The reverse-engineered source code for PC versions of Grand Theft Auto III (GTA III) and Vice City games went back online months after it was originally released. Following this development, GitHub quickly removed the source code due to Take-Two’s DMCA request.
TorrentFreak shares that the code, published by Theo, a New Zealand-based developer, is a restored version of the project, which was presented as seemingly identical to the original form 2002. Although the original GitHub sender did not object to take-two being taken off the original air, Theo countersuit, saying it “contains no code from Take-Two” to restore a copy of the project.
A generally compiled reverse engineering source code is more simply illegal than, for example, breaking a game’s DRM for piracy purposes. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, on the other hand, contains certain fair use exceptions that may allow such compilation parsing for research or interoperability purposes.
In the case of Grand Theft Auto, the game’s End User License Agreement specifically asks players to agree to “fully or partially reverse engineer, source, disassemble, prepare or otherwise modify derivative works based on the Software.”
Theo tells TorrentFreak that regardless of the legal status of the code, he believes Take-Two’s claim is completely false, that the code may be functionally the same, but that they do not claim any rights to the code because it is not the same. That’s why Theo filed a DMCA counteract requesting that the affected code be respawned within 10 to 14 days. GitHub followed DMCA guidelines and republished the code 9 days before making a final decision on the merits of both claims.
It is therefore not known whether Take-Two will take legal action for the broadcaster to remove the code again. Currently, fans with technical know-how will be able to enjoy improvements in addition to reverse engineering code such as bug fixes, reduced load times, improved processing, widescreen monitor support, and a free-floating camera system.