Bungie is suing a Destiny player who allegedly filed dozens of fake copyright notices in his name. The cause, covered by TheGamePostclaims that California-based YouTube creator Nick Minor turned a single Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice into 96 fraudulent claims against other YouTubers.
The complaint alleges that the “brand protection” contractor Bungie CSC Global sent Minor a legitimate copyright notice in December 2021, asking him to remove the music from the soundtrack of. Destiny expansion The King of the Taken. Minor would have responded by creating a Gmail account that mimicked CSC’s and then making similar requests with a bevy of other YouTube accounts, even reaching an official Bungie account. He identified himself as a CSC representative and asked accounts to remove videos or address YouTube copyright strikes.
Meanwhile, under his YouTube pseudonym Lord Nazo, Minor would conduct what Bungie calls a “disinformation” campaign against the studio. He claims to have spread reports of rampant copyright strikes, falsely accused Bungie of excessive enforcement, and distributed a “poster” that was “designed to sow confusion” about the legitimacy of all Bungie’s DMCA requests. (In a separate editorial, the poster is said to “read like a trivial letter ‘look what you made me do’ about the serial killer in a bad novel.”) Destiny Community members describe the removals as “heartbreaking” and “horrifying”, claiming that the warnings – which could have led to account deletion, if repeated – made them fearful of posting more videos.
“Ninety-six times, Minor sent DMCA takedown notices allegedly on behalf of Bungie, identifying himself as the provider of Bungie’s” Brand Protection “so that YouTube would instruct innocent creators to delete their. Destiny 2 video, “says the complaint.” The Destiny the community was bewildered and upset, believing that Bungie had reneged on its promise to allow players to build their own streaming communities and YouTube channels on Destiny 2 content. “Destiny publicly denied being behind the incident in March and issued guidelines intended to clarify when it would request removals, saying it wanted to” make our boundaries as a business clearer. “
The controversy gained coverage in gaming media, and Bungie said in March that it was investigating the matter. According to the complaint, he identified Minor by linking the dots between the different email addresses he used during the sprawling campaign. He claims that Minor took the action in retaliation for the original takedown request and is seeking financial damages for libel, submitting false DMCA notifications and, somewhat ironically, copyright infringement.
Beyond Minor’s individual actions, Bungie suggests they took advantage of weaknesses in YouTube’s reporting system. He says he was able to easily impersonate a CSC employee, for example, because YouTube requires all reports to come through a Gmail account, not a corporate domain that a content creator could verify. Google’s system “allows anyone to claim to represent a rights holder for the purpose of issuing a takedown, with no real guarantees against fraud,” complains Bungie.
More broadly, however, Minor’s campaign has worked due to copyright law’s status as a powerful and controversial weapon that can strike YouTubers (and other Internet content creators) with few warnings and painful consequences. Other “copystrike” senders have used the system to extort channels for ransom or censor news, and studios such as Nintendo have imposed heavy copyright restrictions on their games in the past. Minor apparently went a step further, arming the backlash to the DMCA itself.