modding illegal. You can read the statement from OpenIV’s lead developer below.

“For almost ten years of OpenIV development, we had tried to play as nice as possible and even more:

  • 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…

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“.
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.
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.

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.”

It’s very important to note that none of these mods created in OpenIV were used in a malicious way. They were used to simply create more things in the game that extended the fun that could be had with the game. If anything, it was helping sell more copies of the game and keeping players around longer.

Earlier this year, a mod for Grand Theft Auto V was set to bring Red Dead Redemption to the PC, something fans have wanted since it released in 2010. After Take-Two got wind of the mod, they sent a Cease and Desist letter to the team behind the mod. All of their years of hard work were flushed down the drain, sadly. Some wondered if this was simply because Rockstar had plans to bring Red Dead Redemption to the PC before they released Red Dead Redemption 2 or if it’s simply a case of them not wanting it on PC at all.

Some companies like Bethesda have fully embraced modding by promoting it themselves and by even implementing it into their games. Bethesda was the first studio to ever allow modding on consoles by bringing it to Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It’s hard to say why Take-Two would do this, especially after the long history of having mods in Grand Theft Auto which spans nearly two decades.

Source: GameZone

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