A Destiny 2 YouTuber is being sued by Bungie for allegedly responding to DMCA takedown requests made against his account by filing bogus DMCA claims on Bungie’s behalf against other streams and the studio. At least $7.6 million in damages are sought in Bungie’s case, which was submitted to a federal court on Wednesday.
According to the complaint, Nicholas Minor, who broadcasted under the name Lord Nazo, made two fictitious Gmail accounts to pose as employees of CSC Global, a copyright management company that represents Bungie. According to the lawsuit, Lord Nazo sent takedown requests for YouTube 96 using those addresses in February, claiming the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Videos posted by My Name is Byf (974,000 followers), Aztecross (615,000 subscribers), and Bungie’s own YouTube account were taken down. The complaint stated that “Minor’s attack sent shockwaves through the Destiny community.” ‘I’m frightened to make new Destiny videos, much alone keep the ones I’ve already put up,’ one content creator said in reference to the chilling impact the fake takedowns had on their own work.
Companies like YouTube are required by the DMCA to take down user-published content that violates another person’s copyright. Because of the broad scope of the obligation, some people have abused the statute’s provisions by submitting DMCA declarations with YouTube and other sites to stop competitors in business or social media foes.
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Minor “exploit[ed] the vulnerability in YouTube’s DMCA-process security that allows anyone at all to claim to be representing a rights holder for purposes of requesting a takedown, with no actual controls against fraud,” according to Bungie’s complaint.
Bungie claimed that Minor started his retaliation when he himself received DMCA takedown requests in December 2021 in connection with uploading Destiny: The Taken King’s original music. The complaint claims that Minor issued DMCA takedown notices to YouTube 96 times “in an effort to have YouTube urge innocent producers to erase their Destiny 2 videos or risk copyright strikes, hurting Bungie’s community of players, broadcasters, and fans.” For obvious reasons, this seriously hurt Bungie’s reputation and financial situation.
The copyright takedown requests were brought to Bungie’s attention in March, and the company let fans know through Twitter that they “are NOT being taken at the desire of Bungie or our partners.” The complaint quotes Minor’s “Manifesto,” which was also issued to the Destiny community that month and included an admission of the bogus takedowns.
According to Bungie’s legal team, the Manifesto “reads like a cliched ‘see what you made me do letter’ from the serial killer in a lousy novel.”
Bungie Sues ‘Destiny 2’ DMCA Trolls, Blasts YouTube’s Reporting Policies https://t.co/ZARFZEl38D
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 29, 2022
The Western District of Washington State, home to Bungie’s corporate headquarters, is where the complaint was filed. Bungie claims in the complaint that it “allows players to create videos using Destiny gameplay” and uploads them to YouTube and other platforms that charge for the content.
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However, the studio does reserve the right to defend its intellectual property rights in situations where the letter of its user-created content standards is disregarded. According to the complaint, Minor’s widespread uploading of The Taken King’s OST was against these rules.
The lawsuit requests at least $7.6 million, or $150,000, for each of the 51 times Minor is said to have violated registered copyrights of Bungie by submitting the bogus takedown demands. Other elements of the lawsuit ask for specific actual and statutory damages in order to “showcase the severe repercussions that await anyone else foolish enough to […] target Bungie’s community for attack.”