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Fansites, Screenshots and Magazines

A GTANet.com Original Presentation

Screenshots, screenshots everywhere... and not a single one to link.

Most Grand Theft Auto gamers have probably seen the magazine scans circulating on the web by now. You can catch glimpses of them everywhere. Cops on motorbikes, thugs sporting those pimpin' purple tracksuits, and richly detailed environments. They're appealing, they're awe-inspiring, and they make you want to get your hands on San Andreas that much more. Hell, I know I want it that much more thanks to seeing those screenshots!

But there is one tiny little problem.

Fansites, struggling to stay up to date with the latest news and content, have only these magazine scans to refer to when it comes to getting new in-game screenshots. These low-resolution scanner images aren't the greatest thing in the world, but they seem to be enough to please the fans. Normally, I wouldn't say boo to such a thing -- but the problem is that using such material tends to get some magazine companies a bit angry.

In order to avoid stepping on anyones toes, it's usually best to just avoid a conflict all together.

Magazines pay game developers/publishers for the rights to publish game screenshots. Even after publication, these screenshots are not in the public domain. I'll avoid getting into too much detail (as it requires too much work and reading on both our parts), so I'll just leave it to this: Copyright laws are much more complex than "It's mine, so don't touch!". So, in order to avoid stepping on anyones toes, it's usually best to just avoid a conflict all together.

As far as I see it, there is a decision for all Grand Theft Auto fansites to make: Do we push the envelope by revealing cropped screens from magazine scans? Or do we go the other route, and only go with what R* has officialy released through their official website?

Do we push the envelope by revealing cropped screens from magazine scans? Or do we go the other route, and avoid using scans?

Personally, I'm hoping that Rockstar will release some more official screenshots in the near future. This way, we have some nice high-resolution images to display on our websites, and we can avoid pissing off those particular corporate busybodies who are touchy-feely over scanning their magazines.

But that is, of course, just a hope. Nobody can say for sure whether or not Rockstar will do such a thing. As it is right now, though, we find ourselves trying to please the masses while pleasing the mags - sticking with the official shots that Rockstar has given us, while trying to keep a pointy stick aimed at the massing crowds who are always on the prowl for more information.

- Tsuroki : Article written 07/24/04

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