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October 22, 2013
The Day One Garry's Incident Incident
That's no typo, that's the title of a blistering attack on an abuse of the copyright takedown system that YouTube uses. Posted by my favorite games critic, TotalBiscuit, it details his experiences on getting a takedown notice for his critical response to the game Day One Garry's Incident.
He discusses how publishers and content producers have a general truce, often through channels that help get agreements to use game footage and even early access keys. Why Wild Games Studio chose to break the truce and go after TB's critical video is still unclear. What is clear is he's having none of it, as he lays in to Wild Games for this incident and recounts several other rounds of shady behavior. The spat has also spilled onto the Steam forums, where the CEO of Wild Games has posted claims that "TotalBiscuit has no right to make revenues with our license" - claims that TB refutes in his video.
Details of the particular spat aside, the core question persists: is YouTube's notice-and-takedown system working, or is it being used to silence unwanted criticism? As I blogged last week, the details of any notification system is where the devil resides. It's clear that notification systems need to be designed with safeguards, as TB describes how he is able to rely on external assistance that's not available to smaller-scale critics. YouTube doesn't seem to be doing a lot itself to provide more active safeguards, and that's a potentially bigger problem.
Oh, and I have to mention that TB is donating any ad revenue generated from this video to the EFF.
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