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Bungie Files Suit Against Alleged Destiny DMCA Takedown Issuers

Bungie criticized YouTube's security failings for allowing the false takedowns to go out.
Bungie criticized YouTube's security failings for allowing the false takedowns to go out. / Photo courtesy of Bungie

After several prominent Destiny content creators had their videos hit with false copyright takedowns, developer Bungie has filed a lawsuit against 10 unnamed individuals it believes responsible.

When the takedowns took place, Bungie denied issuing the takedowns itself. It even said its own content had been targeted by the notices. It went on to reveal the takedowns had been issued by "fraudulent accounts created to impersonate our IP protection service," potentially as retaliation for a "recent set of authentic takedowns of OST uploads."

Bungie's investigation has led it to take legal action against the individuals responsible — though it does not yet know their identity yet. It plans to find out through a DMCA subpoena or potentially other means, TorrentFreak reports. (A copy of the suit is available here.)

Bungie's suit also criticizes Google, which owns YouTube, for making it so easy to impersonate a rights holder and cause damage by issuing DMCA takedown notices.

"As far as YouTube is concerned, any person, anywhere in the world, can issue takedown notices on behalf of any rights holder, anywhere. A disgruntled infringer or a competitive content producer, for example, can issue takedown notices purportedly on behalf of Disney, or Fox, or Universal — or even Google itself," reads Bungie's suit.

"While YouTube has a form that allows anyone to claim or represent a copyright holder and issue copyright strikes, it has no dedicated mechanism for copyright holders who are being impersonated to let YouTube know about the DMCA fraud." In fact, Bungie was only able to resolve the false takedowns by raising the threat of legal action against YouTube, at which point a senior executive at the company responded — three days after the false claims were reported.

"While Bungie's legal department, management, and executives were attempting to negotiate the Byzantine procedural labyrinth Google required before it would address the fraud its users were committing, let alone identify who its fraudsters were, Doe Defendants themselves were gloating, confessing, and threatening," reads the suit.

The suit seeks "damages and injunctive relief, including enhanced statutory damages of $150,000 for each Fraudulent Takedown Notice that willfully infringed Bungie's copyright."