Earlier this spring, the Destiny 2 community was thrown into chaos as a wave of copyright infringement notices and DMCA takedowns went out to a wide variety of YouTubers, claiming to be from Bungie or an IP company working with them, CSC. As larger and larger YouTubers started to be hit for material that in no way seemed like it was infringing at all, Bungie came out and said this was not them, and they were looking for those responsible. This led to a lawsuit meant to unmask the person behind it all.
And they have. It’s a wild story.
As presented in new court documents today, it turns out the person wreaking havoc on the Destiny 2 community was actually one of its own. The lawsuit says that a former Destiny 2 YouTuber named Lord Nazo, whose real name is revealed in the materials, was the one sending out the takedowns. Why?
As it turns out, Lord Nazo previously had uploaded a number of looped Destiny 2 music tracks to his channel. He was caught up in a wave of actual DMCA takedowns when Bungie and CSC went after some channels like this. This was a controversial decision in its own right among the community at the time, but most of the time, videos could be deleted without further repercussions. Nazo refused to take his video down, and eventually, YouTube deleted it for him. Then, he reuploaded new music from The Witch Queen, and got even more takedown notices. After 23 infringements, his channel was deleted entirely.
From here, Nazo wanted revenge, and chaos, it seems. He registered a number of fake CSC-based email accounts like JeffreyWilandCSC@gmail.com, and started filing takedown notices against other YouTubers. By the time he was done, Nazo would file 96 different takedown notices against his fellow creators, allowed to do so by what Bungie calls a “loophole,” the fact that YouTube allows anyone to file complaints like this despite no proven authority that the person doing the filing is in fact the proper owner of the content.
And as revealed by Nazo’s former friends, this entire time, he was on Discord, talking about the situation, lamenting how easy it was to spam fake takedown notices, and effectively describing exactly what he was actually doing behind the scenes:
Then, Nazo tried to pass it off as maybe his takedowns (the legitimate ones) were also from being caught up in this clearly fraudulent wave, and they should be reinstated, submitting a lengthy plea to YouTube talking about the situation he himself was orchestrating. His channel was not reinstated.
Now, Nazo is being sued by Bungie for $7.6 million dollars in damages, citing both attorney fees and damage to Bungie’s reputation, given that for a time, everyone believed it was them going on a DMCA spree against their own community. The rest of the document details steps that were taken to unmask Nazo, like linking his YouTube and Reddit accounts and real life name together, along with the IP used to create and use those fake CSC email addresses. Hilariously, names and addresses he used also came up in a database of a cheat site from one of Bungie’s previous lawsuits, implying he was also cheating within Destiny 2 itself.
Less hilarious is what’s likely to happen to Nazo now, taken to court and learning the hard way that you can’t just go around threatening the livelihoods of dozens of creators and doing damage to a billion dollar corporation without consequence.
I do think an important aspect of this whole situation is YouTube itself, whose inane policies allow for this kind of DMCA spam from literally anyone with a grudge, and that’s exactly what happened here. But Bungie isn’t suing YouTube, and there are no signs this system is ever going to change, as it’s been a long-running problem on the service.
We’ll see what happens next, but for Nazo, it’s not going to be anything good.
Update: Lord Nazo posted a lengthy, now-deleted reddit post blaming Bungie for the takedowns and describing how they could be illegitimate in the height of their own execution of this fraudulent plot:
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