Final Friday, we launched you to Luke Ross: a modder who now makes $20,000 a month on Patreon bringing huge video games like Grand Theft Auto V and Purple Useless Redemption 2 to digital actuality. However the writer of these video games, Take-Two Interactive, was apparently not amused — and Patreon is now threatening to droop his account until he performs ball with a DMCA takedown.

What does Take-Two need him to do? That’s not truly clear, however it’s wanting like Ross will probably be compelled to take away his VR mods anyhow.

Right here’s a replica of the message Ross says he obtained from Patreon on Wednesday morning, as supplied to The Verge:

Richard (Patreon)

Jul 6, 2022, 8:54 AM PDT

Hi there,

My title is Richard, and I’m contacting you from the Patreon Belief & Security crew

We not too long ago obtained a copyright declare for works you’re making out there on Patreon. Particularly, the declare comes from Take-Two Interactive Software program, Inc., guardian firm of Rockstar Video games, Inc. and 2K Video games, Inc., who owns the rights to Grand Theft Auto, Purple Useless Redemption 2, and Mafia Definitive Version being utilized in your posts on Patreon.

We ask that you just take away all copyrighted works out of your Patreon web page. If you’re unable to take away these works in a well timed method, or if we’ve got bother figuring out the extent of the potential infringement in your web page, we might droop your account or the posts in query till all claimed supplies have been eliminated.

For extra particulars concerning what you are able to do whenever you obtain a DMCA towards your web page, you’ll be able to go right here:

Please observe that even within the even that you just file a counter-notice, you’ll nonetheless must take away the claimed content material out of your web page.

Thanks prematurely for understanding and for addressing this declare. Please let me know if in case you have any questions or issues.

Patreon Belief & Security

Monday – Friday

9am – 6pm PST

As you’ll be able to see, there’s not a variety of room to barter there. Patreon clearly states Ross has to take away “all copyrighted works” even when he appeals. And based on Patreon’s DMCA FAQ web page, he’s solely obtained 48 hours to conform, though Ross tells us he wasn’t truly supplied with a replica of Take-Two’s DMCA takedown request and doesn’t know what they’re asking him to take away.

What’s a modder to do? In a public weblog submit, Ross says he doesn’t consider he’s truly internet hosting any copyrighted materials. “[N]one in all my modifications are constructed utilizing software program belonging to Take-Two Interactive Software program, Inc, and the modifications will not be supposed to interchange their video games, nor are they a method of exploiting Take-Two Interactive Software program, Inc’s proprietary IP or property.” It’s a must to purchase the unique sport for them to work.

However the “they’re simply mods” argument hasn’t stopped Take-Two earlier than. There was wave after wave of GTA V modding crackdowns, and the corporate’s even filed a lawsuit when a DMCA takedown wasn’t scary sufficient. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick even defended the corporate’s conduct in a 2021 earnings name, attempting to elucidate that Take-Two doesn’t essentially hate mods. “That mentioned, if the financial system is threatened, or if there’s unhealthy conduct, and we all know the best way to outline that, then we’d challenge a takedown discover,” he mentioned. Again then, it appeared just like the mod crackdown was clearing the best way for remastered Grand Theft Auto video games; we haven’t heard about an official GTA V VR mode, however it’s true that San Andreas is coming to VR. It’s potential Take-Two believes Ross’s mods will dry out demand for official VR titles.

Take-Two didn’t reply to our request for remark.

As a result of he’s on Patreon, Ross doesn’t have a variety of choices, and he believes he’ll possible be compelled to take down each final point out of Rockstar’s video games from the positioning even when Take-Two doesn’t clarify itself one bit. Right here’s how his submit ends:

“[I]f left at nighttime I can solely err on the aspect of warning, and I can’t threat different video games being concerned within the purge in case Patreon elects to close down my web page. That signifies that all posts, photos, guides, suggestions, tutorials and above all my VR mods for GTA V, Purple Useless Redemption 2, Mafia: Definitive Version, Mafia II: Definitive Version, Mafia III: Definitive Version will probably be taken down and can now not be accessible to obtain.

I refuse to consider that’s what Take-Two Interactive Software program, Inc. needs, as a result of that will be an especially anti-customer and anti-gamer transfer on their half. However I’m not getting in a authorized battle with them. If what they need is to claim their company dominance with avid gamers’ pursuits as collateral harm, I’ve no energy to cease them.

Patreon spokesperson Ellen Satterwhite tells The Verge that the corporate will certainly attain out to Take-Two for more information about what’s truly being claimed and has supplied to attach each events on to clear issues up. “We very a lot hope direct communication between the events will probably be productive,” reads a part of an announcement to The Verge. Ross plans to attempt that.

We’ve requested Patreon whether or not the 48-hour time restrict continues to be in impact or if Ross can wait till Take-Two makes its calls for clear earlier than he cleans home.

Ross tells me he doesn’t remorse doing the Verge interview, though it’d spell catastrophe for his Patreon. He says: “Within the battle to unfold the message that it’s solely the studios’ and publishers’ will (or lack thereof) that stops AAA video games from being ported to VR, that is in all probability a tragic however mandatory step.”

You may learn extra about that supposed battle in our unique story.

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