A popular modder who makes VR mods for games including Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 has been slapped with a copyright takedown from publisher Take-Two Interactive.
“I just received a DMCA takedown notice from Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., parent company of Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc., in relation to Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Mafia Definitive Edition,” modder Luke Ross wrote on Patreon (opens in new tab). “They are demanding that I remove all their copyrighted works from my Patreon page.”
According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Ross makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 a month $20,000 making the aforementioned Rockstar games, as well as Elden Ring and Horizon Zero Dawn, playable on VR headsets. However, Take-Two is now demanding he take down all copyrighted works from his Patreon.
Ross argues that, because he’s only selling original mods – and not the games themselves – and the mods aren’t built using Take-Two’s software, he isn’t hosting any such copyrighted materials. He also points out that all of his mods require the purchaser to buy and own a copy of the game before they’ll work.
Although he adds that he isn’t selling or hosting anything that exploits or repurposes the original IP, Ross says he “honors and respects copyright” and will agree to take down “anything even remotely related to any product made or distributed by Take-Two.”
Unless Rockstar responds to Ross’s request for clarification, “that means that all posts, images, guides, recommendations, tutorials and above all my VR mods for GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Mafia: Definitive Edition, Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Mafia III: Definitive Edition will be taken down and will no longer be accessible to download.”
Ross insists that he has no plan to cross legal swords with Take-Two, but argues that it would be “extremely anti-customer and anti-gamer” if they were to demand that all of his mods related to the publisher’s IP are deleted. “If what they want is to assert their corporate dominance with gamers’ interests as collateral damage, I have no power to stop them,” Ross says.
As for what Take-Two’s long game, it’s unclear why it’s randomly taking down VR mods when they’ve been out for a few years now. The likely assumption is that they just want to open up the possibility of GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 VR, but its action today could be the result of any number of internal affairs.
We’ve reached out to Take-Two for comment and will update this article if we hear back.
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