Take-Two's legal team has been quite busy this year.
Not only did Lindsay Lohan's pathetic bid to rake in damages over alleged use of her likeness only recently end, but the legal row surrounding Leslie Benzies' less than amicable departure still drags on.
However, the parent company of Grand Theft Auto 5's developer doesn't only take lawsuits - it can dish them out as well. Together with Rockstar themselves, they also taking the issue of hacking in GTA Online very seriously.
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Over the course of the game's lifetime, its various hacking problems have caused several large fallouts, and if we look at all the active years of GTA Online, hacking likely is one of the most discussed topics. Used interchangeably but erroneously with modding, and also single player cheat codes, the last-gen consoles and PC remain susceptible.
In its long battle against hacking, Rockstar has shut down single player mods on the PC several times only to re-enable them after doing so did nothing against Online cheaters, and at one time their new anti-cheat system outright broke the game. After a while, it seemed like no anti-cheat was good enough, so instead they changed their banning policy to a rather Draconian no-tolerance scheme.
Hacking in GTA Online is still fairly common, but things have been reined in recently. Ever since character transfers between the last-gen and current-gen consoles were ceased, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are completely cheat and hack-free, and while there are still instances on PC, things are hardly as severe as they were around 2016 and early 2017.
However, this doesn't mean Rockstar is going to start easing up - if anything, recent news about an Australian GTA Online hacker being sued by Take-Two shows that the company intends to surrender no ground gained. This story doubles as a cautionary tale proving that you need to be mighty careful about what you put out online, because anything compromising will be tracked down.
The story begins in 2014. An individual known online as "Chr0m3 x MoDz", later identified as Jeremy Taylor, was developing and spreading GTA Online mod menus and hacks that allowed him and other users to alter and affect the gameplay experiences of other players.
It's the usual fare of spawning props, insta-killing, teleporting, etc. Take-Two and Taylor entered into an agreement in 2014 that legally bound Taylor, prohibiting him from altering the game.
[Taylor may not] assist in any way in the development or alterations used in connection with any game developed or owned by the First Applicant, including but not limited to writing code, examining data packets and information exchanged between game users and servers, or exchanges between game users and copyright protection and access control devices
However, in February this year Take-Two discovered a recording where Taylor's voice (allegedly) states that he returned to hacking GTA Online after a one-year hiatus, but now simply works secretly, having other individuals take credit for his mods and cheats.
This is in clear violation of the agreement, and Take-Two has moved in to sue. Court documents include a transcript of the conversation.
Take-Two is seeking a more formal and enforceable ban against Taylor's hacking activities, as well as damages and the coverage of legal costs.
We'll update this story as more details come in.