Posted by Chuck Corbin on Nov 19, 2012

GTA: Vice City Pulled From Steam Over Copyright Claim

When it comes to popular music and video games there’s always going to be some issues involving licensing. After all, different tracks are produced and licensed by different companies, and while it might be more convenient to have one artist provide all the songs for a game, that would get a little boring listening to the same artist over and over again. Thus, for games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater or Grand Theft Auto you’ll see many different artists and songs show up in the game.

The problem with having all those different artists in the game is the fact that it makes keeping track of whether a license for a song has been paid or not a hassle. That’s apparently what has happened to GTA: Vice City, where’s it’s been pulled from Steam due to some “licensing issues”. At this time it’s reported that Sony Music Entertainment has imposed the block based on the fact that the song “Wanna be Startin’ Something” from Michael Jackson is in the game on one of the various radio stations.

If you already have the game you should still be able to redownload and install it, but this situation does bring up a concern about digital distribution and “always-on” DRM. After all, while Vice City may not have the “always-on” DRM that many players hate, what happens if a game does have that kind of DRM set up and it’s found that that game is violating some sort of copyright? My guess is that some low-down company might decide that they have to prevent people from playing the game they paid for, and while eventually that sort of a measure may be deemed illegal in court, I would say that that kind of decision would take years to actually be rendered. Here’s hoping that we don’t see anything like that anytime soon.


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