Notices of infringment sent by rightsholders under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are supposed to identify infringing content so that online services can remove it, thus protecting the rightful owners.
Increasingly, however, a minority of online actors view DMCA notices as a tool to disrupt and disappear content that isn’t infringing at all.
A little over a week ago, persons unknown began sending DMCA notices to YouTube, claiming that the targeted content infringed the rights of games developer Bungie. Working on the basis that the notices were legitimate, YouTube removed the videos, some of which were uploaded by high-profile Destiny content creators. Other notices targeted Bungie’s own channels.
At least initially, confusion reigned. Bungie is a supporter of fan-created content and has a policy that specifically allows videos to be uploaded to YouTube. So why was the creator of Destiny damaging itself and its fans? In short, it wasn’t.
“We’re aware of a series…