Bungie suing person responsible for multiple fraudulent Destiny 2 DMCA takedowns

by Pierre Bell

To the tune of $7.7 million.

The Warlock solar 3.0 rework PR image in Destiny 2.

Bungie is suing the person behind several bogus Destiny 2 DMCA takedowns.

March 2022 saw Bungie and various YouTubers hit with a DMCA takedown. At the time, it wasn’t clear who was issuing the takedowns, but Bungie eventually found out who the malefactor was, and has filed a lawsuit.

According to the filing, the offender's name is Nicholas Minor who goes by Lord Nazo on YouTube. Apparently, Minor was issued a takedown notice by Bungie on YouTube, went off the rails, and eventually started targeting Bungie and prominent Destiny YouTubers.

"After receiving the takedown notice, Minor left his infringing video up for the maximum possible time – until late January 2022, when YouTube deleted it – and instead created a new Gmail address intended to mimic the syntax of the email address CSC used for Bungie’s legitimate takedowns," reads the suit.

"In February 2022, he purchased and uploaded multiple tracks from another OST – this time, for Bungie’s latest release, The Witch Queen. When Bungie had CSC send DMCA takedowns for this second infringement and other infringing videos on his channel, Minor acted. He registered a second fake “CSC” email address and began to send out a wave of fraudulent takedown notices."

Ninety-six separate times, Minor used the fake mail addresses claiming to be representing a rights holder for purposes of issuing a takedown under the guise of Bungie’s “Brand Protection” vendor. This caused undue stress for innocent content creators and "significant reputational and economic damage" to Bungie.

"The Destiny community was bewildered and upset, believing that Bungie had reneged on a promise to allow players to build their streaming communities and YouTube channels on Destiny 2 content," reads the filing. "Destiny community members were also misled to believe that Bungie’s brand protection agent was also fraudulent, causing confusion among users as to the authenticity of legitimate DMCA notices.

"Bungie had to devote significant internal resources to addressing it and helping its players restore their videos and channels – an effort complicated by the fact that while YouTube has a form that allows anyone to claim to 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. This meant that Bungie had to work through several layers of YouTube contacts over a period of several days before it could adequately communicate and begin addressing the problem."

It goes on to say in the filing that Bungie is entitled to damages in an amount to be proven at trial, and entitled to damages and injunctive relief. This includes enhanced statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the works implicated in the Fraudulent Takedown Notice that willfully infringed on registered copyrights, totaling $7,650,000.