Last week, Destiny 2 content creators on YouTube started to receive DMCA strikes on their channels. Their first impression, understandably, was that Bungie was cracking down on them, after years of being remarkably chill about such content.
That possibility was dispelled almost immediately when Bungie posted on Twitter that the copyright claims were "NOT being taken at the request of Bungie or its partners" -- and even some of Bungie's own content had been hit by the claims. Despite the assurance that none of Bungie's "partners" were responsible for the claims, several people wondered if they could have been the result of a Bungie-backed algorithm gone wrong.
Today, we learned that Bungie was telling the unvarnished truth regarding its non-role in the incident. Kotaku reports that the company has filed a lawsuit against 10 John Does, accusing them of impersonating Bungie and issuing the fraudulent DMCA claims. Bungie believes the actions were taken as retaliation for the company's takedown of Destiny soundtrack videos from YouTube.
If there's one area that both Bungie and the impersonators agree upon, it's YouTube's poor handling of DMCA claims. Some of the YouTube accounts affected by the claims received a manifesto that read, in part, "If you’re looking to place blame, place it on YouTube for its sloppy copyright takedown system and Bungie for ignoring this issue for so long."
Bungie also laid much of the blame for the incident on YouTube. "Thanks to YouTube’s easily-gamed reporting system, the attack was a success, and videos were removed (and YouTubers given ‘copyright strikes’ that, under YouTube rules, threaten the future viability of their YouTube channels) on the basis of the Fraudulent Takedown Notices," Bungie said in its lawsuit. Considering how easily DMCA notices have been weaponized against content creators in the past, it's hard to disagree with either parties' assessment.
Bungie also explained in the lawsuit that it had to go through several layers of employees to even get a response, which included a suggestion to file a helpdesk ticket. YouTube responded by saying it will "continue our work to prevent abuse of our systems," which raises the question: Can you "continue" something you've never even started?
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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