The most recent drama centered around Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has gone even further than most would have imagined. His use of a racial slur while streaming has clearly snowballed. Very quickly after his video started circling the internet, the developer of indie game Firewatch, Campo Santo, threatened to hit him with a DMCA over a past video. It would appear that the threat was very real.
YouTube has currently accepted a DMCA request from Campo Santo against PewDiePie’s Let’s Play Firewatch video. PewDiePie had privatized the video out of respect after the initial threat from Campo Santo. This clearly wasn’t enough for the indie developer, as they went forward with the DMCA request anyway. The easy assumption is that they don’t want their game or their name associated with someone who has racist outbursts.
Both sides of the line are vehemently defending themselves. PewDiePie claims that he is protected by a legal “grey area,” and that Campo Santo’s claim is a waste of legal time and money. He states that he is protected by a statement made on the Campo Santo website that says YouTubers and streamers can use their game however they want. On the opposite side, a video game attorney by the name of Ryan Morrison declares that PewDiePie is in the wrong here. Apparently, Campo Santo has the right to revoke their statement of use at any time. This gives them the ability to hit PewDiePie with a DMCA for his video of their game.
If YouTube accepts two more DMCA requests in the future, PewDiePie’s account will be dead in the water. Three requests are the cut-off point for accounts before they are closed. This legal business is entering dangerous seas, and no one can predict the outcome.