After a massive outcry from the gaming community, Wild Game Studio has reversed its copyright claim on TotalBiscuits’s video review. Unfortunately it won’t help their cause much, their abuse of the YouTube copyright reporting system has hit almost all mainstream gaming websites and searching for the game will find more ire than information on the Day One: Garry’s Incident.
This doesn’t solve the greater issue, that copyright claiming systems like YouTube’s can be abused to censor dissent. TotalBiscuit addressed this in a video released yesterday to talk about this specific incident, but also to expand on how this could influence free speech on the web in a very negative way. Across gaming forums around the net talk about what can be done to mitigate the problem has broken out, with very few answers. One of the core problems is how copyright law is applied to the web and how blunt an instrument the Digital Millennium Copyright Act really is.
This law and laws like it often put the burden of proof on the accused. It’s a guilty until proven innocent style situation, where your content is removed until you prove otherwise, and all of the effort to do so is placed at the accused feet with very little backlash if someone gets it wrong. Worse still, as it is applied now, it can affect people’s livelihoods. YouTube’s automated policy has three strikes and you are out system, and it doesn’t take much for three bogus claims to permanently cripple your income stream if you make your living making videos online.
This controversy may be over, but a discussion about how content carriers should handle these situations in the future won’t be going away any time soon.