A series of rogue DMCA takedown notices for Lot 2 content on YouTube earlier this year has now become a $7.6 million lawsuit, as Bungie goes after the alleged perpetrator in court. In addition, some Lot 2 Content creators now say they feel “betrayed” after the person seemingly responsible denied this during private Discord chats with them. “I feel lied to, betrayed and incredibly upset that someone we knew and trusted would do this,” he wrote Destiny music remixer Owen Spence on Twitter. “Literally, almost all Destiny music on YouTube has disappeared because of this.”
It’s a lot to unpack and it starts again as a bunch of YouTube videos, including some of Bungie’s own, were hit by DMCA takedown requests in March of this year. Bungie announced that the notices were fraudulent and weeks later took the case to court in an attempt to get Google to reveal the identity of the person responsible. As Bungie pointed out at the time, part of the reason the fraudulent takedown notices could escalate in the first place was because YouTube’s copyright system is opaque and difficult to navigate (Bungie went through customer service and didn’t get the issue resolved for days). Months later, the studio now says a Lot 2 player named Nick Minor, who goes by Lord Nazo on YouTube, is the one allegedly responsible based on personal data obtained from Google on June 10.
Minor and Bungie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This case stems from Nick Minor’s malicious campaign to send fraudulent takedown notices to some of the most prominent and passionate members of that fanbase, ostensibly on behalf of Bungie, in apparent retaliation for Bungie enforcing its copyrights against material Minor has submitted to its own content. YouTube channel,” the company writes in a new lawsuit filed June 22 in the US Western District Court of Washington.
Bungie claims Minor ripped music for Destiny: The Taken King and Destiny 2: The Witch Queen straight from the company’s official soundtracks, then uploaded them to YouTube. Despite repeated takedown notices, Minor left the music on, which ultimately led to YouTube shutting down Minor’s channel altogether. According to Bungie, Minor began impersonating a third-party agency that it uses to enforce its copyright protection, called CSC Global, by using fake Gmail addresses that resembled the company’s.
Seemingly in retaliation for the takedowns against his own channel, Minor went on to issue fraudulent takedowns against 96 other videos, including some by his seemingly reciprocal ones around the world. Destiny YouTube music scene. Bungie also accuses Minor of using the smokescreen of suspicion created by his wave of extermination to foment mistrust in the Destiny community, and to counter the legitimate takedown requests against his channel.
“Extremely disappointed to find that Lord Nazo, our friend and someone who communicates directly with us about the takedowns, was the person who issued the fake DMCA takedowns ‘on behalf of’ Bungie,” Owen Spence, who orchestrates remixes of Lot 2 music† wrote yesterday on Twitter. †[Minor] lied to us, started a Discord group DM with me, Promethean, Breshi and Lorcan0c, then said stuff like this, pretending to be a victim.
The alleged Discord chat logs show Minor explains in March how easy it is to make fraudulent takedown requests and suggests that the culprit is someone abusing YouTube’s system. A screengrab of old tweetsmeanwhile, Minor seems to be writing to Lot 2‘s community manager around the same time that his channel was mistakenly caught up in the takedown frenzy, despite allegedly being behind it. During this time, he also posted manifestos criticizing YouTube’s copyright takedown policy.
As Bungie points out in his case, Lot 2 is a live service game that thrives in part as a result of its community of players on other social platforms such as 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 over with minor audio edits – with conservation efforts based on in-game recordings and more transformative works (though it’s not clear if Bungie is doing it with this one). distinction agree). However, as a result of Minor’s apparent actions, many in the latter group have also been wiped from YouTube.
The YouTube channel Promethean, Archival Mind, for example, uploaded music while playing in-game. While a few of them still exist, such as the First Disciple Raid Boss Battle, many others were removed during deletion to avoid losing the entire channel. While there are offline backups, Promethean wrote in a March update on YouTube that they would get Bungie’s pre-approval before moving forward with future projects. On Twitter yesterday they just did 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 the destruction of what he cared about,” Promethan said. Kotaku in a Twitter DM. They also said there is still “ongoing dialogue” with Bungie about what types of Destiny music can be uploaded to YouTube in the future.
Bungie doesn’t take the alleged violations lightly either. The studio is seeking “damage and injunctive relief” for what it believes to be economic and reputational damage resulting from the incident. That damages include “$150,000 for each of the works involved in the Fraudulent Takedown Notice,” for a total fine of $7,650,000 plus legal fees. Last week Bungie won a settlement of twice as much in a arguing with a Lot 2 cheat seller† Minor’s YouTube channel, on the other hand, has less than 3,000 subscribers.
Update: 6/23/22, 2:15 PM ET: Bungie admits the lawsuit in its weekly update of blog posts On Lot 2 and said it is now continuing to process license requests for archived music uploads. Here’s the full statement:
In a previous TWAB, let’s everyone know that a series of copyright removal issues on YouTube have been flagged as fraudulent by someone impersonating our intellectual property protection service. We wanted to give a quick update and let everyone involved know that we have identified the person responsible and that we are taking legal action.
We take these matters seriously and will invest the time and resources necessary to protect our community from malicious actors.
That being said, try not to harass, attack or pile on this person† Any direct assistance not through Bungie’s legal team could harm our ability to address the harm to our community, which is our priority. We stand behind this and will make sure that this person gets the future they deserve. While we appreciate the sentiment, we’re not asking for your help in making that happen.
Now that this person has been identified, we have resolved some of the issues we faced when reviewing license requests for archived music uploads. If you’ve been waiting for this, thank you for your patience, and we hope to get you back in the coming weeks.