A group of modders behind reversed engineered versions of GTA III and GTA: Vice City has responded to a lawsuit by Take-Two. The team insists that their actions and works are protected under fair use and shouldn’t be punished by law.

The response was spotted by Torrent Freak on November 16. The modders behind the re3 and reVC projects claim that they didn’t infringe any copyright.

According to the document, while reverse engineering involves copying and using copyright-protected content to make it better, these actions don’t replace the original material.

The modders also noted that Take-Two stopped supporting GTA III and Vice City more than 15 years ago, as there no patches or bug fixes have been released since. So support was discontinued way before the team started to work on reVC and re3.

As the defendants pointed out, their reversed engineered projects are useless without the original titles. Take-Two recently pulled these games from online stores in the wake of the GTA: The Trilogy launch, so these fan-made projects couldn’t affect the publisher’s sales. And even if they did, people still had to own old GTAs to play re3 and reVC.

The team also insisted that their projects could have made more people buy the original games, so they can’t be punished for piracy.

The full document can be read here.

re3 and reVC came out earlier this year and allowed players to enjoy classic GTAs with upgraded visuals and some other changes. In September, Take-Two filed a lawsuit against the modders, accusing them of creating and distributing pirated copies of GTA III and Vice City. While the projects’ source code was available for free on GitHub, people still had to own original titles to use it.

Last week, Rockstar released remastered versions of classic GTAs. The definitive edition received negative reviews from players due to tons of bugs, glitches, and other issues. On top of that, the games were unavailable in Rockstar Games Launcher for three days, making a lot of users ask for refunds.

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