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Samsung has filed a copyright claim against a video by Modded Games on YouTube showcasing a Grand Theft Auto V mod that replaced Sticky Bombs with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone as reported by The Verge.

The “Samsung Galaxy Note 7 [Bomb]” mod was created by HitmanNeko, a modder with an affinity for making alternate car models for Grand Theft Auto V. This particular mod simply replaces the Sticky Bomb model with that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 initially faced a recall of 2.5 million units which later became a tricky logistical issue. Samsung eventually halted all production of the Note 7 after replacement phones began having issues with batteries catching fire.

The video in question was originally uploaded by the channel Modded Games as discovered through the YouTube Dataviewer tool. The video has been replaced with the following message:

“GTA 5 MOD – Samsung …” This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and its affiliates.

Update #2: The original video has been restored by YouTube:

The Grand Theft Auto V modding community is covered by many YouTube channels, and there are still plenty of videos showcasing the mod live on YouTube at the moment. The reasoning behind why this particular video was selected for takedown compared to all of the others is unclear at this time. The reasoning behind the takedown itself is not yet known, and it’s also unclear whether or not it was actually Samsung that took the video down or if it was a bot or a copyright troll.

We’ve reached out to Samsung, the Modded Games YouTube channel, and the modder HitmanNeko for comment.

Update: We’ve heard back from the Modded Games YouTube channel. The operator of the channel provided us the following statement:

I did a counter claim and still no response from YouTube. I emailed the Samsung affiliate who copyrighted my video numerous times but still no response. My video was the one with most views, 1+Million views and Samsung took it down wrongfully by abusing the copyright system since it is a parody. A counter claim can take 10+ days. I’m going to sue them since they are losing me 10 days in the middle of what was a viral upsurge in traffic. Samsung is costing me ad revenue and hindering the growth of my channel, that can’t be replaced.

Furthermore, Modded Games provided an Imgur album showing behind-the-scenes stats as well as screenshots of coverage on other sites. We’ve reproduced the album in a gallery:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lastly, Modded Games has uploaded another video featuring the mod which you can check out here:

Update #2: I’ve heard back from the modder who had no comment other than they “just made the mod for fun”. A screenshot of the restoration e-mail is here and has been added to the end of the album for Update #1.

Quick Take

I’m not a lawyer, but I have the feeling that Samsung might not be correct in their judgment here – assuming it was actually Samsung that sent the claim in the first place. If it was indeed sent by them, I think that they ought to consider taking a refresher course on the Streisand Effect.

What do you think of Samsung taking down a YouTube video of a tongue-in-cheek Grand Theft Auto V mod that makes light of their issues with the Note 7? If it was indeed taken down by Samsung, do you feel that they are justified in their actions of taking down a video of HitmanNeko’s Sticky Bomb Mod? Let us know in the comments below!

More About This Game

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

  • ParasiteX

    Someone really needs to sit down Samsung and explain to them how Fair Use works..

  • And YouTube, as well. IMO, a claim like this shouldn’t be able to happen in the first place.

  • ParasiteX

    Yep. If anything. Youtube needs to drastically change how their copyright claim system works. So that it is up to the one making the claim to first provide evidence of a copyright breach. Before the video gets taken down or demonetized.

  • Bitterbear

    Not surprised about Samsung doing this. S.E. Asian culture in general has an unhealthy obsession with public image that will make them go to extremes to scrub anything that harms their reputation.

  • Pesty

    Yes, the real problem here is YouTube. Samsung is in the middle of a PR nightmare with their product, and I can’t fault them too heavily for utilizing whatever means they have available to limit the damage to their brand.

    I do hope that Modded Games’ claims of issuing a suit of their own isn’t just bluster and bravado, however. I hope they have something that they can win. We need some legal precedents to bolster the strength of Fair Use.

  • Vholst

    And while watching the videos, Samsung smartphone ads pop up, perfect.

  • florian

    Other channel:

  • I hope he does sue samsung.

  • ParasiteX

    It hardly excuses Samsung though. They still in the end knowingly chose to abuse the very crummy DMCA functions in YT.
    Just because you can do it.. Doesn’t mean you should.

  • There aren’t likely to be any repercussions for them. As the uploader stated, even if he was compensated for revenue that doesn’t compensate him for the lost potential in channel growth that the video would otherwise have brought. Sure they might lose a judgement, but even if it were tens of thousands of dollars that’s nothing to Samsung. For a YouTuber, though? That’s a lot.

  • Pesty

    Of course. It doesn’t excuse such abusive practices, and perhaps it’s a sad indictment on the state of things that I just automatically expect a large corporation to be exactly as shitty as is legally allowable.