Modders Say Rockstar Banned Them For Making Alternative To GTA Online

Modders Say Rockstar Banned Them For Making Alternative To GTA Online

Dissatisfied with the gameplay of the PC version of GTA Online, a group of modders built a service that let them host custom multiplayer variants. Now, they're finding themselves permanently blocked from playing Grand Theft Auto V and other games published by GTA maker Rockstar.

A small cohort of PC players didn't like the online experience they were getting with the vanilla version of GTA Online. So they made something different, a mod that lets players connect via dedicated servers. In the words of its creators, FiveM is a "a planned multiplayer modification for Grand Theft Auto V which, much in the lines of popular modifications in the past, offers an advanced multiplayer environment for people to play on dedicated servers with user-made game modes." Here's how it looked back in May:

Over on the Grand Theft Auto V PC sub-Reddit, user qaisjp recounts how he and other GTA V PC players have had their Rockstar Social Club accounts banned, presumably because of their affiliation with FiveM:

It seems that NTAuthority and TheDeadlyDutchi were also banned. Dutchi has used mods before (but a very long time ago) and (as far as I know) NTA has never used single player mods (besides creating FiveM, of course). I found this out today, not too long before I started writing this post.   I am not a developer of FiveM, I am just the mere moderator of the subreddit, but yes, I have some sort of affiliation with the mod. I was sceptical that we were banned (screenshot) for being contributors (in some way) to the FiveM project.   NTAuthority and TheDeadlyDutchi was banned on Thursday as well... surprise surprise. I asked Dutchi what time he got the email... 1:52am. We were banned within two minutes of each other. It was certainly a manual ban. This completely rules out the possibility that I was banned for single player mods - the good news is that Rockstar doesn't seem to be banning people for just using single player mods. The bad news is that Rockstar is trying to stifle the modding community.

PC players need to log into Rockstar Social Club to play any part of GTA V, so qaisjp and the other users have effectively been barred from accessing that game, as well as any others linked to those Social Club accounts.

When Grand Theft Auto V's PC version came out a few months ago, Rockstar Games came out broadly in support of single-player mods and stated that they didn't want modders to screw with the game's online component:

We have always appreciated the creative efforts of the PC modding community and we still fondly remember the awesome zombie invasion mod and original GTA map mod for GTAIV PC among many other classics. To be clear, the modding policy in our licence has not changed and is the same as for GTAIV. Recent updates to GTAV PC had an unintended effect of making unplayable certain single player modifications. This was not intentional, no one has been banned for using single player modifications, and you should not worry about being banned or being relegated to the cheater pool just for using single player PC mods. Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing.

Many of the angrier posters in the Reddit thread say that there's a disconnect between Rockstar's previous statement and current policing action because FiveM doesn't connect to or interact with GTA Online. Kotaku has contacted Rockstar for comment on this story and will update this post if they respond.


Comments

    It's pretty simple really. They make it super clear.

    Mod GTA V.
    Do not mod GTA Online or make a seperate service.

    Why would they allow a seperate service for their game to exist?

    People that want to mod the multiplayer experience will have to wait years until R* move on to other games.

      Where have they made it clear about "do not make a separate service"? It's not mentioned in that Rockstar statement, which is hilariously broad, not clear at all.

        Sure they don't mention it. It's still blindingly obvious that goes against the model of the game they put out 2 years ago.

          and you are missing the point. its a game, not life, we should be able to play it the way we want, and when rockstar wouldnt let us use mods the modders went and made their own servers to use mods, so normal players would never run into modders. gta 5 is insanely fun to play online with mods, i only play with mods with my mate, and all myself and most other wanted was complete freedom. think of GTA 5 as turning into the next Garrys Mod, if rockstar just stop being greedy and money hungry we might get it.

            You're missing the point. It's a service, and rockstar own and opperate it. How they want.

            No, you are missing the point.

            R* has never supported mods.....ever. This knowledge was well known before the PC release of GTAV.
            R* was forced to make it clear to people months ago when people started modding the game and the first round of bans started.

            Rather than approaching R* through official channels and beginning a dialogue with them, people continue to break the rules and then cry after the fact.

            These guys knew what they were doing, they were warned by others multiple times.

              Official channels?! That's funny!

              "Hey Rockstar, can we get a simple separate dedicated server experience?"
              "No."
              "oh.... ok then..."

                Exactly.....I don't get what you are trying to say.

                I would support a group that at least tried to generate objective debate on the subject and created actual dialogue between modders and R*. no matter the end.

                I'm not going to ignore the last 2 years of the games history and support people who burnt just about every avenue they had to knowingly poke the bear.

          I don't see it as remotely suggested, let alone blindingly obvious. Right now it's looking like Rockstar want to make sure people play vanilla GTA Online and nothing else, which would be fine if they said "Don't mod GTA Online in any way, shape or form or we'll ban you" but as far as I am aware they haven't.

            They have, there was even a huge story here about it. It is no secret to anyone modding GTAV at this stage that GTAO is off limits.
            Also, dedicated servers were stopped back on console days, people got banned then as well, this isn't any different because it's PC.
            The terms and conditions also cover it

            Here is the one of many original statements/answers
            "We have always appreciated the creative efforts of the PC modding community and we still fondly remember the awesome zombie invasion mod and original GTA map mod for GTAIV PC among many other classics. To be clear, the modding policy in our license has not changed and is the same as for GTAIV. Recent updates to GTAV PC had an unintended effect of making unplayable certain single player modifications. This was not intentional, no one has been banned for using single player modifications, and you should not worry about being banned or being relegated to the cheater pool just for using single player PC mods. Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing. It also bears mentioning that because game mods are by definition unauthorized, they may be broken by technical updates, cause instability, or affect your game in other unforeseen ways."

            Last edited 11/08/15 10:50 am

              That doesn't say "Don't mod GTAO or we'll ban you" it says "don't screw over other people or we'll ban you", which I absolutely support. It then mentions they don't officially support modding, not that modding in any way means a ban.

              If there's another source of official info you can share with me where Rockstar explicitly states that any GTAO mods will get you banned, I'm more than happy to read it :)

                I think it's fairly clear and as mentioned this is one of many statements on the matter.
                Here is another one:
                "As a reminder, any attempt to tamper with the behavior of GTA Online by installing or executing mods, scripts, or other exploits, modifying the game files or manipulating the game in any way while it is executing will result in disciplinary action including but not limited to time in the cheater pool, bans and potential suspension of your account. Please help maintain the integrity of the GTA Online experience by keeping sessions free of modifications and exploits."

                I'm not going to play google for you just so you can spend the day ignoring what is common knowledge when it comes to modding GTAV.

                Single player fine, online no

                  It's also apparently fairly common knowledge that vaccines cause autism and chemtrails are killing us all...or...mind control, or something.

                  If you had the time to find and grab that quote, couldn't you have shared a link to it with me?

                  That quote doesn't saw anything about not running a server separately from GTAO, just "keep sessions free of modifications and exploits."

                  @Rize are you going for the award of 'worst strawman argument ever'?

            They put microtrans in their service to fund the continued running costs of their servers. That's why they want to keep people in the vanilla GTA Online.

            I agree though that they should just blatantly say words to the same effect (if not your wording!). Tbh I didnt find it to hard to understand what they mean.

            Last edited 11/08/15 1:45 pm

              I get the impression that the credit cards are a big part of why they don't like mods. Personally I think it's a bit shit, but even if I don't agree with it I can understand that stance.

                Exactly. I'm not saying I like it... its just the way it is.

              They need microtransactions money to run their servers!
              HAHA, where did all that record-breaking $2 Billion worth of sales go.

                I never said "need".

                  Yeah true. I'm just overly cynical of the ole' "need money to run servers" excuse for charging microtransactions (which weren't even a thing like 15 years ago.

            Some of you cannot be that clueless or entitled. If so, then wow.

            Rockstar is allowing Modding in singleplayer, Rockstar encourages it in fact.
            But Rockstar have stated they don't want modding in anyother part of GTA5(GTA Online).

            The fact still stands, if you are Modding on Dedicated Servers(Which is still a part of GTA Online), then you pose a risk to the Open GTA Servers where other people play fairly.
            Simple as that. If you can mod on Dedicated servers, then you can most likely find a way to mod on open servers.

            The people being banned are being entitled little shits, playing dumb.
            If they didn't know that modding on Dedicated servers was against the rules, then they deserve to be banned.

              No one else is being hostile. Why did you feel it was necessary?

              If Rockstar's stance is that absolutely not mods are to touch GTAO or the player will be banned, regardless of what the mods do, then whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant. What I am asking, though, is some evidence of their stance on this.

              I'm not saying I don't believe anyone who is claiming that this is the case, I would just like to see where this info came from.

                Here is a link
                http://m.au.ign.com/articles/2015/05/07/grand-theft-auto-5-pc-mods-get-seal-of-approval-from-rockstar-games

                Took my literally 3 seconds to find on google.

                99.9% of online games DO NOT allow modding. It has been that way for a very very long time. A lack of commonsense is not an excuse.

                But it does seem like you are saying you don't believe anyone.
                Kotaku posted a comment from Rockstar games in this article with a link to Rockstar games website with the same information about Online Modding, but you still don't believe it, or you just didn't read the article.
                Others are supplying comments made by Rockstar games, and your still saying you don't believe them.

                My hostility comes from being sick and tired of hearing people defend modders.
                But I have more hostility towards the modders who ruin the experience of millions around the world.

                The way your defending these modders, I would not be surprised if your a modder youself, still active or banned.

                  Wrote up a proper reply, but Kotaku ate it so I'll just point out quickly that modding does not mean "cheating". A mod that adds insane jumps on an area of the map, or that gives everyone on the server unlimited parachutes is not "giving players an unfair advantage, disrupting gameplay, or cause griefing.". And no, I don't cheat in multi games, though I do love messing with cheats in solo games!

                  Hopefully you have an easy afternoon and get a chance to wind down a little :)

                  Mods are not cheats. Once you realise this you'll find a much bigger pool of multiplayer games allow it.

                  See: many games using GoldSRC and Source engines, Unreal engines, Unity driven games. RTS games like Starcraft and Dawn of War.
                  DoTA was a custom mode for Warcraft 3
                  Desert Combat was a custom mode for Battlefield 1942
                  Counter-Strike was a mod for HL2

                  Even GTA had MODDED in multiplayer modes before GTA IV.

                How about you just admit your wrong.
                Tampering with GTA Online files is not allowed. You need to accept that and move on.

        Read your terms of use

          If you mean the EULA, I did. It contradicts their statement that you can mod for solo play, and also says user created content is fine but the licence for said content is owned by Rockstar.

        Based on the outcome of the bnetd case a while back, even if the EULA didn't explicitly prohibit it, it'd still fall foul of the anti-circumvention provision in the DMCA. The official online service performs anti-piracy checks (eg. CD key check) that the unofficial service can't do, which means the unofficial service provides a way for pirated copies to play when they otherwise couldn't.

          Definitely a good point, but I feel like it just highlights that Rockstar is taking the wrong approach to the situation. If they gave modders the ability to run their stuff after RSSC authentication you could rightly block pirated copies, and maintain a degree of control over mods without stifling them.

          I'm not sure that holds water if these players are able to be banned in the first place... obviously the copyright checks are taking place at a level that isn't being circumvented if bans are preventing them from using the service.

            The anti-piracy check is done at least twice: once when you start the game, and again when you join a multiplayer session. It's just one example though, there are other parts of the bnetd ruling that likely apply here as well.

      FiveM is technically a single player mod. It adds multiplayer functionality to GTA V's single player component.

        Really? There is no modified files from online in the mod at all?

        Thing is the modders knew it wasn't gonna fly, no matter how they play the wounded animal.

        Last edited 11/08/15 1:10 pm

        @justice
        FiveM uses Dedicated servers, which is still apart of the GTA Online services, which means modified files.

        There is a reason why Dedicated servers were disabled on consoles.

        Like Namiwakiru said, the modders knew what they were doing was wrong. They simply used dedicated servers, hoping to steer clear of Rockstar games catching them.

      Why would they allow a seperate service for their game to exist?

      because they're not my mother.

        I'm not sure there is a point to this comment or not....

          Well it's a retort. The question is a rhetorical about why a developer/publisher would abdicate control over how people play their games, and the answer was that they wouldn't. However a games company isn't a stereotypical authority figure like a parent would be to a child so they get deserve no obedience.

          Of course I've had to explain it so now it's a terrible comment yeah.

      Does anyone know yet if you can Mod single player, then go online without issue? to be safe I remove any mod files before going online. I just want to know if I can stop doing that now. I have no interest in modding online.

      "A seperate service that we don't have to pay for and helps convince people to buy our game".

    I just wish they'd let you play the game offline. I'm moving house so am temporarily without internet, so I'm unable to even play the game in single player.

      I feel you. We moved out of our rental in Feb and have been without fixed line net since, as the house we built is fibre ready. It's been a nightmare trying to get the NBN to acknowledge our existance. With repeated small develompent claims and missing address reports and still nothing to show of it, I've had to use my phone as a hot spot for the consoles and to USB tether it to the pcs just to do my regular gaming. No patching or downloads though. Ive missed so many games and my phone bills are astronomical, even though I pre-buy data at their gouging prices. I looked in WDSL and found that no-one would service us as we are in a valley with supposedly no service. My phone says otherwise (30 down and 16ish up), but its been an expensive nightmare waiting on the nbn.

      Last edited 11/08/15 9:44 am

      Always-online DRM is one of the biggest piles of horseshit the gaming industry has come up with so far.

      I'm not sure how well it works but the RSSC does/did have an offline mode once you have signed in at least once.

      Really? Damn it! I'm in a rental with no phone line (landlord thinks we should trench it in) and downloaded GTA last time I was at my Mum's place.

      I agree with verification DRM but online-DRM is bullshit.

    Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing.

    I see... having dedicated servers where you only play with your friends would definitely give those players an unfair advantage when it comes to their online experience compared to everyone else.

      While I get that you're saying that these guys and their mod have nothing to do with the GTA Online service, it's still a competing service and it's still R*s game to do with as they will. That's R*s attitude for this game, like it or lump it.

        (Or option 3: pirate it. Fuck their attitude.)

          I'm not sure I really understand your perspective. What's wrong with Rockstar's attitude that they want to ensure the online game is played through their centralised service and not random third parties? Plenty of other games use the same model, from MMOs to games like League of Legends, it's a pretty standard operating model. Modding is certainly a perk of PC gaming, but it's never been a god-given entitlement.

            Flip it around. What's wrong with some players modding the game for their own shared use that doesn't impact the online service or other players on it?

            Leaving aside the fact that anything is an entitlement if you can enforce it (which is why piracy holds such strong sway at the moment)... My perspective is more of a lack of appreciation of their tight-fisted control over what they consider to be their property. Games as the living property of the developers rather than a product that you buy is an ongoing point of contention between gamers and developers (or publishers) still, even in the eyes of the law where first sale doctrine is still a legal game of cat and mouse as publishers try to avoid the spirit of the law when it says that even a licence for a game is a product which can be traded.

            What's wrong with Rockstar's attitude? My perspective is that Rockstar's attitude become unquestionably shitty when they decided to control what you do with their game when it doesn't affect them, or their online players. Their attitude became inexcusable when they decided to control what you can do with the game when it doesn't have anything left to do with them or anyone else, when it doesn't interfere with what they're trying to do. That is exactly what modding has always been about, and it's a great thing that has unquestionably enhanced the industry and the hobby of gaming both.

            Taking a game offline and doing what you like with it in your own backyard should still be protected.

            So yeah, I am firmly in favour of anyone doing anything that subverts the iron-fisted, joy-killing dictates of what can and can't be done with something offline that doesn't affect others.

              They're not stopping you modding the game though, they're only stopping you interfering with the multiplayer component, whether from the client-side or the server-side.

              Software and physical products are incomparable. Software has always been and will always be a license-based product. You'll never own software unless you make it yourself or the code is sold to you. The reasons are obvious; ownership grants full rights, including the ability to make copies, issue sublicenses and everything else that owners are permitted. That's not at all reasonable. Even in free open source software you don't own it unless you wrote it.

              If Rockstar's attitude that they have control over the software they wrote is offensive to you, then the entire industries of software, film, music and entertainment should also be offensive to you because they all operate on the same principles: the creator owns the work, you own a license to it. And to be blunt I don't think repeated hyperbole helps your argument at all.

              I generally agree with you on most issues or at least appreciate the perspective you're coming from but I think you're way off the mark on this one.

                f Rockstar's attitude that they have control over the software they wrote is offensive to you, then the entire industries of software, film, music and entertainment should also be offensive to you because they all operate on the same principles: the creator owns the work, you own a license to it.
                The various industries have recently (in the last 15-20yrs) been trying to get their way on the concept of music, software, film and books as 'licences' that they control, but their only success in this has been where they've behaved as if the law doesn't actually exist, which is why First Sale Doctrine laws - and their enforcement - are so important.

                This is why I'm always firmly against any instances where the industries decide that laws which protect consumer rights are inconvenient and collude to ensure that their game - which circumvents that law - is the only game in town. We've already seen plenty of high profile examples where the law has come knocking after industries which believe their EULAs trump consumer law, to remind them that actually no, it doesn't. They just happen to operate the storefronts that support their own view of how creative works should be treated.

                So yes, the entire industries' attitude is in fact offensive to me. The law has dictated in many places that the creator does NOT own the work, and us a licence, but that once you buy the work you own it. Hell, Copyright law's Fair Use protection is all about how you can manipulate that work, and it even goes to such an extent as to protect the actual making of profit off 'someone else's work' once it has been sufficiently manipulated and transformed; something that goes against the 'licences' that the industries would have you believe are inviolate. Copyright and Fair Use: another legal provision that creative industries are working VERY hard to undermine if not outright dismantle.

                Which, again, is something I find deeply offensive about the machinations of the creative industries. So yes. I'll argue that endlessly. Just because it's what the industry wants does not make it right, if even legal.

                (Edit: God only knows what these people think about libraries.)

                Last edited 11/08/15 11:38 am

                  First sale doctrine is a US-specific law and it has had exceptions covering music and software for over 30 years. Your view that the industries are trying to bend the laws to their will is certainly applicable in select cases (eg. Disney and copyright protection duration) but licensing isn't a new concept, it's been part of legal systems around the world since the 1400s and it's been applicable to things like musical performances for almost as long as there has been the ability to record them for later listening. Software has never existed as anything but licensed.

                  I agree with you that licensed products (whether it's DVDs, albums, software, etc.) should be transferrable and in most cases they are. Steam was a holdout in the software area for mostly technical and jurisdictional difficulties but EU laws forced them to settle on the best option available, even if it's not perfect.

                  There's never been an expectation that services can be transferred, and things like online accounts and online play are a service. To the best of my knowledge there is no law requiring or encouraging services to be transferrable, first sale doctrine applies explicitly to products.

                  What law do you think is being bent, broken or disregarded by Rockstar's actions here?

                To the best of my knowledge there is no law requiring or encouraging services to be transferrable, first sale doctrine applies explicitly to products.

                This is the basis of objection. I contend that the video game called GTA5 (especially its single-player component) is a product, not a service. European Law at least (and possibly US, though I'm less confident about that) contends the same thing. I'm going to emphasize product vs service here.

                The online is where things get murky. GTA:O specifically is a service? Why not, sure, let's go with that.
                But if the product is modified to not use the service, that's a modification to the product, not the service.

                So why is that blocked by an unrelated service (RSSC), which renders the product (GTA5) unusable?

                Because it uses the Rockstar Social Club service - this is, if not illegal, then unethical as a requirement to get around first sale doctrine by treating the game GTA5 itself as a service by making the RSSC a mandatory service to use the game. That's unnecessary, it's industry protectionism to erode the functionality of the 'game as a product' and tie it inextricably to the service.

                First Sale Doctrine relates to transferrability specifically and it's possible that RSSC allows unmodified transfer of accounts to facilitate that (unlikely, but irrelevant to the point here), but the underlying principle behind that is that the game is a product, not a service. Otherwise it wouldn't be transferrable, right? This has been ruled, it's done.

                Always-online DRM interferes with the practical mechanics around (and even concept of) the game as a product, because the DRM can be 'claimed' to be a service, AND is a requirement for using the product.

                It's not a perfect analogy, but it's like claiming that ice-cream is a product but the cone it comes in is a service, and they don't let you just buy the ice-cream and get it in a container that doesn't include a cone or something, or the container is a service as well, so functionally you can't actually get the ice-cream product without getting the container/cone service, binding you not to the protections of ice-cream as a product, but to the legal circumstances of cone/container as a service, which can be very different.

                It's fundamentally dishonest if not actually illegal; blatant machinations to get around the spirit of an underlying principle of a law they don't like. And if it's not illegal, it damn well should be, because it spits in the face of any laws which treat games as products. The industry wants to make them services, not products, and they're doing it by the back door.

                Last edited 11/08/15 12:13 pm

                  The core difference between a product you own and a license you're a participant of is the license limits what you can do, and you agree to that. Licenses are just contracts at the end of the day, and a useful comparison would be to a rental contract. If you buy a lawnmower you can do whatever you want with it - supercharge it, set it on fire, sell it, give it away, whatever you like. If you rent a lawnmower, you can't do any of those things because you're not the owner. The lawnmower is a product in both cases, but the difference is whether you're buying the product or buying a license to use the product.

                  Software follows the latter model and is basically a perpetual rental agreement. The EULA determines what you can and can't do with it (eg. your rental contract) and if you break that, you lose the right to use the product any more. You never owned the product itself, you only own the license.

                  And that's the way it should be. The product itself is the software. If you owned the software itself, you could do anything with it because all of the rights relating to non-physical property are tied to ownership. There may well be changes to the way that license operates, but it will never be the case that you own the product when it comes to software, music, films or any other non-physical item with value. It simply wouldn't work.

                  But like I said, it's not like the law can't change to find the right middle ground. What changes do you propose that would give consumers what you feel they lack while also preserving the essential rights of the developers, and also doesn't interfere with either party's ability to enter into more or less restrictive arrangements as they have the right to do?

                To follow your analogy, that's like saying that lawnmowers should be sold bundled with licences which limit what you can do with them, meaning you CAN'T do all the things you're normally free to do with a product (supercharge, set on fire, sell or give away) or you lose your right to use your lawnmower.

                That's what I object to. Software is a product which should be sold without the licence. The licence to use the RSSC or GTA:O should be kept completely and wholly separate from the ability to use the product itself (or the product modified to be taken online to a private network... ie: supercharged/set on fire.)

                The fact that there's a separation of types of product based on whether it comes with a mandatory licence is what's so fundamentally wrong with how software is treated. That is NOT how it should be. If I modify Microsoft Word to include functions which are not part of the release build and are not compliant with the single-user licence I hold, that should NOT lock down my copy of Word and restrict me from using it.

                Holding software products to be inextricable from their accompanying licences makes them functionally not products anymore. That's what needs to change in the law. The law already recognizes software as a product from the standpoint of being re-sellable. Even if that means you're re-selling the licence. It needs to go further to demand that the software be a functional product independent of its licence. It should not be a perpetual rental, that's what First Sale Doctrine directly contradicts. We need that underlying principle to be followed through to all other aspects which contradict the idea of software as a perpetual rental.

                Edit: To clarify, I think it's wrong that treating software as a product only insofar as how you can sell/transfer it, is fundamentally wrong and morally objectionable. I feel it should extend to being treated as a product in how you use it as well. People can complain about derivative works being created from that product and sold, or replicated for free, but the fact is that we already have copyright law for handling that. Mandatory licencing of a product for it to be functional is an industry short-cut which hasn't been appropriately challenged by the law.

                Last edited 11/08/15 12:45 pm

                  I don't know why you have difficulty with the notion that non-physical products must be treated differently to physical products. I already explained why it's not feasible to sell non-physical products without a license, because rights are tied to ownership. You haven't addressed that at all.

                I don't know why you have difficulty with the notion that non-physical products must be treated differently to physical products. I already explained why it's not feasible to sell non-physical products without a license, because rights are tied to ownership.

                Yeah, I think we're stuck here, too, because I do in fact have serious difficulty with the notion that non-physical products MUST be treated differently to physical products.

                I disagree with your assertion that they should be treated separately. Maybe that's because I'm not aware of some of the exploits that this would open up but as far as I am aware, independent of mandatory licences we have laws such as trademark, copyright and so forth that deal with what can be done commercially with someone else's intellectual property which would cover the instances of misappropriation that you seem to be inferring would take place.

                And there is a very, very, very big difference between mandatory inclusion of a licence which restricts what you can sell/claim as your own, as opposed to a licence which shuts down product function. So even if licencing IS a necessary evil (which I'm not convinced it is), I contend that there MUST be a separation between what impact that can have on the function of the product.

                  Assuming for simplicity sake that the issue of mandatory license inclusion is a given for these types of products, there isn't anything stopping licenses from being what you describe them right now. If the case you're making is more focused on the content of the license rather than whether it's an injustice for it to exist in the first place, then I can better understand where you're coming from.

                  That's not something the law really has any power to interfere with, though. It's the nature of the contract system that parties should be able to enter into any terms they like as long as it's not specifically against the law. Inhibiting that flexibility and freedom is something that western countries at least are extremely reluctant to do because it leads to excessive red tape and unnecessary government interference. Keep in mind that a contract is only valid if all involved parties agree, the customer always has the option to simply not buy it.

                  So I think this comes down to matters of personal threshold in the end. From your view, what Rockstar is asking for in the license is unreasonable. Ignorance of the terms aside, I'd say there's still a lot of people, if not the majority, that have no problem with those terms. Don't they have the right to enter that contract under terms they agree with if they want to? How is Rockstar being douchenuggets if each party involved is fine with the terms? Is it really unjust if everyone involved agrees, or is it just personal dissatisfaction?

              This.

              Can you imagine if Blizzard or Valve had clamped down on custom mods? Goodbye CS, Dota, LOL, HotS, plus the huge talent pool that opened up to games developers as a result of modders.

              I still have fond memories of BoredAussie - back in the day, you needed a unique CD key to access battlenet, and no cd key = no dota.... unless you accessed a custom service like BA, which would let you play just Dota without needing to buy the full version of WC3. For a broke uni student like me, it was a godsend.

                Blizzard did crack down on third party battle.net clones though, and it didn't do any harm to their games or the modding community. They're two separate issues.

                  I disagree. Having to purchase a full copy of WC3 (and once FT came out you needed that to play the later versions of the map) would have stopped many of my friends from playing. They weren't into RTS games (crazy, I know) but loved Dota, so having to fork out just to play the mod wasn't feasible.

                  To compare to your previous analogy, that's like having to rent a shed which contains heaps of stuff including a lawnmower. You just want to mow your lawn, but need to rent all the other crap in order to get to it.

                  But that's a past (and now irrelevant) example. For GTAV, I think the approach should be to embrace the modding community - I see no reason why there shouldn't exist a separate 'area' of the online community where modders can go nuts (much like WC3's custom game lobbies). Maybe something a la Diablo 1 where you have open and closed game modes, with mods permitted and denied respectively.

                  @cffndncr I'm not speaking in hypotheticals. Blizzard did crack down on battle.net clones and it didn't harm their games or the modding community.

                  If you were running pirated copies of Warcraft 3, Blizzard shutting down bnetd and the like had no effect on your relationship with them as a customer - you weren't one before, and weren't one after. It had no effect on real customers because they were customers before and still were after. I'd hazard a guess that the majority of people who played mods did so with legit accounts, given the difference in popularity between battle.net and the various clones.

                  The attitude a company has towards service knockoffs and the attitude it has towards modding are separate things. For the most part, one doesn't really affect the other.

                  Last edited 11/08/15 12:55 pm

              For what it is worth, the law is likely on the game developer/publisher's side with respect to mods. A game is a copyrighted work, and a mod is a derivative of that copyrighted work. Copyright law says that creating derivatives is an act reserved for the copyright holder. So in many cases the developer does have a legal right to prevent modifications.

              Of course, since there is no requirement to defend a copyright to keep it valid, the copyright holder doesn't need to pursue people producing mods that haven't been explicitly licensed to maintain their rights. This is the state mods for most games find themselves in, which has the potential for trouble if the developer changes their mind down the track (or gets bought).

                Yeah, god help us if copyright ever takes the same take trademark does where it has to be defended to be maintained.

                The best policy regarding mods is to ignore them or embrace them as they are, instead of trying to regulate. We've already seen the troubles that came around trying to pin down the modding butterfly with paid Skyrim mods. It's an unofficial industry which thrives because it's not beholden to the restrictions and obligations that legally-compliant, purchasable work is. Trying to bottle it kills it.

                Last edited 11/08/15 12:30 pm

                  I think paid mods are a step in the right direction, but Valve's implementation wasn't fully thought through. Imagine if you had a team of developers that could utilize AAA assets to build unique games... Sure, eventually someone in the community might have the time and inclination to do it for free, but allowing people to more easily make a living from it will result in cheaper games for consumers, more options for indy devs, and more revenue streams for AAA studios.

                  I fail to see the downside. Free modders can continue to offer them for free, and those that want to make a living from it are welcome to try.

                  If there were "defend it or lose it" provisions for copyright, I suspect we'd also see many more works in the public domain though. At present, you can abandon a work for decades and then stamp on any sites distributing the work when you decide to sell it again.

                  If there was a need to continuously defend a work, I'm sure many companies might conclude that it is cheaper to let a work enter the public domain early.

                  @jamesh If that were the case, running any small business or sole trader would be an absolute nightmare. It takes a lot of resources to defend your copyright on a global scale. A requirement like that would quickly result in consolidation and giants with deep pockets as the only real players, essentially what's happened with patents.

          Yeah, that's the kind of attitude that will see us all playing freemium mobile games with micro-transactions in the future....

            Or critical and financial success blockbusters like Skyrim and Fallout which actually embrace modding?

            Yeah. I DO want a future like that.

      Dedicated servers are still apart of GTA Online.
      If you Mod in Dedicated servers, it means you have obviously tampered with files for GTA Online, which means you have the ability to Mod on Open Servers.

      Also, dedicated servers are a known location for people to create mods and test them. Rockstar games priority is to protect the experience of Gamers playing fairly, not to protect the modders who ruin the experience for many.

        *For those only scrolling down: Mods are not cheats, even if they can be used as such. The people who want to play with mods are not necessarily the same people who want to ruin the game by cheating.*

        A dedicated server for a game runs a separate client of a multiplayer game. It would by rote, not contain even the same players who are joined other dedicated or p2p servers. Should a dedicated server shut-down with no backups, that multiplayer session disappears. So there is no mixing of players between user-made and official servers, no way to bring mods across them.

        Also as stated by the modders, it's currently an experimental build - they have no idea how well it's going to function and can make no guarantees. That's not the experience that Rockstar want their official servers to provide, so official servers are specially run and maintained; patched and checked and moderated for cheaters. Playing on one is not even comparable to the other.

        And even if you're right: these reports easily expose Rockstar to fair criticism of their implementation of GTAV's multiplayer functions. There's simply a lot wrong with banning customers who had to break their product in order to use it how they intended.

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