Rockstar/TakeTwo again in ‘rage mode’ : Copyright strikes

Hardly any other studio is as quick to pull out the copyright hammer as Rockstar (or Take-Two). Now even a former developer of the GTA series had to take a virtual beating.

Rockstar is pretty sensitive when even the hint of copyright infringement sails through the room. Mike Dailly, of all people, one of the creators of the GTA series, got to feel that. At the time, Dailly was one of the founders of DMA Design, which brought GTA to life in the first place and was bought up by Rockstar in 1998 and renamed Rockstar North. Among other things, Dailly developed the first graphics engine on which to play GTA.

Dailly had the “dumb” idea of posting a few videos of GTA prototypes on YouTube and posting on Twitter a link to a 25-year-old design document for GTA 2. Two videos were renderings of prototype graphic styles Dailly developed in the early 1990s. One was a rotating, isometric prototype, the other a top-down prototype, both of streets and buildings. The third was footage from an old beta version of Grand Theft Auto.

The age of the video content didn’t stop Rockstar from having the videos taken down, citing copyright infringement. Dailly is understandably not amused by this: “Developers should always be able to show their work, especially if it’s 28 years old!”

It’s pretty incomprehensible what legitimate business or copyright interest Take-Two might have here. Those interested in video game history are basically the ones most harmed by the removal of the videos and design documents. It’s also incomprehensible because Dailly’s YouTube account had only a handful of followers and the videos had only a few hundred views.

Our opinion about the strike

We think it’s pretty ridiculous for such a big studio like Rockstar Games is – to copyright-strike people who just want to entertain – and not make money off the game. Rockstar should focus on creating GTA VI and not striking people!

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