On Saturday December 6th, Capcom released the trailer for the PS4/PC exclusive title Street Fighter V. Shortly afterwards popular YouTuber Angry Joe uploaded an “Angry Rant” discussing the trailer and the new exclusivity deal with Playstation. Like many of his videos, Angry Joe was negative towards the news and shortly thereafter a Digital Millennium Copyright Act claim was issued on the video. On the grounds that use of the trailer violated Capcom’s copyright, Angry Joe’s video was taken down.
Bizarrely, Angry Joe was using press credentials issued to him by Capcom themselves to create his video, so a subsequent DMCA claim on the content used is strange indeed. Angry Joe has since responded to Capcom’s action in his typical fashion.
As many gamers are aware, Angry Joe is far from the first to experience DMCA claims used in this manner.
DMCA first entered most gamers’ lexicon in 2013 when TotalBiscuit’s video on Day One: Garry’s Incident which was both very popular and highly critical of the game was taken down by the developer on the grounds that “Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license”. The backlash against the seemingly spiteful copyright claim resulted in much more negative press for Garry’s Incident and an increased awareness of copyright claims as a tool in games media.
Recently, Call of Duty publisher Activision was revealed to be making copyright claims on YouTube videos showing glitches, exploits and cheating methods in their recently released game; Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In this case the claims were not restricted to popular YouTube personalities or even to negative content/commentary; the Activision claims seemed to hit any Advanced Warfare content regardless of creator or opinion. This was not Activision’s first copyright blitz either, in a humorous 2012 case their wide DMCA claims resulted in an official Call of Duty trailer removed from the official Xbox Canada channel.
Many gamers find these sort of copyright claims both disingenuous on the part of publishers and as callous attempts to silence negative press for games that deserve critique.
Share your thoughts on the big bad DMCA with us in the comments! Are they a necessary tool for creators or a malicious business tactic pure and simple?