Bungie Files $7.7 Million Suit Against Destiny YouTuber for False DMCA Takedowns

Bungie has accused one YouTuber of sending false DMCA takedown notices to Destiny YouTube creators.
Bungie has accused one YouTuber of sending false DMCA takedown notices to Destiny YouTube creators. / Courtesy of Bungie

Destiny 2 studio Bungie has filed a lawsuit against a Destiny 2 YouTuber who allegedly impersonated the studio in sending a series of copyright takedown notices to other Destiny 2 YouTubers. Bungie seeks $7,650,000 in damages.

In mid-March, several prominent Destiny YouTubers reported their videos were being hit with takedown notices through YouTube's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) enforcement system. Bungie denied issuing the takedowns, and went on to announce a lawsuit against 10 individuals it considered responsible at the end of that month. The studio claimed these individuals had used a loophole in YouTube's DMCA notice system to impersonate it and issue the notices.

The suit has since been revised (H/T The Gamer Post) to name Nick "Lord Nazo" Minor as a defendant. Minor himself received a takedown notice from Bungie in December for publishing music from the soundtrack to Destiny expansion The Taken King in violation of Bungie's copyright and fan use policy. Minor allegedly left the video online until YouTube deleted it in January.

Bungie says that to retaliate against it, Minor created fake Gmail accounts to pose as CSC, which is Bungie's brand protection vendor. Using those accounts, he's alleged to have sent out the takedown notices that hit Destiny influencers My Name is Byf, Aztecross, The Phoenix and Promethean.

"This case arises out of Nick Minor’s malicious campaign to serve fraudulent takedown notices to some of the most prominent and passionate members of that fanbase, purportedly on Bungie’s behalf, in apparent retaliation for Bungie enforcing its copyrights against material Minor uploaded to his own YouTube channel," reads the lawsuit.

"Using the confusion engendered by his own false DMCA notices, Minor also sent a counternotification to YouTube, specifically challenging Bungie’s identification of his videos as infringing based on the idea that the notifications may have been part of his own wave of fraudulent takedowns."

Bungie arrived at the nearly $8 million total by charging $150,000 per instance of infringement.

Bungie's been fairly litigious of late, filing several lawsuits against Destiny cheat makers and distributors over the past couple of years. After having one such suit dismissed in April, the studio earned a $13.5 million damages payment in an agreement ending another suit earlier this week. It's still engaged in a third suit, against cheat seller Ring-1.