Sony Is Abusing Copyright Law To Take Down The Last Of Us 2 Leaks
Sony is belatedly pulling out all the stops in trying to prevent the spread of leaks of its upcoming The Last of Us 2 game from appearing on the internet. This extends beyond targeting actual video content from the game posted with copyright strikes and the shutting down of channels. According to various posts emerging on the social networks, The Last of Us 2 is again at the center of the gaming controversies, as it seems that Sony has started implementing an offensive against the simple discussion of spoilers of the next Naughty Dog title on YouTube and Twitter. There are some users who recently reported that they have received a request to remove video content according to the DMCA law.
Update: The latest shenanigans that Sony and Naughty Dog have been up to involve using copyright claims to take down memes from Reddit.
But while some media outlets are running interference for Naughty Dog and Sony, others are not being quite as kind and have found themselves on the losing end of those copyright strike violations on their YouTube channels, also known as a DCMA, or a “notice and taked down” of the video under the Digital Millennium Contract Act. If a video creator’s content is taken down due to a DMCA notice, the creator has the ability to file a “counter-notice,” and then have to wait until the entity that filed the original takedown notice to take further action.
The DMCA and copyright abuse measures being applied by Sony and Naughty Dog would be reaching comical heights if it weren’t so depressingly sad how legally immobile and civilly hand-tied majority of the victims are of the duo’s machinations to prevent spreading of any information regarding The Last of Us: Part II leaks.
What’s interesting about these incidents of Twitter accounts and users being blocked is that DMCA claims are now apparently valid in case a leak from “The Last of Us II” is so much as mentioned, or a mention linked to in a tweet nevermind posting any actual leaked content.
The owner of the GeeksandGamers brand announced on Twitter that one of his videos about the game was taken down for copyright reasons, asking followers to help him by giving visibility to the story.
I'm not doing anything until I talk to my lawyer about this in the morning.
I showed NO IMAGES. I gave NO SPECIFICS about #TheLastofUsPartII, yet my stream was taken DOWN & I was issued a copyright strike on a CLEAN channel
Tag ppl that you think can highlight this story pic.twitter.com/phGNXdJhnO
— Jeremy Prime (@DDayCobra) April 30, 2020
and another user:
do NOT mention [REDACTED] leaks. if your tweet gets traction, regardless if you post footage or not, sony will literally file a DMCA takedown on your account, same goes for youtube or any network pic.twitter.com/gVQnIrRIFo
— ✨ Storm Yorha ✨ (@StormYorha) April 28, 2020
Storm Yorha also posted a screenshot of the DMCA notice against their account filed by Sony.
The notice explains that the media uploaded with a tweet that said, “An (Angry?) Employee Is Leaking Last of Us 2 On YouTube Again LOOL what the HELL is going on” had been removed in response to a DMCA request. The text of the tweet was left up, however – and the user, as ever, advised of their right to counter the claim.
AN (ANGRY?) EMPLOYEE IS LEAKING LAST OF US 2 ON YOUTUBE AGAIN LOOL what the HELL is going on pic.twitter.com/t1JeTFjcWl
— ✨ Storm Yorha ✨ (@StormYorha) April 26, 2020
Over on YouTube, though, the consequences are much direr, as copyright strikes can threaten a creator’s ability to upload content and can even eventually result in the channel being shut down. Sony’s actions are putting creators’ livelihoods at risk.
So, now @Sony have filed a false DMCA against my channel for a video that was already blocked and under dispute. @YouTube @TeamYouTube why are you allowing Sony to abuse your copyright claim policy? pic.twitter.com/mnXwJiisYt
— Just Some Guy (@justsomeguycc) May 1, 2020
With Sony apparently issuing DMCA takedowns for Last of Us leak discussion, we review the company's recent history of using the law to (try to) bend reality to its will.#VirtualLegality:
— Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw) May 2, 2020
Many are seeing this not just as a way to control the leaks, but to also dampen some of the backlash over what is contained within the leaks, and the disappointing direction the game decided to take.
This could open a nasty legal door for Sony if some content creators decide to not only push back by standing their ground in hosting criticism and commentary about the leaks, but also going on the offensive by suing Sony for disrupting their business by abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Meanwhile, Sony and Naughty Dog have been trying to remind people that pre-orders for The Last of Us: Part II are currently live and that the game will launch on June 19th exclusively for the PS4.