Bungie is chasing the perpetrators behind a recent spate of fake DMCA takedowns in a sizeable $7.6 million lawsuit.
Earlier this year, what looked to be a group of anonymous “John Does” allegedly impersonated the company to take down numerous YouTube videos using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
To outsiders, it seemed like Bungie had abandoned its normally lax content policy for YouTubers and streamers to cut down videos uploaded by Destiny content creators.
In reality, those DMCA takedowns were falsified by someone unaffiliated with the company who’d managed to create an email account that resembled one used by the Destiny creator.
Now, in a complaint filed on June 22, 2022, Bungie claims a person called Nick Minor was responsible for those takedowns and is seeking over $7.6 million in damages to cover the alleged infringement of its copyrights along with preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
Bungie claims that Minor, who goes by the moniker “Lord Nazo” online, sent “shockwaves” through the Destiny community by allegedly submitting those fraudulent takedown notices.
The studio added that community members described the loss of that falsely-struck content as “heartbreaking” and “legitimately a tragedy,” with one content creator adding that they’re now “scared to make new Destiny videos let alone keep the ones I’ve already made up.”
“The community’s sorrow quickly turned to anger,” reads the lawsuit, outlining how Minor’s alleged actions harmed Bungie’s relationship with the Destiny fanbase.
“Many fans reacted with disbelief and frustration, saying ‘Bungie has always been a company that isn’t a shitty soulless corp with this stuff and I’d super appreciate it if y;all can send this up to flagpole to whoever can look into this’ and ‘[t]his is the type of thing that alienates a dev company from their fans… it’s damaging the community and I don’t understand it tbh.'”
The company also claims Minor sought to spread further discord by disseminating “misinformation.”
“[Minor helped] to exacerbate the community reaction to the Fraudulent Takedown Notices and, upon information and belief, hoping to obscure his role as their source,” added Bungie.
This isn’t the first time Bungie has shown willing to defend itself by going on the legal offensive. In August last year, the studio — which is in the process of being purchased by Sony — filed a lawsuit against cheat software developer Ring-1 for distributing hacks that could be used in Destiny 2.
With regard to the lawsuit it filed against Minor, Bungie has requested a trial by jury in order to settle the case.