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R.I.P. GTA modding scene; OpenIV shut down after cease and desist from Take Two

Photo: GTA Inside

If you’re a GTA 4 or GTA 5 modder, you should be familiar with an add-on called OpenIV. It’s one of the backbones of the GTA and Max Payne 3 modding community.

According to the authors, Take Two sent them a cease and desist letter, claiming that their work “allow[s] third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two’s rights”.

The team’s lead developer, GooD-NTS, stated that after careful deliberation, they will oblige and discontinue work on their editing platform.

“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.”

He also gave a run down of the time line of events, which is as follows:

1 – At May 19th, 2017, I received an email from the legal counsel for Take Two Interactive in the USA. In this email they has requested to stop immediately any further work and/or distribution of OpenIV and “Liberty City in GTAV” projects.

2 – In belief, that we did not violate any laws, I asked them to provide more detailed information about their request. They agreed to provide details by email.

3 – On June 5th, 2017, after two weeks of silence, I got C&D letter from lawyers company (legal representative of Take Two in Russia), both in electronic and paper form, to my employer address. This C&D accuses me in Russian laws violations.

4 – After many heavy thoughts, we had decided to agree with their claims. We did not make it easily; it is very hard decision for us.

Take Two is claiming that mods like these allow for rogue developers to introduce malicious code into the game, affecting those playing in the GTA Online world.

“Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single player mods. Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”

Even though Take Two is claiming that mods like these compromise player safety, others are speculating that the company is getting greedy and aren’t too happy that players are finding ways around some of their micro-transaction purchases.

There is a petition on Change.org with almost 15,000 signatures at the time of writing this post, but we doubt that’s going to have any effect.

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