IN A NUTSHELL:
- Activision sent DMCA complaint against the Twitter account of gaming website Video Games Chronicle;
- The cause was a post about a recent leak related to CoD: Black Ops - Cold War;
- This is not the first time Activision has taken similar action against journalists;
- The company has already contacted editors to clarify the situation.
Activision sent a DMCA takedown notice - a copyright infringement complaint tied to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act - against a Twitter account belonging to gaming website Video Game Chronicle. The cause was a post dedicated to a recent leak regarding Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War.
VGC's editor-in-chief Andy Robinson stressed that the post in question did not violate the so-called fair use principle (which allows for quoting content created by someone else for purposes such as information or reviewing). The image visible in the tweet was automatically loaded by Twitter and did not come from the leak - it was just a screenshot from one of the missions of Cold War's story campaign (Ashes to Ashes). VGC only posted links to leaked material hosted by someone else, and much of it is still present online. Furthermore, Twitter's rules on fair use state that quoting copyrighted content is acceptable when we add additional context to it, which is what happened in this situation. Robinson also noted that this isn't the first time Activision took such action - last year, DMCA complaints were sent against channels owned by numerous websites.
The request resulted in the temporary banning of VGC's account and the removal of the post that caused the uproar. Twitter will now have to review the complaint and decide whether or not it is valid - theoretically Video Games Chronicle could lose its account permanently, but this is unlikely to happen as Activision has already contacted the website to try and resolve the situation.
"It’s disappointing that this happened to a legitimate story about information that’s in the public domain. I’ve been a reporting on the games industry for nearly two decades, and I understand that companies are sensitive about leaks and need to police their IP. However, when taking action such as this, there’s the inherent risk that good faith reporting such as VGC’s can be caught in the crossfire. On that basis, and since tweeting about this issue, Activision has been in touch to explain what happened and promised to take action to resolve the situation, so I’m satisfied with the outcome," said the editor-in-chief of Video Games Chronicle.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War Review. Cold War, Hot Choices
- Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - game guide
- Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - official website