Angry Pick-Up Artist Says He Won't Issue Bogus YouTube Claim On Critic's Video; Issues Bogus Claim On Critic's Video
from the proving-once-again-pickup-artists-are-not-to-be-trusted dept
Another case of YouTube’s copyright notification system being abused has filtered down through social media. A YouTuber whose channel specializes in game reviews was targeted by the developer of the game after some back-and-forth on the internet over his negative review.
Chris Hodgkinson reviewed a game called Super Seducer, which supposedly teaches dudes how to pick up women through the magical art of full-motion video. Call it “edutainment.” (If you must…) The developer, Richard La Ruina, didn’t care for his game being featured on a video series entitled “This is the Worst Game Ever.” Nor did he care for Hodgkinson’s suggestion the game offered nothing to men in the way of usable pick-up artistry.
“[La Ruina] criticized my idea that people should be themselves when they’re talking to women, which I think is probably the right thing to do,” Hodgkinson said. “He left a comment on my video when it had 150 views, which I thought was weird.”
The comment from LaRuina suggested shy men could not be themselves and still avail themselves of women, which is apparently their God-given right. This spilled over from YouTube onto Twitter. The discussion there surprisingly took a turn for the better, with LaRuina admitting he was overreacting to the YouTuber’s “worst game ever” schtick. (LaRuina also stated he was “Europe’s top pick-up artist,” which he apparently considers an accolade rather than a slur. No authoritative studies or r/redpill polls were cited in support of this declaration.)
Everything seemed to have calmed down until some useful Twitterer expressed surprise the DMCA system hadn’t been abused by someone on the receiving end of criticism. LaRuina responded with a tweet noting his “DMCA subscription” that he had apparently “forgotten about.”
Lo and behold and completely expectedly, Hodgkinson’s video was hit with a copyright claim from LaRuina. This is normal. This is the system the major labels/studios wanted: one that grants the accuser full credibility until proven otherwise, leaving the accused with minimal tools to fight bogus takedown requests that could see their channel removed and their source of income destroyed.
This incident, however, has plenty of weird to go with the YouTube DMCA normal.
Hodgkinson and La Ruina’s conversation on Twitter continued. La Ruina told Hodgkinson that the studio only issues DMCA takedowns to channels that rip off its content, essentially promising Hodgkinson that the team wouldn’t weaponize and abuse the DMCA takedown.
That all changed less than two days later. Hodgkinson received an email from La Ruina’s team apologizing for issuing a DMCA takedown request, way before Hodgkinson even knew that YouTube had accepted the strike.
Stranger still, LaRuina then sent Hodgkinson $50 via Paypal to cover any lost ad revenue while the video was removed. LaRuina still maintains he had nothing to do with the takedown, passing the buck to “the company.”
“I didn’t know that he often makes those kinds of videos,” La Ruina told Polygon, speaking about Hodgkinson’s series. “He’s trying to profit with this type of clickbait-y, YouTube headline. All of that is okay, but when I replied to his tweet and we got into a little thing, he basically put me in a position where he said, ‘You wouldn’t dare DMCA me because you’re afraid of this,’ and I said, ‘No, I wouldn’t because it’s the wrong thing to do.’ And then someone in my company did it, we immediately retracted it and we’re waiting for the video to come back.”
Which would be fine (but still stupid), but LaRuina just kept talking.
“So yeah, we did it for one video, but in general I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.”
This sounds like he was directly involved and that he did it because the YouTuber “dared” him to do it. None of these statements say much about “Europe’s top pick-up artist” and the company he keeps at the company he runs.
But that’s the lesson here: someone completely in the wrong can destroy the work, if not the livelihood, of someone in the right. Fair use was supposed to be one of the things YouTube would take into account when handling copyright claims, but so far, it seems to be limited to a very small select group of users. LaRuina may have retracted his claim, but it still killed Hodgkinson’s video for a few days. Even if Hodgkinson doesn’t rely on YouTube for his main source of income, it does supply him with money to purchase games to review. This bullshit move by LaRuina is nothing more than a bully targeting someone else’s livelihood over some schticky criticism.