Take-Two dismisses lawsuit against Grand Theft Auto modders

Grand Theft Auto 3 Definitive Edition screenshot
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Take-Two Interactive has dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2021 against Grand Theft Auto modders over the reverse-engineered ports of Grand Theft Auto 3 and GTA: Vice City. 

The projects, known as re3 and reVC, were essentially pre-Definitive Edition updates aimed at getting the older GTA games running properly on modern hardware, with some bug fixes and new features like widescreen support. Take-Two originally had them removed from Github using a DMCA takedown notice, but they were restored after a counter-claim by the developers. Take-Two responded to that maneuver with a copyright infringement lawsuit, saying the mod makers "sought unlawfully to copy, adapt, and distribute to the public infringing source code" to Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City.

The lawsuit noted not only the allegedly infringing nature of the mods themselves, but also the actions that the named modders took to get around the DMCA takedown request: "In at least three separate instances between April and June of 2021, Defendants Orçunus, Morra, and Graber submitted sworn counter notifications to GitHub claiming the takedown of the repositories was mistaken or otherwise not legitimate. Take-Two is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that these counter notifications were made in bad faith, and knowingly and deliberately misrepresented to GitHub the contents of the re3 GitHub Repositories."

Not much happened after that, according to TorrentFreak, until December 2022, when both parties requested that materials in the discovery portion of the lawsuit be exempted from public disclosure because they were likely to contain confidential or proprietary information. Word of a potential settlement followed shortly thereafter, and then on April 3, after multiple delays, the request to dismiss the lawsuit was filed.

The suit was dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be re-filed, but it was only dismissed against the four named defendants: The lawsuit also named 10 John Does as defendants, and the filing noted specifically that "the remaining defendants are not dismissed by this stipulation." 

In an update filed the next day, however, Take-Two also dismissed the case against those defendants, but without prejudice, meaning it can re-file the action against them. One of the John Doe defendants is noted as "Ash R. and Ash_735," which is presumably Ash_735 on Twitter: They retweeted the settlement filing earlier this week.

Take-Two did not indicate whether a settlement was reached with the mod makers or why it dismissed the lawsuit, but it's possible that the release of officially updated versions of GTA3 and Vice City—despite the very rough shape they were in when they launched—have simply made it redundant. I've reached out to Take-Two for comment and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.