The Kotaku website reports that a large number of music licensing agreements for Grand Theft Auto IV will expire on April 26. The game was released in April 2008, which means that the agreements may only be valid for ten years.
Kotaku is citing an unnamed game industry source that says GTA IV will lose a lot of music, although the source couldn’t provide an exact list of the specific songs that will be removed from the game. The game website has approached Rockstar with the question whether it is true that quite a few licenses for music are going to expire, but the publisher has not yet responded. For the time being, Rockstar has not informed GTA IV players about the possible disappearance of the music tracks.
This already happened with GTA: San Andreas, where a released patch for the PC resulted in songs being removed from the game without players noticing. This happened about ten years after the introduction of San Andreas. A similar issue arose with the PC version of GTA: Vice City, where the game temporarily disappeared from Steam in 2012 due to an issue surrounding the Michael Jackson music licensing issue.
According to the source Kotaku relies on, owners of GTA IV on the PlayStation 3 may be able to jump right in. They would be given the option to download digital versions of the songs to be removed sometime prior to April 26. It is not clear whether this also applies to players on other platforms.