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Destiny 2 maker sues YouTuber for $7 million over bogus DMCA claims

Bungie is pursuing a Fate 2 YouTuber who allegedly retaliated against DMCA takedowns on his account by filing bogus DMCA claims, on behalf of Bungie, against other streamers and the studio itself. Bungie’s lawsuit, filed in federal court on Wednesdayseeks at least $7.6 million in damages.

The complaint alleges that Nicholas Minor, who streamed as Lord Nazo, created two fake Gmail addresses by impersonating staff at CSC Global, a copyright management company representing Bungie. The lawsuit says Lord Nazo used those addresses in February to send takedown requests to YouTube 96, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998.

The withdrawals concerned videos posted by YouTubers My name is Byf (which has 974,000 subscribers); Aztecross (615,000 subscribers) and Bungie’s own YouTube account. “Minor’s attack sent shockwaves through the Fate community,” the complaint reads. “Content creators described the chilling effect fake deletions had on their own work, saying, ‘I’m afraid to make new Destiny videos, let alone keep the ones I’ve already made.’ “

Under the DMCA, companies such as YouTube are required to remove user-posted content that infringes a copyright owned by another. Such a broad mandate has allowed the law’s provisions to be abused, with some filing DMCA statements on YouTube and elsewhere to thwart commercial 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 holder for the purpose of issuing a takedown, with no real safeguards against fraud.

Bungie said Minor mounted its retaliatory campaign after it itself received takedown requests from the DMCA in December 2021 related to the 2015 soundtrack upload. Destiny: The Kidnapped King. “Ninety-six times Minor has sent DMCA takedown notices […] so that YouTube asks innocent creators to delete their Destiny 2 videos or face copyright strikes, disrupting the community of gamers, streamers and Bungie fans,” the complaint states. “This has caused Bungie significant reputational and economic damage, for obvious reasons.”

In March, Bungie fans alerted via Twitter that he was aware of the copyright takedown requests and said they “are NOT being taken at the request of Bungie or our partners”. The complaint cites a “Manifesto” by Minor, also sent that month to the Destiny community, in which he admits to the bogus withdrawals.

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

The lawsuit is being 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 Fate gameplay” and upload them to YouTube and other services that monetize content. But the studio reserves its intellectual property rights, and the right to enforce them, in cases where the spirit of its user-generated content guidelines is violated. Bulk miner download The king taken‘s OST violated those guidelines, the complaint states.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $7.6 million, or $150,000 for each of the 51 instances in which Minor allegedly infringed Bungie’s registered copyrights by issuing the bogus takedown requests. Other parts of the lawsuit seek unspecified actual and statutory damages, “to demonstrate that serious consequences await anyone foolish enough to […] target the Bungie community to attack.