Destiny Community Plagued By Copyright Takedowns, Bungie Insists It Isn’t Them
from the this-isn't-working dept
We’ve been making the point for years that the way copyright is currently enforced in online platforms is wide open for abuse and error. Between all the collateral damage created by automated copyright bots and all of the chicanery used to silence critics or to baselessly collect revenue on the work of others, there is simply more of this nonsense going on than most people realize.
The issue was first raised in this Reddit thread last week, when it was noticed that the work of a number of prominent Destiny “music archivists” was being removed. This is a particular sore point for the community, since their channels were helping preserve the soundtracks to pieces of content—from both Destiny games—that were no longer available in the games themselves.
But sometimes this sort of thing happens involving a wildly popular good or service, allowing us to highlight for the larger public how big a problem this all is. In this case, we’re talking about how the Destiny community is getting slammed with copyright takedowns on YouTube videos.
Things escalated from there over the next few days, with more and more soundtrack videos removed from the channels of more and more community members and creators. Then the takedowns even began extending to clips people had uploaded of cutscenes from the game that merely had pieces of the soundtrack playing in the background.
So, a bunch of fans of Destiny looking to preserve now-gone music from the games are finding their videos gone and their accounts facing copyright strikes. It won’t surprise you to learn both that the community was quite pissed off by all of this and immediately started pointing at Bungie and CSC, a Bungie affiliate. But when the noise got loud enough, well, things got strange.
Yeah, that’s Bungie saying not only is it not the one getting all this content taken down, but even its channels were getting hit. Now, as others have already pointed out, you may notice the careful wording of that tweet. That word “request” is doing a lot of work, as it leaves open the door for this to be some automated system that Bungie chose to employ.
So, while we don’t know yet if this is in the automated system collateral damage category, or the fraudulent copyright takedown category, we do know that there is a problem with how this is all working. And, yet, you can be assured that is unlikely anything substantive will be done about it.
Comments on “Destiny Community Plagued By Copyright Takedowns, Bungie Insists It Isn’t Them”
Not like those companies are known for accuracy
That word “request” is doing a lot of work, as it leaves open the door for this to be some automated system that Bungie chose to employ.
Alternatively it could be a company that they’ve tasked with taking down ‘infringing’ content acting in the usual ‘Shoot first, ask questions never’ manner, hitting anything that even might qualify since there’s no penalty for bogus claims.
Whatever the case may be this nicely adds another example to the pile of how insane the system is, when a company can face claims of infringement over their own stuff(I’m assuming they have the rights anyway) and have it taken down the fact that the default is ‘guilty upon accusation’ becomes all the more obvious as a problem.
Another possibility would be that if they hired a 3rd party to make the music instead of doing it entirely in house; it could be the musicians or some 3rd party they’ve hired engaging in legal thuggery.
Possible I suppose but I’d be really surprised if any contracts with a company Bungie’s size for music from a third-party didn’t include a ‘we own this music or at least have unlimited license to do with it what we want’ clause which would undercut any such claims.
It’s possible, but considering they said they had no idea who was doing it and they’d surely have some idea about who they hired (and presumably have the industry standard “work for hire” contracts that sign the rights over to them, anyway), that’s still questionable.
That says it all, really. Copyright is being abused to such a degree that the owner of the copyright has its own videos taken down and nobody can work out who is actually issuing the takedowns. Tell me again how this system is working fine and benefits creators.
At a rough guess given the timing – this is related to Sony having announced their purchase recently, and Bungie are going to find out the hard way how easy they are to work with if they a difference of opinion as to how they should operate.
Fraudulent takedown because YouTube doesn't verify take down requester authenticity
Hoeg Law has the rundown, and an alleged confession by someone who claims to have submitted the takedown requests with the intent of getting noticed enough for Bungie to rescind all fraudulent Bungie takedowns, including those directed at his/her YouTube account.
A very simple solution
No copyright to be abused = no copyright abuse.
And say goodbye to one of my sources of income (which I will abandon at my death)?
Re: Re: Reform is overdue
Not sure if he was serious about this, but copyright is definitely in need of serious reform. Nearly two-lifetimes duration, overreaching scope, and all the wrong enforcement incentives.
Things like fair use and safe harbor were supposed to bring a few limitations, but they fail repeatedly. Fair use is uncertain as a legal defense and safe harbor encourages over-enforcement without due process. Letting Disney expand the duration every few years is also a failure of our legislative system.
The whole thing is a mess and it’s high time the system is reviewed at its core. Maybe some smart legislators (oxymoron?) could find a better system to reward creators without locking up our culture.
As a side note, the copyright clause in the constitution was not created with near-unlimited monopoly rights for near-unlimited durations. And was not thought for entertainment creations. I don’t exactly object to this scope creep since I do want entertainment to be rewarded, but it has gone way too far.
Re: Re: Re:
I am in full agreement that copyright needs to be reformed. I’m over 9000% for reform, especially for a return to an “opt-in” system that replaces Berne but addresses the needs that Berne was attempting to solve.
If the AC said “reform copyright”, I would have stood by there by their side. I just think abolition would come with a lot more problems as well (and given the opposition in the UK to free up orphan works, an uphill battle).
Re: Re: Re:
“Not sure if he was serious about this, but copyright is definitely in need of serious reform”
Absolutely, but zero copyright fixes nothing in terms of most artists getting a fair shake and likely means they can just be robbed further by corporations.
Current copyright = complicated and one-sided system that allows abuse from larger players with little recourse for many smaller artists. No copyright = they don’t even have to pretend to be working for the benefit of those artists before stealing from them.
Can you afford the legal fees needed to protect your copyright?
Without copyright, but protection of authorship, you can still sell music on the basis that buying it from you encourages the production of more, buying you music from anybody else does not encourage you to make more.
Creativity is a selling point that copyists cannot copy.
Re: Re: Re:
Keep in mind that I license my works with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license whenever I can. I even upload my own works to the internet archive.
But Creative Commons licenses cannot work without copyright; There are a few rights I do reserve, which I stated above.
Re: Re: Re:2
But, if your music appeared on a commercial streaming site for instance, and a polite note had no effect, could you afford the legal fees needed to take matters any further?
copyright, like patents is a license to sue, at your own expense.
Re: Re: Re:3
“But, if your music appeared on a commercial streaming site for instance, and a polite note had no effect, could you afford the legal fees needed to take matters any further?”
There might be some lawyers willing to take that on for free, and there’s ways of fundraising. Meanwhile if there were no copyright, he wouldn’t even have the legal right to ask them to stop in the first place.
Copyright needs reform, but getting rid of it entirely would make things far worse.
Re: Re: Re:4
The problem is that so long as copyright gives control over works to muddle men, commercial interest will ratchet up copyright enforcement. Strong protection of authorship, and the Internet with no copyright allow the original author to sell in competition to anyone, or give away their works and look for support via the likes of patreon. Sell their copyright to a publisher and if the work makes no money it is removed from the market, and the author has no legal way of trying to make money from it.
Re: Re: Re:5
“Strong protection of authorship, and the Internet with no copyright allow the original author to sell in competition to anyone, or give away their works and look for support via the likes of patreon”
It would also allow the competition, including the major corporations who have way more resources and reach than the average new artist, to sell a lot more so long as they correctly attribute the artist.
For example, there’s plenty of major hits that are actually cover versions and the labels gave the original artists a pittance while most people don’t even know it’s a cover. This won’t change if you stop forcing the label to give the original songwriter royalties, which is pretty much all that no copyright would do. As long as they credit the original songwriter in liner notes nobody reads, they’d be home free. Without copyright, it’s in the public domain and if authorship credit is all that’s required to avoid plagiarism charges they’re do it, probably for free.
Reform is needed, but that’s not the way to do it.
“the Internet with no copyright allow the original author to sell in competition to anyone, or give away their works and look for support via the likes of patreon”
I think you’re confused as to what copyright is. An artist can already do all those things.
“Sell their copyright to a publisher and if the work makes no money it is removed from the market, and the author has no legal way of trying to make money from it.”
Which is a good argument for far shorter terms on copyright, reducing the amount that copyrights are hoarded by certain corporations never released even if they’re not profitable, etc. Not for removing copyright, thus ensuring the corporation don’t even have to try buying it in the first place.
Re: Re: Re:6
As I see it, you can have copyright, or you can have the Internet, because as long as copyright exists the middle men will slowly but surely increase their control over the Internet until they control it. Piracy is simply the drum those middle men keep beating on to slowly restore their position as controllers of all published works.
Left Hand, maybe check what the Right Hand is up to…
Its all fun and games till you notice its the belt from your robe…
So, while we don’t know yet if this is in the automated system collateral damage category, or the fraudulent copyright takedown category
That’s the same category as far as I’m concerned.
This is true, but there’s always intent. It’s valuable to know if someone screwed up some code or if there’s a rogue actor deliberately sabotaging things.
As an avid player of Destiny 2 I thought I would update everyone on this. Turns out it was an imposter using an email address that looked similar to the company they use to find infringement. Bungie does not allow automated take downs, if it comes down it is because someone at Bungie pulled the trigger. They worked with Google to get the imposter account banned and all accounts that had action taken against them have been or are in the process of being restored.
More details can be found in Bungies weekly newsletter to their players.
Mystery solved, everybody can go home now…
No, seriously, it very much wasn’t them.
Bungie has filed a complaint for 512(f) and five other causes of action. Case no. 2:22-cv-371, Western District, WA.
@TimothyG – minor point, but it would help readers follow along if you explained who/what Bungie is. Not all of us copyright geeks are also video game enthusiasts.