Destiny 2 DMCA Revenge Plot Now A $7.6 Million Bungie Lawsuit & More Trending News

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Image: Bungie

A spree of rogue DMCA takedown notices for Destiny 2 content material on YouTube earlier this yr has now ballooned right into a $7.6 million lawsuit, as Bungie goes after the alleged perpetrator in court docket. In addition, some Destiny 2 content material creators now say they really feel “betrayed” after the one that was seemingly accountable denied this throughout personal Discord chats with them. “I feel lied to, betrayed, and unbelievably upset that someone we knew and trusted would do this,” wrote Destiny music remixer Owen Spence on Twitter. “Literally, almost all Destiny music on YouTube is gone because of this.”

It’s so much to unpack and it begins again when a bunch of YouTube movies, together with a few of Bungie’s personal, have been hit with DMCA takedown notices in March of this yr. Bungie introduced that the notices have been fraudulent, and weeks later took the matter to court docket in an effort to get Google to reveal the id of whoever was accountable. As Bungie identified on the time, a part of the explanation the fraudulent takedown notices have been in a position to escalate within the first place was as a result of YouTube’s copyright system is opaque and arduous to navigate (Bungie went by way of customer support and didn’t get the problem solved for days). Months later, the studio now says a Destiny 2 participant named Nick Minor, who goes by Lord Nazo on YouTube, is the one allegedly accountable based mostly on private information obtained from Google on June 10.

Minor and Bungie didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

“This case arises out of Nick Minor’s malicious campaign to serve fraudulent takedown notices to some of the most prominent and passionate members of that fanbase, purportedly on Bungie’s behalf, in apparent retaliation for Bungie enforcing its copyrights against material Minor uploaded to his own YouTube channel,” the corporate writes in a brand new lawsuit filed on June 22 within the U.S. Western District Court of Washington.

Bungie alleges that Minor ripped music for Destiny: The Taken King and Destiny 2: The Witch Queen instantly from the corporate’s official soundtracks, after which uploaded them to YouTube. Despite repeated takedown notices, Minor left the music up, finally leading to YouTube disabling Minor’s channel altogether. According to Bungie, that’s when Minor began impersonating a third-party company it makes use of to implement its copyright protections referred to as CSC Global by utilizing pretend gmail addresses that resembled the corporate’s personal.

Seemingly in retaliation for the takedowns towards his personal channel, Minor is alleged to have then issued fraudulent takedowns towards 96 different movies, together with some by obvious mutuals of his in the remainder of the Destiny YouTube music scene. Bungie additionally accuses Minor of utilizing the smoke display of suspicion kicked up by his takedown spree to sow mistrust within the Destiny neighborhood, and counterclaim the legit takedown notices towards his channel.

“Extremely disappointed to find out that Lord Nazo, our friend and someone in direct communication with us about the takedowns, was the person who issued the fake DMCA takedowns ‘on behalf’ of Bungie,” Owen Spence, who orchestrates remixes of Destiny 2 music, wrote on Twitter yesterday. “[Minor] lied to us, started a Discord group DM with me, Promethean, Breshi, and Lorcan0c, and then said things like this, all while acting like he was a victim.”

The purported Discord chat logs show Minor explaining in March how it’s easy to submit fraudulent takedown notices and suggesting the culprit is someone abusing YouTube’s system. A screengrab of old tweets, meanwhile, appears to show Minor writing to Destiny 2’s community manager around the same time that his channel was wrongly caught up in the takedown spree, despite allegedly being the one behind it. During this time he was also posting manifestos criticizing YouTube’s copyright takedown policies.

As Bungie lays out in its case, Destiny 2 is a live service game which thrives in part as a result of the player community on other social platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit. One area of community content is music, including looped tracks, remixes, re-orchestrations, and fan covers. Spence contrasts what Minor was doing—uploading direct official soundtrack rips and then looping them with small audio edits—with preservation attempts based on in-game recordings as well as more transformative works (though it’s not clear if Bungie agrees with this distinction). As a result of Minor’s apparent actions, however, many in the latter group have also been wiped from YouTube.

As one example, the YouTube channel Promethean, Archival Mind uploaded music as it played in-game. While a few of those still exist, like the First Disciple raid boss fight, many others were deleted during the takedown spree to avoid losing the entire channel. While there are offline backups, Promethean wrote in a March update on YouTube that they would be getting prior approval from Bungie directly before moving ahead with future projects. On Twitter yesterday they simply wrote, “Well… there’s a twist I didn’t see coming…”

“[Minor’s] decision was, ultimately, a terrible attempt to draw attention to an issue that resulted in destroying the thing he cared about,” Promethan told Kotaku in a Twitter DM. They also said there’s still an “ongoing dialogue” with Bungie about what kinds of Destiny music can be uploaded to YouTube moving forward.

Bungie isn’t taking the alleged offenses lightly either. The studio is seeking “damages and injunctive relief” over what it says is economic and reputational harm arising from the incident. Those damages include “$150,000 for each of the works implicated in the Fraudulent Takedown Notice,” for a total penalty of $7,650,000 plus legal fees. Just last week, Bungie won a settlement of twice that in a dispute with a Destiny 2 cheat seller. Minor’s YouTube channel, on the other hand, has less than 3,000 subscribers.

Update: 6/23/22, 2:15 p.m. ET: Bungie acknowledge the lawsuit in its weekly blog post update on Destiny 2 and said it’s now moving forward with processing license requests for archived music uploads. Here’s the full statement:

In a previous TWAB, we let everyone know that a series of copyright takedown issues on YouTube had been identified as being fraudulent by someone impersonating our intellectual property protection service. We wanted to give a brief update and let everyone affected know that we have identified the individual responsible and we are taking legal action.

We take these matters seriously and will invest the time and resources required to protect our community from malicious actors.

That said, do not attempt to harass, attack, or pile onto this individual. Any direct outreach not by Bungie’s legal team could impair our ability to address the harm done to our community, which is our priority. We have your backs on this and will make sure this individual meets with the future they deserve. Much though we appreciate the sentiment, we aren’t asking for your help in making that happen.

Now that this person has been identified, it has removed some challenges we faced in reviewing license requests for archived music uploads. If you have been waiting for these, thank you for your patience, and we hope to get back to you in the next few weeks. 

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