Home Gaming YouTube, PewDiePie accept Campo Santo DMCA strike on Let’s Play

YouTube, PewDiePie accept Campo Santo DMCA strike on Let’s Play

2 min read

Campo Santo wins DMCA strike against PewDiePie 2

Last week couldn’t escape the situation PewDiePie set up for himself. The most popular gaming content creator and streamer was caught flinging out a racial slur during a stream of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which once again put him in the wrong spotlight after an equally controversial debacle from earlier this year. The real conversation ignited when Firewatch developers, Campo Santo, had evidently had enough with his behaviour. The studio issued a DMCA strike on content PewDiePie had made with their game, and both he and YouTube have accepted it.

The policies and laws around Fair Use are like uncharted waters. There are many debates and anecdotes about what should be considered fair use, but none of them has really set precedent in a court of law. Right now, there’s a fragile relationship between developers and content creators, both of whom recognise the advantages they both reap from allowing it to continue. Campo Santo’s move was seen at large as the first step towards the possibility of that changing though. The first example of a studio legally removing the right to distribute their content based on their views of a streamer. And PewDiePie recognised that as fair in a new video, but also seemed a little shaken but what it could mean.

Plainly put, DMCA strikes work directly against a channel on YouTube. If you get three, the channel is automatically wiped clean and deleted – a horror story for anyone who depends on the platform. PewDiePie acknowledges that Campo Santo was within their rights to issue the strike (he made the video private after they stated they would do so), but expressed his disappointment with a system that could potentially be abused.

“I think these laws are important to protect artists’ work and protect what they do and that’s why I think it’s really dangerous to make these sort of claims and do these sort of copyright claims for no real valid reason.”

Mona Ibrahim, a lawyer who has dealt with these sorts of issues for Polygon in the past, says that the reasoning behind DMCA strikes isn’t even important. Copyright holders can choose to issues the strikes if any sort of infringement has occurred without needing to give a reason for it – another example of how Let’s Play culture hinges on developers understanding the benefits the publicity brings them, and allowing it without needing to issues strikes.

It seems as though not many other studios have risen to Campo Santo’s call, and the acceptance of the strike on PewDiePie’s part suggests that this microcosm of a matter is laid to rest of now. But the issue at large is certainly on the mind of YouTube content creators now, and the proverbial doomsday clock seems closer to midnight than ever before.

Last Updated: September 18, 2017


  1. And we are on that slippery slope.


  2. Ross Woofels Mason

    September 18, 2017 at 11:43

    Every news outlet keeps going on about the doomsday! the end of lets plays! and all that shyte. Let’s plays are not going anywhere, the amount of people who would of bought Fire Watch if it wasn’t for the lets plays would of been minimal and it probably wouldn’t have its 9/10 rating on steam either.

    The industry in largely starting to twig that content creators give them a broader reach than just marketing campaigns alone, especially ironically enough for small indie developers. Many games rely on content creators as well especially e-sport or free to play titles like Hearthstone, where studio’s go out of their way to make sure content creators are part of their events. The issue is that youtube is a cluster fuck with no proper channels of communication between content creators and studios (or even youtube themselves from what I’ve heard).

    Let’s plays will always be around, famous youtubers casually throwing around racial slurs or not.


    • Skittle

      September 18, 2017 at 12:13

      Streamers are the cheapest form of marketing a developer can get. I have no doubt that PUBG wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is now if it weren’t for all the twitch streamers.


      • Ottokie

        September 18, 2017 at 12:14

        Just don’t say you will kick the PUBG dev or he might just have a PTSD induced panic attack again.


  3. Skittle

    September 18, 2017 at 12:11

    “Sean Vanaman, founder of Firewatch developer Campo Santo, filed a DMCA takedown notice against the streamer in response, saying on Twitter that he was “sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make.”” – PC Gamer

    It kinda looks like the Firewatch guys have a personal vendetta against PDP


  4. For the Emperor!

    September 18, 2017 at 12:16

    It is a slippery slope, invoking copyright for this instance. But a company does need a way to “defend” themselves and their content against people that go against the “values” of the company. It should not be for “we don’t like this jerk”, but for legitimate “this is a racist jerk” kind of things – it just so happens in this case that the “child” has been courting controversy more regularly than most with his profile and I understand why they would not want any “association” with him.


  5. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    September 18, 2017 at 13:51

    And here we go …


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