Indie Dev Calls For Copyright Strikes Against Pewdiepie After He Says N-Word On Stream

Indie Dev Calls For Copyright Strikes Against Pewdiepie After He Says N-Word On Stream

Game developer Sean Vanaman announced on social media today that Campo Santo, the studio behind the indie game Firewatch, will be filing a takedown against Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg on YouTube over footage featuring their latest game, as well any future releases. This came hours after widely circulated footage showed Kjellberg say the n-word while streaming an online shooter.

“There is a bit of leeway you have to have with the internet when u wake up every day and make video games,” Vanaman wrote on Twitter. “There’s also a breaking point.”

Vanaman appeared to be reacting to the latest controversy surrounding the YouTube star, as this afternoon, a clip in which Kjellberg called a Battlegrounds player the n-word spread widely on message boards and social media. “What a fucking n-” Kjellberg said, while killing an opponent. “Sorry, but what the fuck. What a fucking arsehole.”

Campo Santo declined to comment when asked by Kotaku if Vanaman was responding directly to the video clip, but Vanaman’s tweets are pretty clear. “He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry,” Vanaman wrote.

Previously, Kjellberg uploaded a full playthrough of Firewatch that has been viewed 5.7 million times on YouTube, and in the description for that 2016 video, he calls it “a wonderful story driven game.” If Campo Santo goes forward with its plan, the Digital Rights Millennium Act would be invoked to protect their copyright over Firewatch, meaning the video could be taken down.

Kjellberg did not immediately respond to comment, but has been in the spotlight over the last year for a number of contentious reasons, including jokes about Jewish people, ironically embracing nazi references, and tussles with mainstream media. This latest flare-up is actually not the first time Kjellberg has said the n-word on his channel. Actually, on YouTube, hearing a personality with a large following say the n-word isn’t particularly out of the ordinary. The Battlegrounds community is also permissive here: players sometimes scream the n-word before matches start, and in some cases, offensive antics are considered a spectacle by viewers.

“I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make,” Vanaman wrote on Twitter.

Vanaman also urged other developers to do the same, stating that he would “be reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a millionaire.”

The legalities around a potential DMCA claim are murky. In the past, YouTubers have argued that uploading footage of a game falls under fair use, so long as the YouTuber is adding comment, criticism, or identifying some kind of news value. While some game developers allow YouTubers to upload their work and monetise it, other developers might use YouTube’s automated system to claim footage as theirs, thereby allowing them to earn the ad revenue for that video. Developers draw the line in different places: some might ask players not to capture footage past a certain point in a game, or dislike when players upload full playthroughs of a title.

“I love streamers,” Vanaman continued. “I watch them daily and we sent out over 3000 keys to professional and amateur streamers of [Firewatch].”

“All streaming is infringement but devs and pubs allow it because it makes us money too,” he wrote in the Twitter thread.


    • Agree, even the context of the insult is weak.

      I can think of so many more colorful less insulting ways that employ more bad words to insult someone without ever having to bring race into it.

      • I can think of so many more colorful less insulting ways that employ more bad words to insult someone without ever having to bring race into it.” Ummm What race is he talking about, black is not a race dude…but i guess when two blacks use the N word it’s ok. but not ok when other people use it. double stand bullshit is what it is….if they can use it so can any one else…can not have ya cake and eat it as well

        • Always problematic when one group of people use a word as an insult and another use it as empowerment I guess

          • Most people understand the concept of modifying their speech and behaviour based on who they speaking with, it’s a basic function of social interaction.
            We are also no strangers when it comes to creating derogatory terms for groups that grow to have multiple meanings.

            Because of this I never buy in to the double standard usage argument because as you say, one wonders why they can’t use it as an insult when others use it as a term of endearment or empowerment, it’s just plain dishonest.

          • It’s a slippery slope, and I’m sure pdp knows this, and I’m sure he knows a bunch of other words he could use in lieu of the n word. Actually I’m not sure on that last part, I’ve never watched a stream of his and from what I’ve read he’s not exactly high brow entertainment. Maybe he needs to widen his vocabulary?
            Is a shame.

        • Genuinely curious here. I come from NZ, we have very few “black” people. We have our Pacific island brothers and our Maori people. Both of which I would consider a race.

          But I guess I hadn’t thought about black africans or black African Americans not being a different race. I guess strictly speaking its ethnicity as we are all human. This is too hard, where is my video game at.

  • I would have thought he’d have learnt his lesson form the previous incident. Apparently not.
    Good on the dev for taking a stand.

  • I’ve got no love for pewpewdie, but using a copyright law to get your way because you don’t like someone seems like a misuse.

    • It’s not misuse. The dev made it clear that they’ve tolerated the copyright breaches because, up until now, they’ve been mutually beneficial. They’ve now reassessed that position. In the same way that sponsors quickly ditch athletes who act like a’holes.

      Anyone with half a brain knows that you don’t use that particular word in an attempt to insult or taunt people. It’s not okay and tolerating it is not okay.

      • It is misuse. The game the slur was made in was not Campos Santos IP (The game was PUBG made by Bluehole Studio Inc.) so that means that Campos Santos cannot file a takedown notice against PewDiePie for misuse of their IP. Their own website states quite clearly that not only does Campos Santos allow all who wish to to stream but they allow anyone who so chooses to MONETIZE that stream. Therefore filing a takedown notice to YouTube/Twitch/etc. would be a false filing for which PewDiePie can then claim Defamation of Character (per se Defamation in this case being: adversely reflecting on a person’s fitness to conduct their business or trade), and can claim damage as a result of that per se harm.

        If Sean Vandaman had filed a takedown notice against Felix Kjellberg for misuse of Campos Santos IP (there needs to be a preponderance of evidence of misuse) that would be a correct use of dmca takedown. However, dmca takedown notices cannot be used to fetter or chill speech. What Felix said during that game is protected speech. Don’t like it? Tough shit. Thats why DMCA equates falsely filling a cease and desist letter to perjury. Depending upon the state or location that the c and d is filed in or the state or location of the target of the c and d, Perjury can be a criminal offense with up to seven years time in Jail for the offender.

        • Three people can borrow my bike any time they like, no conditions, in order to deliver newspapers. Then one of them starts yelling racists slurs at people while hurling said papers. Now two people can borrow my bike any time they like, no conditions, in order to deliver newspapers.

          I don’t see the problem? The Dev wants to stop the immature racist using extended footage from their game. They’re not trying to have him banned from Youtube, jailed, tarred and feathered, or executed.

  • Good on Sean for doing this. I’ve long been on the side of “hopefully piediepie can grow” but in these cases, he needs some real consequences.

  • I can totally see why they wouldn’t want to be associated by PDP after saying that. Yeah, that’s pretty fucking offensive, and indefensible. But stop abusing the DMCA system! It’s supposed to be used to defend against people blatantly trying to circumvent copyright. Using it to punish a YouTuber because you’re offended by them is equally as bad as doing it because somebody gave your game a bad review. It completely undermines the entire purpose of it and simply sets a precedent for people to continue doing it for non-copyright released reasons.

    The correct response is simply to have it known that you don’t support PDP or his views. Only a fucking moron would go “Oh, PDP played this game, and he said something offensive – therefore the devs are also horrible people!” It was a bad idea when people were doing it to censor reviewers, and it’s a bad idea now.

    • Thankyou

      I was looking for a way to say this myself, this may even do harm to the developers considering how YouTubers despise misuse of the DMCA to attack creators.

      Regardless of whether the other YouTubers agree with him or not they may be worried about the precedent it sets.

      • There is no precedent until it is taken to court and a judge rules on the case.

        DMCA has been used countless times by devs to take down videos but there is still no precedent so no-one knows whether or not it is ok.

        Doing this to Pewdiepie is interesting because he actually has the money to go to court if he wants to fight this, meaning a precedent could be set. More likely though he’ll make a vid about it and get more money that way and ignore the takedown.

        • DMCA has been used countless times by devs to take down videos but there is still no precedent so no-one knows whether or not it is ok.
          Both H3H3 and Jim Sterling have won their respective cases against abuse of DMCA over personal differences this year.

          • There you go then, Pewdiepie can fight it quite easily if he chooses to….although are those two cases the same as doing a lets play? I know Sterling does reviews and offers criticism etc so his would fall more neatly under fair use.

          • Not exactly the same, but not all that different. Sterling’s was a review, H3H3’s was a reaction video. So I’d say H3H3’s is the most similar to pewdiepie’s. Which the courts basically said that uploading your reactions to a work is transformative enough to fall under fair use.

          • Would still be interesting if this particular case goes to court. Firewatch is pretty much an entirely story driven game, you can just about consider it to be a visual novel. I watched a full lets play on the game and had no desire to go buy it for myself after.

            So is it fair use to commentate and show your reactions for a complete story type game? Personally I’d argue no and say that like much in law there’s a grey area where it’s ok to do a lets play of one type of game but not another.

          • See I’d say that’s even more akin to H3H3 case, where they react to a video, a similar sort of passive, story driven content.
            I suppose it more comes down to if the work is transformative. I would say it is, because pewdiepie’s product is his reactions. People go to his channel to see his reactions. People weren’t watching Firewatch, they were watching pewdiepie play Firewatch. His product is the way he reacts to things, which is a vastly different product to “playing” through the game yourself (using those quotation marks to indicate the more passive playing style in those game). Yeah, the argument can be made that watching him play through is a substitute to buying the game, but that was one of the points that was brought up in the H3H3 case, that watching their reaction video was a substitute for the original video, which the courts ended up dismissing.

    • Technically true, but why shouldn’t you have a way to prevent someone you have justified reasons to dislike from making money from your brand?

      • Because in order to implement that you would have to allow speech to be chilled. Its the very argument that Justice Brennan used in Walker v. City of Birmingham. If the City of Birmingham AL must be overruled to allow 8 African American ministers to peacefully gather and to redress their government so too must we allow Felix Kjellberg to use an offensive description while streaming or we all become hypocrites and begin our rapid descent down that slippery slope to groupthink and doublethink and Orwellian thought police.

      • If you can prove your brand was damaged directly, yes
        I don’t see that argument working here and certainly not when they themselves bought the issues to light.

        On the other hand though, you must understand why it is that corporations don’t have that kind of reach, it’s highly unethical.

        • However, once you make it about ethics, you also have to consider that it is also unethical to profit from the brand of someone who has publicly disavowed you and thus, there should be a way to enforce it. For example, let us, for the sake of the argument say that PDP decides to drop pretence and admit that he’s a racist/Nazi/etc. Shouldn’t you have a recourse to distance your brand and/or products from a human being that all the rest of the world will be recoiling away in disgust? Said association didn’t even include your consent to begin with, so even if damage is not caused /directly/ as you emphasise, you are still suffering harm from the actions of someone else.

          I understand your worry about setting precedents ripe for unethical misuse in the future but that cannot constitute a reason to allow people and companies to be damaged in the present. That in itself would constitute another unhealthy precedent.

          • There have been no damages though, in fact the opposite is already well established.

            I’m going to guess from your wording that you have an emotional horse in this race and I understand where you are coming from, but we don’t empower the strong and punish the weak because of the actions of individual idiots.

          • I actually have no sort of horses in this race at all. I simply dislike racism. On that note, the kind of entrenched racism that this little incident betrays means that allowing a white racist to keep profiting from the brand of others is empowering and enabling the /strong/.

            Hell, even if we don’t go to the race angle, I’d say that a celebrity of PDP’s caliber is the “strong” when compared to a small indie games company.

    • I agree that most DMCA takedowns are spurious and without legal grounding however as in the case of this article, a complete playthough of their entire game doesn’t fall with the 10% allowed under fair use and so its fine for them to take down the video. The fact that pewdiepie is taking a hit just makes it even better.

      • He’s not taking a hit though… He’s already benefited from the video in question.

        If anything this whole situation only gives him MORE attention, so he benefits further, just like all the previous drama surrounding him.

      • If you get the same experience from watching someone play the “game” as you would from paying it yourself, maybe it isn’t a “game” anymore and it’s time to recognise them as something different. That might lend a bit more validity to the claim.

        • If you can’t differentiate between the experiences of watching and playing then the problem lies with you.

          • But the argument here is that a full playthrough is tantamount to copyright infringement and thus a copy of the game – nothing must be lost by simply watching it and thus the interactivity is irrelevant.

            Otherwise the interactivity is essential and posting a full playthrough isnt the same and thus not infringement.

          • Wow did I maybe misunderstand a thing. Were you trying to argue that the display or transmission of a game shouldn’t be considered a game because it lacks the ludic component?

            Interesting idea if that’s the case. However, game or not, it still ignores that the constitutive components and the whole of a work are protected under copyright, and thus the display and transmission of any or all would still be infringement of copyright.

          • The point is that if you argue that broadcasting gameplay with commentary (10% seems arbitrary here) is identical to copyright infringement of the game, then the interactive component must not be essential to the “game” – and maybe it actually isn’t a game. A poster above said that after watching a playthrough they had no desire to play the game – because the interactivity is largely irrelevant in these games, you’re a glorified spectator.

            Perhaps then we need to treat them as a different class of interactive media – and your argument may have more merit. Otherwise I’d argue that a video does not impart actual gameplay and thus an essential component of the product is lost, and therefore not copyright infringement.

          • Whether we call it a game or not doesnt change how its effected by copyright law, the 10% part came about as being sufficient for genuine critique and review while stopping people who simply wanted whatever the item was for free.

          • it still ignores that the constitutive components and the whole of a work are protected under copyright, and thus the display and transmission of any or all would still be infringement of copyright. What don’t you understand about this? It doesn’t matter if you think that gameplay is the defining feature in determining validity of copyright because that kind of speculative notion has no bearing in determining copyright.

      • Except that in this case a playthrough of the entire game is allowable to be monetized by Campos Santos per their own website. You may not say to Party A: I like you. You have a wonderful attitude I will allow you to profit from my work and then say to Party B: You said a bad word one that I disagree with therefore you may NOT profit from my work if that is the sum total of your complaint. If Party B had said that WHILE playing through Campos Santos FireWatch IP (or any other IP owned by Campos Santos) they may marginally have a claim. In this case the slur occurred in a game not owned or related to Campos Santos except through PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg)

  • Another developer abusing the DCMA Copyright act /System because he dislikes a internet personality, Unless the developer who’s misinterpretation of the “moral high ground” takes Pewdie whatever to court, The video’s will be back up in 2 weeks with a renewed vigor of the personalities fanbase watching it again just to spite this dev. It’s all ridiculous.

    • The Dev has a pretty solid legal case for the DMCA takedown though, due to it being a complete playthrough.

      • If they take it to court, the reasons why they’re taking down the video now (and the fact they’re not taking down anyone else’s) will more than likely hang them out to dry.

        • I doubt it, other people breaching copywrite is rarely an effective defence to breaching it yourself.

          • It’s not about others breaching it. It’s about them not defending it elsewhere, while also publicly stating the reasons they’re filing a DMCA in this one case has little to do with the copyright and everything to do with the fact they simply dislike the person.

            It’s abuse of the system, period.

          • It’s not that trivial. Copyright holders don’t need a reason (valid or otherwise) to enforce their rights under copyright law, those rights aren’t contingent on motive.

            It’s not abuse of the DMCA system either, it’s just something that has to be evaluated in the courts on a case-by-case basis: Kjellberg used copyrighted material for commercial gain, that much is uncontested. What the court would need to determine is if Kjellberg’s use of that copyrighted material falls under any of the fair use exemptions.

          • what you’re saying isn’t abuse of the system.
            but after looking into it more it turns out there’s a streaming policy on the Firewatch website giving express/implied permission for anyone to stream. So the DMCA takedown is bunk and frivolous.

      • But they really don’t. Based on them releasing 3000 keys to streamers to stream the game. If just one of those keys was used to do a complete playthrough, then it sets a standard for being ok with full playthrough through video distribution.
        This is blatant abuse of copyright, and the copyright claim falls flat because of the openness of support for streaming, regardless of who in the statements. They have to go after everyone not in a formal agreement as per copyright, or allow anyone to host footage.

        There are other paths for the kind of behaviour and hosting video, but as the video with the issue isn’t the video of the devs game. There is nothing they can do, so they’re being juvenile.

        • There’s no such thing as copyright dilution, you’re confusing it with trademark dilution. Copyright doesn’t decay through lack of defence or inconsistent defence, it remains at full strength for the full duration of its term. The copyright holder is free to permit or deny rights to their work to anyone for any reason.

          • Except that copyright must be vigorously defended from infringement. The legal term is not decay but abandonment. If you fail to defend against even one infringing party then you may not bring infringement up for the same copyrighted work against another party who has infringed in materially the same manner.

          • Sorry, that’s wrong. Not only are you confusing copyright with trademark, your threshold for trademark abandonment is way off base.

            Trademark rights can be weakened through abandonment or genericide. Trademark abandonment has a burden of proof, and companies certainly don’t have to defend every single infringement. Your claim that if they fail to defend against ‘even one infringing party’ is straight up false. In 15 USC §1127, abandonment only happens “when its use has been discontinued with intent not to resume such use. Intent not to resume may be inferred from the circumstances. Nonuse for three consecutive years shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment.”

            Copyright protections are always at full strength. The conditions of trademark abandonment don’t apply to copyright – in fact, copyright does have its own concept of abandonment, but it requires the copyright holder purposely relinquish their rights to the public domain. It can’t happen accidentally, through neglect or through lack of defence.

            To reiterate, copyright does not need to be defended to remain effective. A copyright holder can ignore violations for years, then enforce their rights against any or all of them at any time they choose.

    • Exactly. This is PDP, Youtube’s golden boy, whether they admit it or not. Here’s what’s likely to happen, and feel free to correct me on details of the system that I may get incorrect. PDP will probably counterclaim, saying that the footage falls within fair-use. I think that will give the devs two weeks to take the case to court as a legal issue, during which time the video will be removed, and after which time the video will be reinstated. Unless the dev actually take it to court. In the latter scenario, the devs lose; PDP isn’t a lowly kid making videos for his friends to laugh and gawk at but an online celeb with millions of dollars with which to retain a decent legal team and counter-sue the devs for making a spurious DMCA claim, given that they haven’t gone after any other streamers and that their immediately recent statements call their motivation for making the claim very much into question. And, if the devs, don’t take it two court but let the video return after that two weeks, then it will be a hit to their credibility and will call into even more question the motivation behind filing the DMCA claim in the first place if they are unwilling to see it through and stand up for it in court.

      Furthermore, as we saw with the WSJ debacle, PDP will probably publicly call the devs out on their actions against him, resulting in a storm coming down upon them from his fanbase, with one end of the spectrum boycotting the devs and/or providing negative feedback on them and their games, and the other end lashing out and attacking devs in retaliation for attacking their hero.

      At the end of the day, this is a dev virtue signalling and trying to use a big name to bring attention to their perceived righteousness, but I think they’ve seriously bitten off more than they can chew and the repercussions are not going to be in their favour.

      • […] counter-sue the devs for making a spurious DMCA claim, given that they haven’t gone after any other streamers and that their immediately recent statements call their motivation for making the claim very much into question.

        Copyright isn’t contingent on motive, nor does it need to be defended consistently or immediately. You’re confusing it with trademark, which can be weakened through lack of defence. A copyright claim isn’t weakened by any means other than deliberately giving up those rights – it can be applied selectively to a single offender among thousands if the rights holder so chooses, the only thing that potentially affects are damages awarded.

        Kjellberg’s only avenue of defence is to qualify for a fair use exemption.

    • Is it abuse, though? Is Pewdiepie’s long play of Fire watch “adding comment, criticism, or identifying some kind of news value”, or is him using a playthrough of a game to earn money? I’m honestly divided on the issue.

      Not to sound like a shill, but I’ve been watching Heather Alexandra’s playthrough of Half-Life, talking about game design and deconstructing the game’s set pieces, and I would say that she has offered a substantial amount of comment and criticism. But if the level of analysis a steamer is contributing is the equivalent of “I like this” or “this is fun, look at this”, then I don’t think that’s enough reason to post a complete playthrough.

  • What a wanker. And I’m talking about the Dev here. Was it said during his walking simulator, or another game?

    Fair use will come into play because although they own the game, Felix uploaded the gameplay with his commentary over it. If they successfully do this, consider every YouTuber being worried.

    Also, he said the N word. Big fuck. Public persona or not, people can slip up, and if he hasn’t apologised yet, then he will. It’s time for people to stop being so bloody precious about words like this. People call me a wog all the time, and it’s never once caused me to have mental break down.

    Everyone needs to calm down and let Felix apologise or explain himself.

    And the Nazi stuff he spoke about, was clearly a joke.

    • Uploading video of a game with commentary does not make it fair use, it makes it a derivative work.

      Jim Sterling making an original video with occasional snippets of copyrighted work is fair use. PDP uploading gameplay footage with commentary is a derivative work. As an example from other media, Mystery Science Theatre need to purchase the rights to a film before they can make their commentaries. RiffTrax don’t because they distribute only the commentary, not the original film.

      This claim should have pretty much nothing to do with DMCA, but that’s the direct way of issuing a copyright notice. It’s more to do with Moral Rights and Derivative Works.

  • Public persona or not, people can slip up, and if he hasn’t apologised yet, then he will.

    You nailed it except that he already apologised immediately after he said it:
    “What a fucking n-” Kjellberg said, while killing an opponent. “Sorry, but what the fuck. What a fucking arsehole.”

    Any judging authority with any amount of power in this situation would see that the statement was made in the heat of the moment and that he immediately caught himself and made an effort to excuse the occurrence.

    • I play games on line and have never in the heat of the moment said something like this. Thats a poor excuse.

        • I can’t speak for hansoloai… but I certainly haven’t. If the gateway between thought and mouth is really as tenuous as you suggest, then perhaps you need to reflect on your own values if you find yourself shouting racially offensive words at other people in the ‘heat of the moment’.

          • That sounds like it could be an anger management issue, I would seek some help in case it ever escalate to physical violence.

          • Not priceless at all, I don’t for a second believe at all that either of you have never said a racist thing in your lives.

          • Well, this is the Internet, so let me skip to the end … I’m sure by some alt-right logic you’ll be able to find something I said somewhere in my past that you subjectively (and conveniently) assess as racist. We’ll go back and forth a bit until you accuse me of being a SJW, at which point I’ll throw my liberal elitist arms up in the air with a claim that I’m disengaging from the exchange and you’ll claim a moral victory.

            Let’s just not and say we did.

          • Unfortunately, you have the story wrong. Never once did I think, nor do I think, you’re a SJW, and I’m definitely not alt-right. But nice try. My problem was that you just naturally claimed a moral high ground when you replied to truthfulnerd with a condescending comment about how he should reevaluate his values If he believes that you, or anyone else, has said something racist in the heat of a moment. You are simply lying to yourself if you honestly believe you have never said anything racist ever. Simple as that. Be a liberal elitist or alt-right, It doesn’t matter. Just don’t be a self-righteous hypocrite.

          • “Something racist in the heat of a moment” is not the same thing as “anything racist ever”. Truthfulnerd’s comment was about the former, BJ’s response was about the former, and any condescension you think you saw was in the context of the former.

            If you want to criticise BJ’s comment, address what it actually said, don’t create a straw man to tear down instead.

          • That’s not hard to believe at all, I also have never used a racist slur in the heat of the moment.

          • I don’t for a second believe at all that either of you have never said a racist thing in your lives

            – Not just moment.

          • You’ve never said a racial slur in the heat of the moment at all? In your entire life?

            This is the thread you replied to. Why you replied with something different is beyond me, but the people you replied to were responding to the above-quoted line.

          • Uh, not intentionally, no.

            I’m absolutely willing to assert that there are times when people say thoughtless things, not intending to offend or upset anyone directly. Things that they may not even realise are racially charged. I’ve no doubt that there have been times when I’ve been guilty in this manner.

            In my 34 years however, I can honestly say I’ve not yelled the n word or any other kind of racial slur when I’ve been playing a game, stubbing a toe, directed at another person, in anger, or in the heat of any moment.

            If you’re trying to defend it’s use within the context of PDP’s video by saying that everyone on the planet is living in their own little racist glass house and we’re all screaming racial slurs in the privacy of our own homes at the slightest non-race-related provocation – come on, dude. I don’t think this is really as common to the human experience as you seem to believe it is.

            And if you do it yourself, how about don’t?

    • Any judging authority with any amount of power in this situation would see that the statement was made in the heat of the moment and that he immediately caught himself and made an effort to excuse the occurrence.

      Like this one time i stabbed a guy 17 times. I told the judge it was in the heat of the moment and I apologised straight away, so he let me off.

      • Did you stab him with an offensive word? Did that word manifest directly from your brain into a physical, tangible object that then stabbed the guy 17 times before you could think to correct yourself?

        Nice strawman.

    • Your argument of ‘the heat of the moment’ being justification for yelling a racist slur is only relevant if the moment in question is say, a Neo Nazi rally.

      I mean you *may* call your girlfriend/boyfriend/waifu pillow the N-word as you climax, and I’m not judging, but that’s your specific kink. You’re using it here as an overall justification – one that only holds water at some kind of gathering where people are throwing Nazi salutes.

      Unless of course you do both, in which case I’m happy to judge the Nazi part.

      • I assume you nor anyone you know has ever called anyone a “fag” or “bitch” or “asshole” or other such derogatory term in the heat of the moment, say in a game or in peak hour traffic? Terms that society is more accustomed to hearing spouted in fits of rage. And I’m pretty sure Neo Nazi’s would be more inclined to yell “jew” or the k-word. You’re thinking of the kkk.

        People yelling things out in moments of frustration and stress are not uncommon, unless your moral purity is as white as a snowflake and you have no such words in your personal vocabulary. Quick question. Do you think the moral outrage would be as tangible if it were someone of a darker complexion yelling out “That cracker!” or “That infidel!” or “That faggot!”? What if it was yelled out by someone not nearly as popular as PDP but still had millions of followers? Nah, we’d probably never even hear about it.

        The fact of the matter is that this entire ruckus is because it was PDP who did it and who already has a reputation against him, otherwise we wouldn’t even get a headline of “Some Youtuber yells offensive word”, and my point was that he yelled it out something and then immediately caught himself and apologised for it. It’s not like he doubled down and then said, “Yeah you heard right and I meant it!”

        And, for the record, when I’m about to climax in or on my fiance, I prefer to yell out, “For the Patriarchy!”

  • “I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make,” Vanaman wrote on Twitter.

    “All streaming is infringement but devs and pubs allow it because it makes us money too” he wrote in the Twitter thread.

    “I’d urge other developers & will be reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a milionaire

    For me, this gives a really good indication of why he’s really upset and why he dislikes content creators of PewDiePies calibre, which is why he’s singled out this moment to justify his actions. I dont know why nazi allegations were ok with Vanaman, but this is his line apparently, not nazi’s.

    But cannot agree more with @soldant on this. I don’t get why developers keep trying to abuse the DMCA system. If I were Vanaman, I would avoid this route altogether and simply refuse to work with Felix from this point on. Feel free to call him out on what he said and let him feel the repercussions, but don’t be this developer.

    This actively puts me off Camp Santo at the moment as I dont want to support a company/dev that abuses legitimate systems designed to help those who are actually wronged, simply to get its way cause its upset at someone that said a bad word whilst not playing their game.

  • Let me male it quite clear I think Pewdiepie is crass entertainment for bored tweens and whatever I haven’t watched enough of him to form an opinion outside of that but these developers sent him a code with the expectation that he would showcase their game which he did. What’s done is done.

    By all means declare that you’re not going to associate with him in the future but their ‘endorsement’ so to speak was in the past and as far anyone knows he didn’t being their game into disrepute.

  • look at this big youtube ‘talent’ trying to stir more controversy for more clicks.
    if you want to act like a twat then you’ll get called out for it.

  • I used to own a Holden but these days I drive a ford. About a week back, someone cut out in front of me and I instinctively hit the horn out of frustration.

    I should have thought twice though because now Holden are on my back about it, apparently they are trying to have my driver’s licence revoked and are urging other manufacturers to push for the same thing to happen…

    Take a scenario and replace the premise and see if it still sounds bat shit insane.

    • your senario is off. You need to replace “i hit the horn” to ‘i rolled down the window and called the other driver the n word’

      now what the other driver would do to you?

    • Your analogy doesn’t work – you don’t need permission from Holden to drive, but you do need permission from a copyright holder to use their copyrighted material. Fair use criteria are the only exemptions to those rights.

    • Here’s a more accurate scenario:

      I used to have a job. About a week back, someone bumped into me and I dropped my coffee. I shouted out an expletive racial epithet. In front of all my coworkers and clients, and the bosses kids who happened to be listening.

      I should have thought twice though because now work are on my back about it. Apparently they are firing me for a serious breach of workplace code of conduct rules and the clients are not accepting our tender.

      If only I hadn’t also made racists jokes in the workplace before, otherwise I’d probably get away with counselling.

  • If Sean Vanaman actually goes through with placing a DMCA on Pewdiepie’s Firewatch playthrough, then all it will do is hurt himself. He may think his use of a DMCA is legal, but even if it is it will not be seen that way by the gaming community at large that have seen misuse of the system time and time again (My favourite example being the Shining Force fiasco).

  • Personally I think they are abusing the DCMA system but that said I would be totally for organising developers to straight up refuse to sell him any item and to cancel any keys he gets on Steam

  • Video games are an interesting case when it comes to copyright infringement, in that they are the only medium I can think of which you can experience with all your relevant senses without actually experiencing the game. Its more like spectating, just like watching somebody play basketball is a totally different experience from playing the game. It would be different if video game companies offered a streaming service for people to watch gameplay that these creators were infringing upon. As for Felix’s language, I don’t condone it at all, but you do have to remember that he’s Swedish, and not American. I know people like to think of the internet as being a monoculture, but people do have very different socialization in different parts of the world. I can’t imagine the ‘n-word’ carries as much weight to a Swede as it does to an American. But I’m no expert, so I don’t really know.

  • I’ve edited the above comment because I can’t believe people are getting so worked up about the fact I’ve said a racial slur at some point in my life in a moment of anger.

    I’m 33 years old and don’t use racial slurs anymore. I’ve grown up from the times I did. Primary school, high school and generally when being a teenager and listening to music.

    My original comments were saying that in the past, has a person never said a racial slur in anger? I have in the past, but I don’t do it now.

    I can’t believe I feel like I’ve had to justify my comment and past behaviour. I feel like an actor having to appear on a late night talk show and smooth over the public.

    • I can’t believe you’re using the excuse ‘when I was an angsty teen I used racial slurs’ in defence of PDP.

      This means

      a) You need your eyes checked to work out that he is not a teenager


      b) You subconsciously know that he used this slur as he’s the kind of guy who will do that to get attention from his audience of edgelord teenies, you understand the principles of power and leveraging of racism that go behind this, and you either don’t have the mental capacity to bring that into your conscious mind or you actually agree with it but don’t have the conviction of character to openly state your support of racism.

        • Soooooooo what relevance at all does your ‘I USED RACIAL SLURS AS AN EDGY TEEN’ have to do with anything then…

          • Never used Edgy. That was your wording.

            I simply had to explain MY reasoning for using racial slurs in the past. All I’ve said from my comments previous, is that it’s possibly to slip up as it appears PDP has done. I don’t agree with what he said. I don’t condone what he said. But I understand people can make mistakes. I don’t hate people over it, nor do I think he should be banished for it. I’m not even a viewer of his content. But I am someone who spends a bit of time online and see that people online love taking these issues and blowing them up.

  • I’m sure others will also be interested, but I’m tagging @soldant @hardtobeagod @kasterix @jaedee884 in particular because you seem to have a genuine interest in this situation.

    Here’s a podcast with Ryan Morrison (VideoGameAttorney) and others on this specific case:

    It goes into depth, but the gist is summarised near the start is it’s not an abuse of DMCA:

    The legal answer here, we’re not even going to play teaser with, it’s pretty simple. […] There’s no dispute here, the law’s the law on this, there’s no grey area to even talk about. […] The easy answer here is yes, they’re allowed to DMCA Pewdiepie’s video.

    With respect to the permission granted to stream the game on their website, which people have assumed is proof they can’t DMCA the videos (emphasis mine):

    Well that’s not true at all, because basically what that page is is a licence for everyone to stream the game. That licence though, since it’s just two lines written on a page, defaults to revocable. And since the licence is revocable, that means that they can revoke it at any point, and for any reason – including someone saying the N-word.

    I’m tagging you guys for interest on the legal side of things. I’m not expressing any view on whether it’s a good or bad idea to do this, just whether it’s an abuse of DMCA (it isn’t) and whether it’s even within the developers’ rights to do it because of a racial slur (it is).

    Any thoughts? There’s an ethical and legal side to this issue, does it temper your views at all for the legal question is resolved in this way?

    • Side note since it’s also mentioned in there, but Morrison is firm in stating that Let’s Play videos are not fair use. TotalBiscuit (who has a law degree) also made a similar comment in his tweet(s) on this issue.

    • You’re definitely right I was confusing trademark and copyright. I still think it’s a silly reason but agree they’re within their legal rights to move forward in this way.
      And I also saw totalbiscuits tweets before jumping where helped clear that up.

    • I was likely confusing trademark/copyright also… But my abuse of the system comments refer more to the fact that they’re clearly doing it because they dislike him and nothing else. It being legal has nothing to do with it.

      They’re fine to let a person stream/record the game… Right up until that person doesn’t follow this set of personal moral guidelines in any part of life.

      I’ve got no love for Pewdiepie, the problem is I’ve got even less for anyone who abuses anything in order to force people to act how they want them to.

    • It doesn’t change much for me. The Dev is using it as a sword not because of a concern over copyright but because they don’t like the steamer. This seems contrary with the intent of the law. Even though the law is apparently clear that they can do it, I still see it as an ethical abuse of the system. The fact that it’s within the law simply because they don’t have to stipulate a reason to revoke the licensee doesn’t mean that their reason for doing so is a good one.

      • In terms of ethics, would you feel the same way if someone shouted a racist slur in a coffee shop and the owner decided to kick them out? In both cases the owner is sharing access to their property by default and revoking that access when a patron does something detrimental.

        • No – because the person is on the property of the business owner and may be disturbing other patrons. That person is physically present and affecting the premesis in which they stand. Their very presence is the problem. It’s the same story if it was someone who was on your private property being offensive.

          Using a DMCA takedown because somebody used footage from your game and they said something offensive in an unrelated video is entirely different. The takedown isn’t really about copyright – it’s punishment and trying to divorce the brand because PDP said something offensive. Nobody except a moron would assume Firewatch and its Devs are racists just because PDP used a racist slur in another unrelated video. I don’t see any equivalence or link between the two examples.

          • The analogy is intended to draw attention to the right to choose who to do business with, not the right to protect property. So let me rephrase the example:

            If a man is seen shouting racial slurs on the street, then wants to enter a coffee shop that he has previously been allowed to enter, would you begrudge the owner the right to deny him entry because of his previous behaviour elsewhere?

            The principle is the same, the owner has the right to not do business with anyone for any reason unless that reason is because the person is a member of a protected class. Granting access to exclusive rights to someone else for commercial exploitation is a business arrangement, and one that Campo Santo has the right to withdraw from if they choose to.

          • They have the right – but I don’t agree with using a system designed to fight copyright infringement to do so. I don’t see why this stance is a difficult one to understand.

          • Your stance makes sense if copyright infringement only means ‘when pirates upload your stuff online’, but it also means ‘when you used to have permission to use something but don’t any more’. So when you say you don’t agree with using a system designed to fight copyright infringement, this is the part that doesn’t make sense, because both of those things are copyright infringement.

          • I’ll try one last time – the reason for the DMCa takedown isn’t actually because of copyright, by the Dev’s own admission it’s because it doesn’t want PDP to make money from a video of its game purely because of what he said in an unrelated video.

            They don’t actually care about infringement – otherwise they would have pursued this ages ago (or against others). They just object to PDP and are using a weapon available to them for completely different reasons. This is what I find objectionable – using a law intended for a different purpose as a weapon. It might be legal but I do not think it’s ethical. It’s the same principle as issuing a DMCA takedown on a review that uses footage from your game (even if it probably wouldn’t stand up to legal scrutiny).

          • @soldant

            I think part of the disagreement we have is from the sequence of events. The DMCA was the last step in the process, not the first. First, the licence allowing Kjellberg to use their copyrighted material was revoked. This step caused the existing video to become a copyright infringement. As a consequence of that video now infringing, the DMCA claim was filed to remove it. So yes, the infringement is a secondary concern for Campo Santo because their main objective was to end any existing or future relationship with Kjellberg, not to remove a particular video. I don’t agree that that makes the DMCA use inappropriate.

            The other point where we seem to disagree is that this is not the intention of the law. This is exactly the intention of the law – to ensure that copyrighted material used without current permission is removed. It’s not the same as using DMCA to take down a review because a review is not copyright infringement, a Let’s Play almost certainly is (in the opinion of several legal experts in the field). The latter I agree is an abuse of the DMCA system because it’s frivolous; the former isn’t because it’s appropriate application of the law.

            I’ll leave it here since you seem frustrated and that’s not my goal. I’m just trying to expose details to you that might broaden your perspective on the matter and inform a more robust conclusion. Enjoy your evening!

          • If a man is seen shouting racial slurs on the street, then wants to enter a coffee shop that he has previously been allowed to enter, would you begrudge the owner the right to deny him entry because of his previous behaviour elsewhere?

            But they’re sending the DMCA’s retroactively. To put your example into a more relevent form:

            “If a man is seen shouting racial slurs on the street, then wants to enter a coffee shop that he has previously been allowed to enter, should the owner be allowed to charge the man for trespassing all those times he came in earlier.”

            I have no problem with Campo Santo removing PDP’s license to play the game. I DO have a problem with them removing the license and then saying “Oh, you know all those other times you played the game on stream? Well, all those were illegal too!”

          • That analogy also has problems. Kjellberg can’t be ‘charged’ for the video up to that point (unless as Morrison’s podcast pointed out the permission never applied to Youtube because it only mentioned streaming), he just can’t have that video online any more from this point on.

            I agree the analogy I presented isn’t great either, so to use a fresh one: it would be like if you hired a car and used it for a year, then the company told you they were terminating your rental agreement because they don’t like you and ordered the car repossessed. You’re not in trouble for having the car for that year, but you’re not allowed to have the car any more.

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