GTA: Vice City No Longer On Steam Due To RIAA Copyright Claim

[Update: Looks like the block is from Sony Music Entertainment with the claim on a song from Michael Jackson called 'Wanna be Startin' Something' from Vice City's Fever 105 station. The content from SME and Warner Chappell has blocked the content on copyright grounds.]

You know what's great? Those annoying DMCA flags aren't just limited to search engines and internet media content, those annoying pieces of crap can extend to digital video game distribution as well, which is why Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is no longer available on Steam right now.

If you already bought your digital copy of the game through Steam you'll still be able to download and install the game, but you can no longer buy the game.

The story originally surfaced on the Sixth Axis, and speculation ran rampant amongst users that perhaps the game was no longer available due to the release of the game on iOS. However, it's much more nefarious than that.

A post on Steam's North American forum that originated from the Serbian forum, indicates that there is a licensing issue with the music...

"Hey Dejan,Thanks for the email. Due to some music licensing issues, we’ve had to temporarily remove Vice City PC from digital stores. We’ll make it available again as soon as possible.Cheers,Rockstar Games"

So which song is it that has a member of the RIAA all DMCA'd up? Well, I'm no Geraldo Rivera, but given the eclectically rich soundtrack of GTA: Vice City, it could be any number of songs that resulted in the digitally distributed plug being pulled.

This isn't the first time a group from the RIAA managed to get all up into the business of video game distribution due to music licensing. Remember Bioshock and how 2K had to play hopscotch to recreate some songs while being nixed from using others? Shades of the debacle can be briefly surmised with these Destructoid and Rock, Paper, Shotgun articles.

There was also the issue of Square Enix's (or Eidos at the time) release of the Hitman pack on Steam, which conspicuously did not include Hitman: Contracts. Why? Because of music licensing hurdles thanks to Atlantic Records being douche bags, as evidenced in this thread here on Steam's forums.

Situations like this is just another reason why that “all digital” future is looking less and less promising. While digital downloading appears to be convenient, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to accessibility and availability. On the upside, at least the copyright holders associated with the RIAA aren't just douche bags to normal consumers, they're douche bags to everybody.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.