Sony's Stoppin' GTA: Vice City

Sony's Stoppin' GTA: Vice City

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Digital sales of GTA: Vice City came to a screeching halt thanks to copyright issues.

If you have fond memories of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and want to relive them, you may be out of luck - at least for now - as all digital sales have been suspended. Sony Music Entertainment has done for Tommy Vercetti, stopping his violent rampage cold with a copyright claim.

Rockstar wants to get the game back on Steam as soon as possible, but the fly in the ointment is Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Something" as heard on Fever 105 Radio. Sony doesn't appreciate its performer's talent being used to make cash for an entity other than Sony.

If you already bought this game via Steam, don't panic; your property won't be retroactively yanked from the server. However if you had thought to spend a few bucks on it for old time's sake, forget it. There's no telling when, or how, this one will get resolved; it seems unlikely that Rockstar'd pay Sony a significant sum to ransom what is, after all, a ten year old property, but presumably Sony will only accept cash on the barrel head for a dead man's tune.

Source: Gaming Blend

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Well that's sucky, Vice City was a real good GTA game. I hope Rockstar sorts this out and returns Vice City to the marketplace.

I've already got VC so i can play it still, i feel sorry for the few who didn't.

Sony owns MJ's songs now?
Well this sucks, but I guess that's just Human Nature for you.

It seems a bit late to be making an issue of this. The game's been out how many years now?

DVS BSTrD:
Sony owns MJ's songs now?

Jackson was a 50% owner of company with Sony that had his songs and the Beatles songs amongst many others. The company is known as Sony music publishing but Sony only own 50%, the other 50% is still owned by the Jackson estate.

Rockstar had the rights to use the songs back then, didn't they? I didn't think stuff like that went away, or can they just stop the sale of anything with their music in it?

Pretty shitty Sony.

According to Wikipedia, in 2006 Vice City held the title of best selling PS2 game of all time... And was one of Sony's big timed exclusives until it was later released on PC and XBOX.

For a game that probably generated them a ton of money, they're being pretty pedantic.

If this were about GTA V and they took an MJ song without asking or something, sure. But doing this over a game that's ten years old and about 99.9% of people who will ever play it have already bought it, it's kind of sad.

couldn't they just take it out?

Mcoffey:
Rockstar had the rights to use the songs back then, didn't they? I didn't think stuff like that went away, or can they just stop the sale of anything with their music in it?

Pretty shitty Sony.

You can license for as long or as short as you like. Buying the rights for 10 years is going to be a lot less than buying to rights until the end of copyright. My guess here is that Rockstar calculated that the sales of Vice City are going to next 0 in 10 years time, so they only bought the rights for 10 years. Its most probably the Jackson estate that is driving the issue rather than Sony itself, Jackson died with a lot debts.

Captcha

loud music

Damn. I was really looking forward to buying the GTA Complete Edition @ Xmas. Thanks Sony

Unless Sony legally/contractually is REQUIRED to do this so they can keep making a profit on MJ songs in other mediums, they should have let this one slide. The bad PR overrides any minuscule amount they'd make by denying this as-stated 10-year old game's distribution on Steam.

Really Sony? You wait until everyone else has pretty much forgotten that the game existed and THEN you say you want money from it? Ummmm okay........

I bought it on steam about a year ago just to replay it ( really liked it back on the PS2) And realized that sometimes nostalgia is best left as nostalgia.

If it makes you feel any better Sony, I never actually listened to that station.

Sounds like a minor/pedantic issue. Unless there was a problem with the way the song was being used (IIRC, "Wanna Be Startin' Something" was used for the game's original ad campaign was back when it was released), there's little reason to suddenly get up in arms about it. The song is such a small part of the game, comparatively speaking, that it makes little sense to complain so long after the fact.

Then again, judging from the news stories floating around now about how Sony is in deep financial trouble, maybe IP protection is the only thing they have left to bank on.

Also, I thought the rights to the music usage for III and VC were cleared back in August during that whole kerfuffle with the Playstation Network? Wasn't Sony working directly with Rockstar on that issue?

The problem is GTA III was just released on PS3 as an PS2 collection so I'll not be surprised if GTA Vice City was following suit. So preventing sales on the other systems and then releasing it on there system sounds like something Sony would do.

So what? where is the Problem? take out that song and continue selling it GTA VC. Nobody cares about Jacko anyway!

Well, that's kinda shitty. But luckily, I can still play the game.

For I still own the PS2 version. That no one can modify without my content.

Yes.

If they end up taking that song out of my already paid for game on Steam I'm gonna be mad.

cidbahamut:
It seems a bit late to be making an issue of this. The game's been out how many years now?

Sony are most likely preparing to launch the game on PsN and don't appreciate the competition.

I still own it on disc for Playstation 2.

So, if Sony Music Entertainment stops digital sales, does that mean the license for the MJ song was limited and ran out or did it otherwise go poof?

I'm not fond of piracy, but if there's one thing that pushes me in that direction it's bloody 'licensing issues' and other IP law asshattery.

You cripple the market, poop on your competitors, unleash hordes of hungry hungry lawyers and artificially limit availability of anything, you deserve everything you get from people that suddenly don't seem to like you very much.

I'm positive the game will come back soon, but it will probably do so without MJ... and that stinks.

TopazFusion:
Wait wait wait, what?

Only that one song?

But, Billie Jean, another MJ song, appears on Flash FM.

They forgot about that one?

SSSsssssshhhhh! Just... don't! Let them make fools of themselves all by themselves!

Then again, it's perfectly possible that the license for that one specific track is still up and running, who knows.

It's a shiny shiny alternate universe, the realm of the IPs and patents and lazy and uninspired lawyers unable to find proper jobs.

Amethyst Wind:
Unless Sony legally/contractually is REQUIRED to do this so they can keep making a profit on MJ songs in other mediums, they should have let this one slide. The bad PR overrides any minuscule amount they'd make by denying this as-stated 10-year old game's distribution on Steam.

You are legally required to protect your IPs to the best of your ability. If you know full well that somebody is using your ip without your permission and you do nothing you lose the ability to protect it.

I think the issue is less about Rockstar making money off the game, but rather an obvious third party making money from the sale of the game that Sony isn't happy with.

Nobody is buying Vice city because of that song. Be quiet, Sony.

Just take the pedo's song out and put it back on Steam. Besides, with the PC version you can easily create your own radio station (it helps if you have music from the 80s).

I thought the link would lead me to, A dead man's gun.

This is just gonna drive people to illegally download it, well done Sony.

xplosive59:
This is just gonna drive people to illegally download it, well done Sony.

I have to agree. If there is no other source to purchase the game then any downloads from now on will be pirated. So the move will just backfire.

Just been replaying recently since it was taken off Steam. Apart from some minor bugs the game is still fun to play and the sense of ownership when buying businesses is only rivaled by Vice City Stories, no other GTA game has that.

I doubt anyone bought the game, or will buy it, for a song on one of the in game radios. Besides, it seems to me this would be extremely easy to patch out.

xplosive59:
This is just gonna drive people to illegally download it, well done Sony.

well with the game as old and popular as vice city (really i cant see why, both gta 3 and SA was beter in my eyes) everyone that wanted to play it already has it. and frankly 10 years for games should be enough to make profit. while im nto going on the whole "Everyone should have acess" rampage, i think that after 10-15 years games should go freeware (actualyl gta 1 and 2 are, so kudos to rockstar). as they are usually only played by loyal costumers that has bought the game already and often multiple times. same thing applies to toher idustries but with longer timespan, because gaming indsutry is moving so fast it really is "long" time whne it comes to 10 years while in, say, movie industry a 2002 movie isnt "old" yet.

 

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