For the past week, GTA V modding has been a hot topic in the news with some mods being deemed illegal with the modding community feeling the heat from the Take-Two legal team. Rockstar has been keeping out of the arguments in general but today they have decided to clarify their policy on single player mods.
Their FAQ has been updated with the following entry:
Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games. After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project. This is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization of any third-party project. Take-Two reserves the right to object to any third-party project, or to revise, revoke and/or withdraw this statement at any time in their own discretion. This statement does not constitute a waiver of any rights that Take-Two may have with respect to third-party projects.
The update sounds straightforward but it’s very wooly with Take-Two still able to object to any third-party project they think violates any of the above. This update from Rockstar has likely been posted to take any heat off the developer.
It’s really a non-statement and clarifies little if anyone who is thinking about creating a mod in the future. There would be no stopping Take-Two sending out cease and desist letters to modders who have spent countless hours on a project only to find Take-Two objecting to something.
Events of the last week have soured the relationship between Rockstar and the GTA community and it’s unlikely to improve unless Take-Two start being upfront and more specific about what they deem to be right or wrong. Modders are more than aware that tinkering with anything that would effect GTA Online is against the rules, but then there’s the OpenIV cease and desist from Take-Two to think about.
This GTA V debate is likely to continue for weeks to come, and with any luck, the OpenIV cease and desist will be rolled back.