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The Real Reason Bungie Is Calling Out YouTube

YouTube hasn't been the friendliest place for content creators recently, especially in the world of gaming. Due to its rising popularity since its launch in 2005, YouTube — and parent company Google — have grown more strict when it comes to copyright strikes and DMCA takedowns. The platform has become so strict, in fact, that many videos containing Nintendo content were recently removed, despite Nintendo itself not being behind the copyright claims. It seems that developer Bungie — the company responsible for titles such as "Halo: Combat Evolved" and "Destiny" — has also been targeted in recent weeks, especially videos pertaining to "Destiny 2."

Bungie, a company known for having pretty flexible intellectual property rules for content creators, has since stated in a tweet that it was not behind the strikes that led to the removal of several "Destiny 2" videos from YouTube, as well as videos from the official Bungie YouTube channel. Instead, Bungie claimed that the strikes were triggered after a series of reports from fake accounts, potentially in response to the recent sanctioned removal of "Destiny" soundtrack videos. Bungie has also filed a lawsuit against the alleged guilty parties and called out YouTube for allowing the situation to escalate to this degree.

Bungie criticizes YouTube's 'easily-gamed' DMCA system

According to Bungie's suit, the company reached out to YouTube on March 19 regarding the reportedly false takedowns. After receiving an out-of-office response, Bungie tried Google's Head of Games Publishers and also couldn't establish contact. After sending several more emails in the following days, the platform finally responded on March 22 saying that it had taken action against the fraudulent copyright claims. Because of this long and arduous process, Bungie blasted YouTube and its parent company Google for their allegedly broken DMCA system and placing it in a "circular loop" when seeking support.

"Thanks to YouTube's easily-gamed reporting system, the attack was a success, and videos were removed ... on the basis of the Fraudulent Takedown Notices," Bungie's lawyers stated. Bungie has also criticized YouTube for allowing anyone to file a copyright claim on a company's behalf and asserted that the platform "has no dedicated mechanism for copyright holders" in the case of impersonation. In the suit, Bungie is seeking $150,000 in damages "for each Fraudulent Takedown Notice that willfully infringed Bungie's copyrights" from 10 unidentified John Does.