PewDiePie has responded to the DMCA takedown against one of his videos by Firewatch developer Campo Santo. The DMCA notice was placed after PewDiePie made a racial slur in a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds live stream.
Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg said that the takedown was an attack on him and his livelihood made worse by the fact he made the video private based on a request from Campo Santo but was then served a copyright takedown notice leading him to delete the video entirely. The video in question was a Let’s Play of Firewatch and falls into an unproven grey area in the legal system. The issue is that YouTubers don’t own the game they are playing but do add their own entertainment factor to the video which could bring it under Fair Use.
Check out PewDiePie’s response below:
Meanwhile, Leonard French has taken a look at the situation and concluded that PewDiePie would likely be able to claim against the DMCA takedown.
The Firewatch website still explains in the FAQ section that players are welcome to stream their game and monetize it. It seems that Campo Santo was happy for PewDiePie to have the video live until he did something Firewatch’s Sean Vanaman disagreed with in an unrelated video playing an unrelated game.
While a game developer has every right to issue DMCA takedown notices against videos using their footage, it gets blurry when you are issuing the takedowns for non-copyright reasons, something which Vanaman acknowledged which is possibly a violation of the DMCA’s 512(f) against misrepresentations.
Of course, unless this kind of situation reached court, we won’t know for certain who would come out on top game developers or YouTubers.