Bungie has filed a lawsuit against ten unnamed individuals who issued false copyright infringement takedown requests against Destiny’s content creators and Bungie’s own videos. At the same time, it criticized YouTube’s processes that can be easily exploited to fraudulently remove others’ videos.
The lawsuit was filed in Washington last week against ten John Doe’s, but Bungie is seeking to reveal the names of the defendants through subpoenas and other means. Once found, they will be subject to a lawsuit for abuse of the DMCA process, trademark abuse and violations of the Consumer Protection Act, defamation and more.
Bungie claims that these individuals created new Google accounts, filled out a takedown request form, checking a bunch of boxes to say that they have the right to handle such takedown requests, and that these were processed by YouTube without any additional verification. The email addresses used for the accounts were created to look similar to those of Bungie’s IP protection service, called CRC.
Their lawsuit states that “With respect to YouTube, any person, anywhere in the world, can issue takedown notices on behalf of any rights holder, anywhere. A disgruntled infringer or competitive content producer, for example, can issue takedown notices on behalf of Disney, or Fox, or Universal – or even Google itself.”
The lawsuit says that without a direct reporting mechanism available to Bungie, the team had to file the matter with YouTube through its legal team, and the whole thing took three days.
According to Bungie, the culprits are people who were takedowns by CRC (Bungie’s aforementioned IP protection service) related to the game‘s soundtrack. CRC blocked 41 videos that infringed Bungie’s copyright, and exactly the next day, the fake accounts used to target Destiny videos were created. This was likely a revenge attack.