VR modder Luke Ross announced to his vast Patreon community to have received a DMCA takedown notice from Take-Two regarding his Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto, and Mafia: Definitive Edition VR mods.
He is now attempting to reach out to Take-Two for clarification. However, he will be forced to take down the mods unless Take-Two somehow relents.
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.
They are demanding that I remove all their copyrighted works from my Patreon page.
I immediately asked for clarifications, since it is my belief that I'm not hosting any such materials. As you all know, I do create and distribute original modifications for those games, i.e., original pieces of software of my own creation that allow users to experience those games in a different and hopefully more intense and profound way. However, none of my modifications are built using software belonging to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc, and the modifications are not intended to replace their games, nor are they a means of exploiting Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc's proprietary IP or assets. All of my modifications require that users buy and own the games before they can add my modifications.
I have no experience with DMCA notices, so I don't know whether it will actually be possible to obtain such clarifications and to understand what materials specifically Take-Two believe to be in violation of their rights. To prevent unrelated discussions, please note that this was filed as a copyright issue and not a licensing issue, so the motivation for the request does not appear to be related to the fact that there is money involved.
I'm publishing this post first and foremost to keep you appraised of the situation, and secondarily to ask you for help in case any of you knows what channels I might use in order to get a better understanding of what Take-Two wants.
As I publicly stated many times, I honor and respect copyright and my intention has always been to allow gamers to experience the wonderful worlds created by Rockstar and 2K (among other companies) in VR, which only translates to more customer satisfaction and more copies sold for them. I don't sell or host anything exploiting or repurposing their original IP and assets and my mods only work if the user already owns a legal copy of their original games.
That said, if I get no clarifications from them allowing me to determine what they want removed, I will of course be forced to take down anything even remotely related to any product made or distributed by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., Rockstar Games, Inc. and 2K Games, Inc.
Luke Ross has been making VR mods for quite some time, and his works based on Take-Two titles are nothing new. The Red Dead Redemption 2 mod launched well over a year ago, for instance.
However, Ross was recently featured in an interview with The Verge that sports the following headline: Meet the modder making $20,000 a month bringing the biggest games to VR. That might have drawn unwanted attention to his modding work.
Take-Two's penchant for takedown notices is well-known. Less than a year ago, they took down a bunch of enhancement mods for older Grand Theft Auto games as they prepared to announce Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition (whose reception was so bad Rockstar decided to stop working on Red Dead Redemption and GTA IV remasters, at least until GTA VI is launched). Chances are Take-Two is about to do some VR ports and indeed, they already announced Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Oculus Quest 2 in late 2021. It's possible GTA V and/or RDR2 are getting the VR treatment soon.
We'll keep you updated on the outcome of this takedown notice. As hinted above, though, Luke Ross will eventually comply if need be to save his other VR mods (such as Elden Ring's), which should be safe for now.