Activision Subpoenas Reddit to Identify Call of Duty: Warzone Leaker

Gaming article by Jackson Wery on Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 13:00
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Leaked image prompts legal response

Attorneys acting on the behalf of Activision filed a subpoena in a California court this Valentine's Day, according to TorrentFreak. Last week, rumors swirled around the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare community at the possibility of a battle-royale style game mode coming next month.

A video by TheGamingRevoYT/TheGamingRevolution (a notable source of leaks) purported to show a 'Warzone' mode. The video in question has since been removed, explaining it was taken down due to a copyright claim by Activision. Players could also access a new set of menu items after the release of the Season 2 update, implying the upcoming DLC.

Around the same time, an image was posted on r/Modernwarfare depicting a number of soldiers standing atop and around a crashed helicopter. Text boldly proclaimed "Call of Duty: Warzone" behind them.  “I found this image online. Not sure what it is. Possibly Battle Royale,” wrote the person in charge of the account. As part of Activision's filing, they demanded that Reddit turn over identifying information regarding the (now deleted) user Assyrian2410.

“Petitioner, Activision Publishing, Inc. through its undersigned counsel of record, hereby requests that the Clerk of this Court issue a subpoena to Reddit, Inc. to identify alleged infringers at issue, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (‘DMCA’), 17 U.S.C. § 512(h). The DMCA Subpoena is directed to Reddit, Inc. Reddit is the service provider to which the subject of the subpoena – Reddit user ‘Assyrian2410’ – posted infringing Activision content.”

Though Assyrian2410 initially claimed to have found the image online, the account later confessed that it came from an inside source. The alleged subpoena provides a link to the infringing content but references the discussion thread rather than the URL where the image was hosted. Nothing in the discussion thread specifically violated copyright, and the image URL was not included in the subpoena request.  Although the DMCA subpoena request seemed deficient, a clerk of the court signed off on the document. Reddit is required to turn over information by the morning of February 28, 2020. What, if any, data Reddit retains on deleted accounts remains to be determined.

In the meantime, be sure to check back with us at TechRaptor as the situation develops. Let us know what you think in the comments below, as well. In the meantime, you can browse the alleged subpoena documents collected by TorrentFreak here, here, and here.

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Jackson Wery

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I'm the diviner your GM warned you about.