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Reverse-Engineered GTA 3 and Vice City Fan Project Back Online

The fanmade reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City project is back online after a DMCA claim by Take-Two Interactive in February.
The fanmade reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City project is back online after a DMCA claim by Take-Two Interactive in February. / Rockstar Games

The fanmade reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City project is back online after a DMCA claim by Take-Two Interactive in February.

The fan-created source code for both Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City was originally posted on the code-sharing site, GitHub. As a result, fans banded together to create several pieces of inspired content from new mods to next-generation console ports.

Unfortunately, the project leader, aap, was served with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice from Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, shortly afterward. The notice demanded the code be "removed immediately," according to Eurogamer.

After a brief period of time offline, the code is officially back up on GitHub thanks to a dispute by the project team.

Reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City Fan Project Back Online

The team filed their counterclaim against Rockstar on June 10 as falling under fair use. With no response from the company, GitHub has since restored the code to its site—as per its policy.

"The code in this repo was developed by reverse engineering object code that is not contained in this repo," the claim reads, "We believe that any code in this repo that is similar to code or other content owned by Take-Two is either unprotected by copyright or is permitted under fair use."

Originally, aap wasn't sure if the notice was real or not. The code was automatically taken off GitHub in late February 2021 and the team was worried given Rockstar's aggressive history against similar projects. Now, it seems that he and his team are confident in their rights to their publication.

Aap claimed that the GitHub listing containing the code discouraged illicit commercial behavior or piracy. It should only be used for educational or modification design. As for the outcome of the claim,
the presence of a similar Nintendo-based project seemed to be a good omen for the future.

Take-Two Interactive has yet to respond to the counterclaim or issue a statement regarding the situation at the time of writing.