Destiny 2 developer Bungie is suing the player allegedly behind the recent fraudulent DMCA takedown spree on YouTube for over $7,650,000.
Earlier this year, content creators and Bungie itself were hit with copyright strikes over music related to Destiny 2 and the original game on YouTube. The developer swiftly stated that those actions were not taken at the request of Bungie or its partners, with a lawsuit against ten John Does soon following.
Now, though, Bungie has filed an amended complaint a content creator called Lord Nazo – named as Nicholas Minor in the lawsuit (thanks, GamePost (opens in new tab)). The lawsuit claims that Minor’s account was served legitimate copyright notices on several videos before they impersonated Bungie’s brand protection vendor, CSC Global, to send fraudulent takedown notices in retaliation.
“Ninety-six separate times, Minor used his fake ‘CSC’ Gmail addresses to exploit the hole in YouTube’s DMCA-process security that allows anyone at all to claim to be representing a rights holder for purposes of issuing a takedown, with no real safeguards against fraud,” the lawsuit says.
“Ninety-six times, Minor sent DMCA takedown notices purportedly on behalf of Bungie, identifying himself as Bungie’s ‘Brand Protection’ vendor in order to have YouTube instruct innocent creators to delete their Destiny 2 videos or face copyright strikes, disrupting Bungie’s community of players, streamers, and fans. And all the while, ‘Lord Nazo’ was taking part in the community discussion of “Bungie’s” takedowns, spreading disinformation.”
Further into the complaint, Bungie’s legal representatives explain that YouTube’s DMCA reporting form requires those submitting complaints to use a Google account “if the reporting party processes DMCA requests via a YouTube content management product”, like Creator Studio or Content Manager. As such, CSC uses a Gmail account for DMCA work relating to YouTube videos.
Bungie was reportedly able to identify the individual by working with Google to trace their IP address, with Google sending over data relating to “every takedown notice Minor sent from each of those accounts” and “a log of each IP address used by Minor in connection with the two accounts”.
Bungie is seeking “damages in an amount to be proven at trial” alongside the usual relief of costs and attorney fees. The developer also wants to assure that the accused and anyone acting in connection with them ceases impersonating the developer or further infringe its copyrights or trademarks.
While Bungie is seeking damages on several matters to be resolved in court, its legal representatives argue that the developer is entitled to “damages of $150,000 for each of the works implicated in the fraudulent takedown notice that wilfully infringed Bungie’s registered copyrights,” totalling $7,650,000.
“This caused Bungie significant reputational and economic damage, for obvious reasons. As discussed below, the Destiny community was bewildered and upset, believing that Bungie had reneged on a promise to allow players to build their own streaming communities and YouTube channels on Destiny 2 content.”
You can read the lawsuit in its entirety here (opens in new tab).
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