Copyright

Samsung Tries to Use DMCA to Take Down GTA V Mod with Exploding Note 7

Copyright claims as censorship.

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Modded Games/YouTube

Samsung filed a DMCA copyright infringement claim with YouTube over footage of a video game mod that turned the sticky bomb in Grand Theft Auto V into a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the device best known for literally catching on fire.

Shortly after the device was released in August, it began to be plagued with reports of the battery exploding while charging. There were a number of recalls before Samsung pulled the smartphone off the market completely and discontinued the model. The Federal Aviation Administration has even made getting on to an airplane with a Galaxy Note 7 a federal crime.

With all these problems you'd think Samsung would have more important things to do than file spurious DMCA claims against video game mods on YouTube. But the DMCA process has made it so easy. Nevertheless, the owner of the video, YouTube user Modded Games filed a counterclaim and YouTube restored the video.

The practice of modding video games itself has been in a "legal gray area" despite its increased popularity, as the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review noted. While modders argue their mods, as derivate works, fall under fair use, video game modifications largely exist insofar as they are tolerated by the intellectual property rights holders of the underlying games being modified—even as some modders see the success of their mods turn into career opportunities in the gaming industry.

But Samsung is not the copyright owner of Grand Theft Auto V. While copyright law has become ever more restrictive in the U.S. over the last half century, it has not yet gotten to the point where device manufacturers can claim a copyright on any depiction of their products. There are certainly lawyers who would like to try.

Watch the YouTube video in question below:

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  1. I believe parody is protected speech.

    Also, bring on the Streisand effect, Samsung, you god damned rubes.

    1. I’m guessing that this video’s going to explode in popularity now, kind of like a Galaxy Note 7.

        1. Stop narrowing da gaze into one category! All this hating, while you could be out master bass baiting, win the biggest fish prize and have some serious cash awaiting.

  2. Galt bless you GTA modders

  3. I was pleasantly surprised that the hit to miss ratio of the cops was true to life.

  4. Never ceases to amaze me how fucking idiotic some corporate shills can be. If anything this will spur more mods and more memes against Samsung and their exploding phone. It’s like they are living in the 1960s.

    And yes, Mod’s are fair use and artistic. It’s hard to argue against them when they are free. If they were charging for it, then that’s another issue and probably not fair use.

    Related: Youtube is the reason hollywood exists (Maddox) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GTAVsMqa-U

      1. SURE they will…..

    1. Too bad Maddox came out with this turd the other day.

      There are some “alternate news” groups/people that do the work the media refuses to do. The most recent Project Veritas videos come directly to mind.

      1. He was doing good until he got to the ‘journalism school and consequences’ part. Completely ignoring all the guys who got caught and *didn’t* lose their jobs until the public at large got wind of it.

  5. Okay, that was pretty funny.

  6. The practice of modding video games itself has been in a “legal gray area” despite its increased popularity, as the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review noted. While modders argue their mods, as derivate works, fall under fair use, video game modifications largely exist insofar as they are tolerated by the intellectual property rights holders of the underlying games being modified

    Well – no actually.

    Mods are rarely challenged in court – for much the same reason EULAs aren’t. Because click-wrap contracts (or at least the onerous provisions in them) are struck down most of the time they are challenged.

    And mods are rarely challenged in court because the modding community and the development community have created, over the course of the last several decades, a set of community guidelines (you’d almost call them ‘laws’) regarding what is and is not appropriate to do. Publishers don’t want to challenge in court because they know they’d likely be slammed down – both in court and among their customers.

    1. Modders typically stay within those guidelines (like not directly ripping assets from one game and installing them in another) and violations are policed by the community (and because of that, fairly limited) which, along with the money mods bring in to publishers (the modders themselves *are the only ones who do not get to profit from this stuff* – like organ transplants, everyone except the dude at the center get a taste) make modding completely acceptable.

      The only people who bring down the threat of litigation for mods are the console publishers and anyone being made fun of by a mod.

      1. Wasn’t GM or one (or more) of the car companies involved in some sort of lawsuit regarding modding on cars and whether or not a car purchaser actually had the right to access the engine software?

        1. Damn squirrels modding my post!

          Meant to add – I’m not sure how you can stop somebody from adding or subtracting elements from a copyrighted work as long as they’re not then trying to re-sell it as their own work. I can buy a copy of the NYT and scribble on it all I want, I can’t then reprint the NYT and start selling it though.

          1. But no one is selling anything here. Its like you took a NYT, scribbled something on it, and posted a picture of the result for others to copy.

            The only people making money are the guy running the service hosting your picture and the NYT as a whole bunch of people run out to buy copies and scribble your shit on them (and add shit of their own).

          2. I can buy a copy of the NYT and scribble on it all I want, I can’t then reprint the NYT and start selling it though.

            You could “buy a copy of the NYT and scribble on it all I want” then sell all the copies you want of it as art

        2. That’s a whole different subject than modding a game. I don’t know about GM but farm equipment manfacturers are using the DCMA to try to block people working (and modifying) their own tractors.

          Console *manufacturers* (Sony/MS/etc) get mad at you for breaking the encryption locks on their hardware (which you need to do to get a modded game running on a console – but not a PC) but most of the legal ‘teeth’ comes from a click-wrap ‘contract’ saying you won’t reverse engineer the code.

  7. I heard “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago on the radio the other day, and had a flashback to Trevor returning that guy’s wife to him. I needed a drink and someone to yell “you better treat her right!” at.

  8. Reason’s just begging for trouble by providing a link to that illegal copyright infringement, aren’t they? I mean, I know they can look at it because they fall under the freedom of the press exemption just like Chris Cuomo does when he reports on the Wikileaks e-mails, but it’s still illegal for us regular folks to look at it, isn’t it?

    1. To be on the safe side the Weymouth grandmother is no longer doing laundry during the weekly visits from her young grandson.

      Gramma may rethink that stance once those weekly visits stop.

      1. “My washing machine blew up” is the new “the dog ate my homework”.

  9. *Any resemblance to actual devices** is purely coincidental.
    **No actual Note 7’s were harmed in the making of this comment.

  10. That was some Storm Trooper-esque shooting by the cops.

    1. Its a console game – if they’re too accurate the peasants whine about how difficult it is to shoot back with a controller.

  11. “Copyright claims as censorship.”

    So basically copyright is working as intended.

  12. All I’ve been hearing is Sam Sung this, and Sam Sung that……..What the hell did Sam sing?????!!!!!!!

  13. He was doing good until he got to the ‘journalism school and consequences’ part. Completely ignoring all the guys who got caught and *didn’t* lose their jobs until the public at large got wind of it and visit gta 5 hack 2017 tool.

  14. I dont know how it will look GTA 5 WITHOUT MODDING ,BUT I THING SAMSUNG HAS RIGHT TO DOIND THAT
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