Destiny 2 producer sues YouTuber for $ 7 million for false DMCA claims

Bungie is suing Destiny 2 YouTuber allegedly reacted to leveled DMCA removals on his account by filing false DMCA claims, on behalf of Bungie, against other streamers and the studio itself. Bungie’s lawsuit, filed in federal court Wednesday, is asking for at least $ 7.6 million in damages.

The complaint alleges that Nicholas Minor, who broadcast under the name of Lord Nazo, created two fake Gmail addresses impersonating the staff of CSC Global, a copyright management company representing Bungie. The lawsuit claims that Lord Nazo used those addresses in February to submit YouTube 96 removal requests, citing the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The removals involved videos posted by YouTuber My Name is Byf (which has 974,000 subscribers); Aztecross (615,000 subscribers) and the Bungie YouTube account. “Minor’s attack sent shockwaves through the Destiny community, “the complaint read.” The content creators described the chilling effect the fake removals had on their work, saying, ‘I’m afraid to make new Destiny videos, let alone keep the ones I already have. invented. ‘”

Under the DMCA, companies like YouTube are required to remove content posted by users that infringe on a copyright held by another. Such a broad mandate allowed for the abuse of statute provisions, with DMCA submissions to YouTube and elsewhere to thwart business rivals or social media adversaries.

Bungie’s complaint alleges that Minor “exploits[ed] the security hole in YouTube’s DMCA process that allows anyone to claim to represent a rights owner for the purpose of issuing a takedown, with no real guarantees against fraud.

Bungie said Minor staged his retaliation campaign after he himself was subjected to DMCA takedown requests in December 2021, related to uploading the original soundtrack for 2015. Destiny: The Taken King. “Ninety-six times, Minor sent out DMCA takedown notices […] to get YouTube to order innocent creators to delete theirs Destiny 2 video or face copyright strikes, disrupting Bungie’s community of gamers, streamers and fans, “the complaint states.” This has caused Bungie significant reputational and economic damage, for obvious reasons. “

In March Bungie alerted fans via Twitter that he was aware of the copyright removal requests and stated that “They are NOT taken at the request of Bungie or our partners”. The complaint cites a “Manifesto” from Minor, also sent to the Destiny community that month, in which he admits false takedowns.

“The Manifesto reads like a trivial letter ‘look what you made me do’ of the serial killer in a bad novel,” Bungie’s lawyers wrote.

The lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Washington state, where Bungie’s headquarters are located. In the complaint, Bungie notes that it “allows players to create videos using Destiny gameplay ”and upload them to YouTube and other services that monetize the content. But the studio reserves its intellectual property rights, and the right to enforce them, in cases where the spirit of its user-created content guidelines are violated. Bulk loading of less than The King of the TakenThe OST violated those guidelines, the complaint says.

The lawsuit requires at least $ 7.6 million, or $ 150,000 for each of the 51 instances in which Minor violated Bungie’s registered copyrights in issuing the false takedown requests. Other parties to the case are seeking unspecified actual and legal damages, “to show that grave consequences await anyone else who is so foolish as to […] target the Bungie community for the attack. “

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