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Destiny YouTuber sued by Bungie for over $7M due to false DMCA strikes

Earlier this year, Bungie found itself in hot water with the Destiny content creator community after a number of music channels began getting spammed with DMCA strikes. Bungie swiftly confirmed it was not behind this and worked with YouTube to get things reversed. So who was behind the false bans? Well, it turns out a fellow Destiny-focused music channel on YouTube was behind the whole thing, and now Bungie is suing him for more than $7M.

Bungie has now filed a lawsuit against Nicholas Minor, known online as ‘Lord Nazo', for $150,000 per fraudulent takedown request. Adding up all the impacted videos brings the total number of damages to $7.65 million USD.

Minor operated a Destiny-focused YouTube channel for eight years, taking tracks from the official Destiny OST album and looping them into longer tracks before uploading them to YouTube. Eventually Bungie did copyright strike his channel, claiming that simply looping the audio from the OST is not transformative enough to class as Fair Use. However, Bungie does not have an issue with other music channels, which capture music from within the game itself and not the OST album, as these tracks are often a little different and have additional elements to them compared to the album version.

Minor tried on several occasions to get his videos restored but after being denied, he allegedly decided to cause some chaos within the community. After creating fake email accounts that Bungie and Google have tied to Minor, they began fraudulently filing DMCA claims with YouTube against other Destiny music channels and under a fake identity, began sending emails out to various content creators and Bungie staff members to generate drama between Bungie and the content creator community.

During this time, Minor claimed publicly that his videos were also fraudulently taken down by the person behind all of this, in hopes that his videos would be reinstated, but Bungie didn't go for it. After obtaining data from Google and conducting investigations, Bungie discovered that Minor was the person behind the DMCA strikes, leading to the lawsuit.

It is a wild story of a content creator actively seeking revenge against a company and going to great lengths to damage their reputation with the community. As Owen Spence of the channel AtlyxMusic explains, Minor was thought of as a friend by a number of other Destiny creators, which made this discovery all the more shocking. It also brings to light just how easy it is for people to abuse YouTube's copyright system and the issues it can cause for both content creators and in cases like this, the copyright holders as well.

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KitGuru Says: We've seen content creators issue fake DMCA claims against other creators before, usually to supress some kind of criticism, but this situation really is on a whole other level. 

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