Fox Threatens Bikini Streamer For Futurama Overlay

Zoie Burgher, a banned Twitch streamer who is making big waves on YouTube, might soon have to take down most of her channel thanks to a cease and desist. Burgher, who is known for twerking during Call of Duty killcams and calling herself a "bikini streamer", often brands herself with Zoidberg, a lobster alien character from Futurama. Her online handle is a reference to Zoidberg. Her overlays on YouTube streams have a small Zoidberg displayed during gameplay, on the bottom left. She calls her fanbase "Zoidberg Nation".

Over the last few weeks, Burgher's channel gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube thanks in part to controversy regarding her attire during streams. It seems that Fox -- who owns Futurama -- was among the entities who took notice of Burgher. In an email shared with Kotaku by Burgher, Fox is demanding that Burgher stop using Zoidberg, as the association "creates consumer confusion because users encountering it will assume that Fox sponsors, endorses, or authorizes the use of the Fox IP or the content of your channel, when neither is true".

Fox says that Burgher may have to pay "statutory damages up to $150,000 [$AU197,745] per copyright infringed", along with any of her profits and Fox's attorney fees. On Twitter, Burgher says this may cost her around $US1.2 million ($1.5 million), though it's not clear on whether Fox will actually go after the money or not.

As a part of the cease and desist, Fox wants Burgher to "permanently remove all references to Futurama" from her YouTube channel, along with all of her social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. We asked Burgher what she plans to do next, but she did not respond in time for publication. Presumably, this would mean taking most of her videos down, and losing all the millions of views they have already accrued. Fox would be within its rights, of course, though Burgher's story is still unusual in that, well, lots of people use images/sounds they don't own during streams, be it in overlays surrounding the gameplay or during pop-ups signalling new subscribers.

"I am utterly disgusted," Burgher tweeted. "Apparently they weren't fans of my #NudesAt1Mill campaign," she said, presumably in reference to her plan to release nude pictures of herself to the public when she reaches a million YouTube subscribers.

"I'm about to fair-use the FUCK out of you @foxnation," Burgher continued. "You know you're doing something right when TV monoliths (@foxtv) is trying to personally hand you Ls."

Since the cease and desist, it appears that Burgher has indeed stopped using the Zoidberg in her streams, though there are still videos on her channel that feature Zoidberg.

We reached out to Fox for comment but had not received a response at time of writing.


Comments

    Well, Fox is in the right here. They do have to protect their copyright.

    i knew there would come a day when I agreed with something Fox did, I just assumed it will be a cold day in hell. But nah she cant exactly be a wise person because everyone one in their right mind knows that Fox is over sensitive about Simpsons and Futurama (sadly) being used in any form at all. Especially something so blatant and stupid, people need to realise intellectual property is not theirs to own and exploit.

    Last edited 08/10/16 10:24 am

    So she just needs to put a disclaimer up saying Fox does not endorse or sponsor the stream and she should be golden, right?

      no, she is appropriating someone else's intellectual property for her own uses and making money from it. sure its more than likely (sadly) people are paying for her cleavage but she is still receiving donations etc while featuring someone elses art work and creative license.

      its up to Fox to decide how their product is used and associated with not just some no name random twitch streamer. Or else every no name twitch streamer will be using their IP.

      Last edited 08/10/16 12:15 pm

        "Appropriating someone else's intellectual property for her own uses and making money from it."

        Games community is too strange when they outright accept the use of a video game (someone else's IP) as a form of wealth creation, but try to make a stand when an element external to the community (aka, someone else's IP) is used as an ancillary device in that same endeavour.

          Difference being Game companies allow this to occur. They have given permission. This woman does not have permission.

          Simple.

    This is weird... media companies dont have to ask nicely or give notice, they have DMCA takedowns.

    “I’m about to fair-use the FUCK out of you @foxnation,”

    Not if you're making profit off their copyrighted imagery you're not... *smh*

    Seriously, you'd think she would've looked into this beforehand. Fox isn't in the wrong here, they have every single right to ask her to take this down. She could just go and pixelize Zoidberg out in her previous videos ?

    Last edited 08/10/16 11:24 am

      ^ exactly this. You can get away with mispronouncing zoeyburgher and playing on zoidberg, but using a piece of fox's artwork in your banner and using their IP all over your branding when it's your main job not some kid's hobby - it's very clear cut and dried asset theft. Once she started making money out of this she should have known to start stripping (heh heh) the zoidberg branding. Transferring to youtube would have been the perfect time.

      Last edited 08/10/16 11:41 am

      I mean, fair use does allow for commercial use of other people's copyrighted content.

      But, y'know, I think she'd have a hard time arguing that she's reviewing or satirising Futurama in all those videos. YouTubers often seem to get confused on this point and think that Fair Use = "You can do whatever the hell you want with as much of other people's IP as you desire" not "Critical review and satire/parody are protected in the sense that they don't require permission to use parts of somebody else's IP because the existent of free criticism and parody is in the public interest."

      Last edited 08/10/16 3:00 pm

    Damn, was kinda hoping we would see one of those folks who takes issue with her and points out she only dresses in bikinis to attract male viewers.........as though none of us could connect those dots on our own.

    On another note, seeing how the internet works, I find it strange that anyone would do an X amount of viewers for nudes, campaign.
    It's the bloody internet....

    Am I meant to feel bad for her? Because after reading her response it's having the opposite effect.
    "I’m about to fair-use the FUCK out of you @foxnation, Apparently they weren’t fans of my #NudesAt1Mill campaign, You know you’re doing something right when TV monoliths (@foxtv) is trying to personally hand you Ls.”
    That right there shows she doesn't care that she used copyrighted imagery for her own monetary gain. And instead she's just used your article as advertisement with that little tidbit of information about releasing nudes at her next milestone? Ugh!

      She's pretty much shown intent of use with her comment there.

    This streamer is cancer and an insult to actual female streamers. She need to go back to chaturbate where she belongs.

    As much as I hate Fox and everything they stand for, this chick deserves every bit of lawsuit she gets. Fox may have played nice if she apologized and started to make changes but trying to play the "tough chick" routine is gonna bite her in her shameless twerking arse.

    Last edited 08/10/16 10:27 pm

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