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PC Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Multi Theft Auto - San Andreas Goes Open Source 127

dan writes " Multi Theft Auto is a third-party modification for Rockstar's hit title Grand Theft Auto San Andreas — and it has become open-source after over four years of closed source development. As a (somewhat) regular player of MTA since the early days of GTAIII, this hit me by surprise, somewhat." (The news is on the project's front page, from which dan extracts more details, below.)
dan continues: "Some of the interesting parts of the post: 'Today we are marking a new milestone in the history of Multi Theft Auto. After over 11000 revisions since 2004, contributions by over 16 world-wide developers, 1554 files and well over 550.000 lines of mostly C/C++ code, we have made the decision to re-launch Multi Theft Auto as an open-source project.

By open sourcing our project, we are encouraging anyone who is willing to participate in this project, to participate. For that reason, we are not 'just' offering our source code: we have also opened our bug tracker and will be offering public access to our nightly build system that will be compiling a build every day (and has been long used for testing purposes). This way, any developer will be able to run the latest revisions, file bugs or submit patches.

This is particularly exciting given that the released source is based upon the MTA Blue core, which in theory can be applied to any single player game. The source will no doubt be useful and provide foundations for future projects and the progression of the mod itself.'"
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Multi Theft Auto - San Andreas Goes Open Source

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  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @01:12AM (#25870105) Journal

    I'd love to call up a harrier and go head to head with another harrier. Rocket packs would be good too.

  • Re:Anonymity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maevius ( 518697 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @01:30AM (#25870193)
    I am sure that after 550.000 lines of code, they have some way of proving that they own the code they were developing for all these years even if that is a log file
  • Re:Anonymity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Monday November 24, 2008 @01:32AM (#25870201) Homepage Journal

    Why the hell would who care? If your question is, why would people who worked for years and years on a project be a little sad if they had their project taken down and the only way they could put it back up was to put a legal fight.. I think maybe you're capable of figuring that out for yourself. If you mean, why would a court care that they were using pseudonyms and not their real names? Because that's the thing about pseudonyms, anyone can claim to be the owner of them and the court can't tell who is lying.


  • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @02:13AM (#25870397) Journal

    I've heard fantastic, mind-bending things about Multi Theft Auto.

    Apparently, enthusiast game devs grafting on a real-time multiplayer component to a single-player game to which they don't have the source results in some, shall we say, interesting sync issues. My favorite story is where one guy suddenly gets replaced with a taxi on another guy's client. He still sees himself as a character, but the other guy sees him as a taxi just "walking" around.

    "Get in me!" is of course the appropriate response, and upon their union the two have a strange and jittery ride down the street, until they get to the train station. They get on the train, which the taxi guy sees as a bouncy and jittery train ride, but the other guy sees as a taxi intersecting the train, grinding endlessly against the tunnel.

    Finally, something breaks, and they're no longer constrained to the map's clipping, rocketing around the city, perhaps bi- or quad-locating, and it's time to reset the server.

  • by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@g m a> on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:04AM (#25870765) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if i can get it working on linux. BB later =)

  • Re:Anonymity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2008 @04:12AM (#25870787)

    They opensourced code that is not even theirs, I have my sources, trust me there is actually code in there that they got from rockstar before the hot cofee fiasco when they even supported them, i doubt they ever did permission to release that.

    And they also refuse to credit some of ex-developers.

    Basically they could get easily sued into oblivion.

  • Re:Anonymity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @05:39AM (#25871023) Homepage

    Proof of identity besides, how exactly would this work? All major open-source licenses (including the GPL) are irrevocable for the code they were distributed with. They can claim they wrote it all they want - they can't force anyone to take it off their sites.

    If a license wasn't applied by the copyright holder then the license and any sublicenses are null and void. Stolen goods don't become legitimate if you sell them on eBay, nor can you "launder" code using a license.

    If someone wanted to shut down the project, they'd have to:

    * Claim it was theirs


    * Claim that they never intended for it to be distributed


    * Explain how it is that this group, which has been distributing it for a long, long time, managed to be the sole source of distributed binaries for months (years?) without the original authors ever caring


    * Explain how this group got ahold of the sourcecode in the first place


    To take your most obvious error first, copyrights do not have to be defended. I could sue ten or fifty years from now without any need to explain myself. The other two might be arguments in a court of law, but here's the basic sequence of events.

    1. Your ISP recieves a DMCA takedown, all it requires is a claim to ownership not any proof or reasonable case. They will take it off the site.
    2. You must file a DMCA counter notification for their return.
    3. The DMCA troll must file a lawsuit to continue (or not, since it's takedown abuse).
    4. During the discovery/trial there's no evidence and you win (hopefully).

    But wait, what happens here at step 2? It means you must claim:

    "I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the complaint of copyright violation is based on mistaken information, misidentification of the material in question, or deliberate misreading of the law." plus give your full contact details for a potential lawsuit.

    Would you sign that on behalf of some pseudonymous code that some d00d contributed to your project? Do you know who he is, what code access he's had and whether these allegations are true or not? I sure as hell wouldn't do that, it'd be dangerous as hell because I don't know the facts here. You can try getting the pseudonym to file the counter-notice but he might not be reachable or doesn't want to step forward. Then it's game over, your code is down and it's not coming back up.

    Basically, put it this way. If these people, the actual developers, want to de-GPL it in the future . . . they can't. Cat's out of the bag, ain't going back in. If they can't do it, what makes you think an impostor could?

    You alledge the cat was never legally let out of the bag, and that everyone's handling it or its kittens are dealing in stolen property.

  • Re:Anonymity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nazlfrag ( 1035012 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @06:18AM (#25871181) Journal

    which they gave to them

    They knew what the project was, they freely gave to them, I don't see the issue.

  • by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @06:46AM (#25871267) Journal

    > net: network handling (this module is covered by a different license and is only available as a binary release)

    First rule of business, fork, and add a new network layer, then use google's bug database.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2008 @02:33PM (#25875415)

    This is exactly what happened in my experience playing this game, right down to the "Get in me!" exclamation. Except our trains were out of sync, and all I saw was a taxi flying down the rail perpendicular to the track, being smashed to bits, exploding, and arriving at the station in a heap. And when I tried to get in, two taxis appeared on his screen, which bounce and clipped into the air in a whirlwind dance before dumping us both out of the world entirely. Somebody make a whole game outta THAT.

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