Samsung Issues Takedown On Video Of Grand Theft Auto 5 Mod Turning Galaxy Note 7 Into A Weapon

from the that's-not-a-copyright-issue dept

Another day, another weird copyright takedown for censorship rather than legit copyright reasons. Adrian Lopez alerts us to a YouTube video that no longer exists at that link. If you go there (as of right now), you get this:
If you can't quite read the text up top, it says "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and its affiliates."

What that video used to be, according to the original description was:
GTA 5 Mod Showcasing the explosive Samsung Galaxy Note 7. You can blow people up with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in GTA V.
And there's the little thumbnail that was shown in the Twitter card for the video before it disappeared:
In case you still don't get what's going on here, let's lay it out for you: there's a big story going on these days about how Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 devices are, well, catching fire (some prefer exploding, but it seems that they're mostly just setting themselves on fire). It's causing injuries and Samsung is in full on panic mode. It's now a felony to bring a Galaxy Note 7 on an airplane. This is the kind of stuff that business school case studies are written about years later, describing how Samsung handled this kind of crisis.

GTA 5, of course, is the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. And, like many video games, it's possible to mod (modify) those video games to add in other elements. And so it appears that someone took the "ripped from the headlines" stories of exploding Note 7s and created a GTA 5 mod that made such things into weapons you could use in the game.

It's kind of funny, actually.

What it is not, however, is copyright infringement. I don't care how you slice or dice it. It's not copyright infringement. Samsung may be embarrassed by its exploding devices, and it may not like people making fun of them or turning them into weapons in video games, but that doesn't matter. There's no copyright infringement against Samsung's copyrights in doing that. And it's flat out ridiculous that Samsung appears to have made a copyright claim over such a video. Hopefully whoever put up the video challenges this and YouTube comes to its senses...

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  • identicon
    Christenson, 19 Oct 2016 @ 9:52am

    Copyright = Don't Say That!

    Well, with Lenz still not ruled on by the supreme court, why not DMCA anything I don't like?? No penalties (except, of course, the Streisand effect, in operation here)!

    Hey! Techdirt! Take down this whole article! GTA5 and your whole article infringe upon my right not to giggle at a game whose whole point is to let people play at behaving badly!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:06am

    Note7

    Another topical pic ov the Note7:
    http://i.imgur.com/WwOD7Io.jpg

    S.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gumnos (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:08am

    Next GTA mod...

    Next up, a GTA mod that allows you to loft DMCA takedown notices at your opponents to kill them with paperwork…

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:12am

      Re: Next GTA mod...

      Sadly, real life has taken care of it. How many millions of automated notices is Google alone receiving?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Christenson, 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:25am

        Re: Re: Next GTA mod...

        No, real life hasn't taken care of that next GTA mod --

        Burying your opponent under a blizzard of bogus paperwork is not something you can do in GTA! Now, how to do that visually??? Hmmm....maybe in the module with the courtroom scenes, where the judge chews you out....for not behaving badly enough.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re: Next GTA mod...

        About 17... every second!

        Or 560ish million in 2015 total

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 11:29am

      Re: Next GTA mod...

      If you hit them with a DMCA bomb, all their art assets and character models are removed and they have to play the rest of the game as opaque, featureless, hit-box objects.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gumnos (profile), 20 Oct 2016 @ 8:37am

      Re: Next GTA mod...

      [This micro-fiction seemed rather apropos](https://twitter.com/AwfulFantasy/status/789125949333921792)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:11am

    some prefer exploding, but it seems that they're mostly just setting themselves on fire

    So a proper mod would depict the Galaxy Note 7 as a flamethrower. Please let someone do it.

    Meanwhile we can have a mix of fun and despair while we watch law enforcement freaking out and banning phones (all of them) from flights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:17am

    Maybe Samsung is just upset someone else thought of this use first? They do have a giant pile of these phones to get rid of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Indy, 19 Oct 2016 @ 11:30am

    Got that right...

    "This is the kind of stuff that business school case studies are written about years later, describing how Samsung handled this kind of crisis. "

    Truer words have not been spoken. I'm not sure what we call the people that make decisions at Samsung, but leaders and managers aren't quite ringing true here.

    Exploding phones, well, that never should have happened. Like, R&D and QA should have nipped this in the bud in testing. But everything that has happened since is pertinent evidence that this company is seriously mismanaged on many levels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    djl47 (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 12:04pm

    I want to see another mod

    I want another GTA mod where the exploding Note 7 can be disarmed with a DMCA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 12:29pm

    I guess this means that Q won't be giving James Bond an exploding Samsung phone in the next movie

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:25pm

    YouTube says "ye shall not embarrass large corporations".

    We stick together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 2:55pm

    GTA5 Modder, May I Make A Suggestion

    Change your mod to use the manufacture SNAGSUM and you should be good to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JBDragon (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 3:51pm

    Looking at the phone in the game, it could be a number of different phones. it doesn't say Samsung 7 of it. It's a exploding phone and THEY are actually taking credit for that with take down notices. That's pretty funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 4:21pm

    This may not be copyright, but it is trademark infringement. I don't see how the the writer can jump to copyright infringement when

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by [add name here]."

    is a standard Youtube take down notice used for any type of take down. I guess the writer expects Youtube to be more explicit in their wording so the writer is not so easily fooled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 19 Oct 2016 @ 5:08pm

      Re: TMI (Trademark Infringement)

      Sorry, the first amendment clearly allows satirical speech such as the GTA mods, whether you or Samsung is offended or not!

      It doesn't protect the GTA franchise from your boycott of it and your public complaints about it's "low blow" "hit job" humor which you find beyond the pale of decencty.

      The purpose of a trademark is to allow someone to identify "their" product when it is for sale without confusion in the marketplace for "their" product.

      Here, there's no sale, no distinctive marks, no confusion (except about what Trademark protects), and yet we have all JUMPED to the conclusion that these "explosively weaponized" phones are Samsung Galaxy 7s...so no Trademark infringement at all.

      I have an absolute right to factually discuss my Apple iPhone (with TM). That includes satire -- especially as my swipe to unlock has disappeared in the latest iOS update, thank you USPTO, dammit!) TM only prevents me from trying to make you think my Droid phone which I am selling is somehow actually authorized by Apple.

      Someone else may point out how the anti-circumvention properties of the DMCA infringe upon that right of speech, but it's not germane here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2016 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: TMI (Trademark Infringement)

        The first amendment right only extends to individuals in this case. Companies are usually forbidden from using trademarks of another company without permission. This misuse of Samsung's trademark would be okay if a modder had created it and given it to the community.

        I use a Mickey Mouse test for infringement. I imagine the misused trademark to be 'Mickey Mouse' and think of all the violent games that include him. I always come up with zero times. Disney is a very aggressive defender of their trademarks. Samsung is not wrong in being just as aggressive. Exploding Note 7 phones is very funny though.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zidders Roofurry, 19 Oct 2016 @ 6:02pm

    Tempest in a teakettle. The copyright strike's are automatic. Odds are the video will be back as soon as the complaint has worked its way through the labyrinthine inner workings of Samsung's legal dept.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 6:42pm

    Needless to say, the Streisand Effect has taken over. This story has even started to appear in places that would normally be bashing GTA. E.g. Link

    More amusingly, it even includes a link to the mod!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 19 Oct 2016 @ 10:01pm

    BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

    But the problem is, GTA 5 is making money on the addition of this Galaxy Note 7 "storyline" into their product!
    _____

    If GTA 5 was some non-profit enterprise, or the reporting of the Samsung exploding phone was merely for some non-commercial purpose, then battling an "NP-GTA 5", or some other NGO's/ NPO's use of Samsung's failed product line (and, on copyright!) could-- and should!-- be deemed excessive!
    _____

    Mike!... you're censorship concerns are valid!... and, I can't keep from believing that the cited "take-down" was motivated-- in part!-- by Samsung's defence against any further erosion of public confidence (although!... I think that ship has sailed!)! Nevertheless!... business, is business!... and if a GTA 5 wants to use Samsung's Note 7 as a "theme" in their "for-profit" "venture"... (and regardless of the failure of Samsung's product!)... then GTA 5 should allow Samsung to receive a "return" on the use of Samsung's failed effort! And... honestly!... the pennies from a GTA 5 "Galaxy Note 7 theme" may be the "rare return" that Samsung may receive, from its MANUFACTURING DISASTER!
    _____

    Please!... no emails!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Adrian Cherry (profile), 20 Oct 2016 @ 12:29am

      Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

      They must be raking it in, my lad wasn't interested in the slightest with GTA5 but now it's got an exploding phone it's suddenly jumped to the top of his Christmas present list.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2016 @ 12:49am

      Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

      I don't usually engage your silly posts, but:

      "GTA 5 is making money on the addition of this Galaxy Note 7 "storyline" into their product!"

      How? Are you honestly stating that people are buying copies of GTA5 purely to access this mod? Or, do you believe that the mod itself is a revenue stream for them? If so, show your work.

      "if a GTA 5 wants to use Samsung's Note 7"

      "a GTA5" is doing nothing. A user of that game has, independently of developer Rockstar, used the tools available to him to create a modification to the game that includes the phone as a joke.

      "the pennies from a GTA 5 "Galaxy Note 7 theme""

      Pennies form where? This is a free mod, not a product for sale.

      "Please!... no emails!"

      You put this at the end of every comment, but it's nonsense. If it's to avoid spam, nobody reading the message knows your email address, and no automated script on the server side will ever read this request.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        John Mayor, 20 Oct 2016 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

        Hey!... jerk!... I don't need your response to any of my comments! Until you start thinking... and communicating!... like a R-A-T-I-O-N-A-L human being, don't bother to engage me at all!
        .
        Please!... no emails!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          MrTroy (profile), 20 Oct 2016 @ 7:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

          > > I don't usually engage your silly posts, but:

          Sounds like it might be better to ramp up your original policy.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2016 @ 1:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

            Yeah, it was worth a try. That idiotic no emails thing's been bugging me, was hoping to get a sensible response. Not a chance, it seems... why someone would waste so much time saying nothing is a mystery, especially when they don't have the basic facts straight. Unlike our usual moron, it doesn't even look like he's deliberately trolling so I wanted to give him the benefit of a doubt.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2016 @ 7:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

              That idiotic no emails thing's been bugging me

              I think it translates to "I'm a troll".

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 20 Oct 2016 @ 10:30am

      Troll, Troll, Troll your boat...gently down the stream!

      Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
      Life is but a dream.

      You might want to anchor your boat in the actual law...the Streisand rapids are ahead.

      Copyright: Exclusive control over *ORIGINAL* work, modulo fair use. Fair use is more likely for a non-profit.
      Tradmark: No marketplace deception.

      We aren't deceived, and this GTA mod isn't original to Samsung.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 20 Oct 2016 @ 1:36am

    Just Waiting

    One of these days, someone whose video is subjected to a takedown notice is going to file suit for a declaration of non-infringement. The sender of the takedown notice is likely to feel sad as a result, especially if the court awards fees to the prevailing video author.

    One or two of these will probably not stem the tide of invalid notices, but it could start a trend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 20 Oct 2016 @ 10:23am

      Re: Just Waiting

      My...please read up on the "Dancing Baby" case...Lenz versus Universal Studios...and someone with a little better memory can name the case where Rightscorp managed to undo section 230 protections because of all their fraudulent notices.

      Lenz is at the supreme court now...because the lower courts didn't agree that any fees should have been awarded.

      It has also been going on for, literally, YEARS.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bumurmum, 21 Oct 2016 @ 1:46am

    BS Shiz

    best gift for your mother in law... would be a note 7 mwhahaha XD

    "S" caused this upon themselves, they should actually be put in prison for sending out bombs, there are no terrorist attacks, it was only "S". besides gta cant be held liable for royalties to "S" for what a user made, otherwise "S" must pay royalties to Sony, cause I had Sony's backround on my S3 , the shouldve allowed these mods to happen, because lets face it it will be fun for a while then it gets lame, now its going to carry on longer than it would've, and if the people buy GTA V just for that mod, well thats the end users money being used, Rockstar cant be held liable for what the end users do with their product

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2016 @ 12:36pm

    Well Mike, you are becoming famous. The BBC just published a story on this and you get an honorable mention . Congratulations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    desui, 10 Apr 2017 @ 4:52pm

    great

    Looking at the phone in the GTA 5 hacks game, it could be a number of different phones. it doesn't say Samsung 7 of it. It's a exploding phone and THEY are actually taking credit for that with take down notices. That's pretty funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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