A video game developer is reportedly preparing a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to ban all use of the company’s products by the popular online game player known as Pewdiepie. The threat comes after the gamer used a racist slur during a weekend YouTube session, likely viewed by millions of his online followers, featuring the company’s video game Firewatch. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the firm’s Chris Schwegmann says that although the law on the issue of fair use and free speech in the online gaming world isn’t well-developed, raising the question of what control a developer has over someone else’s use of their product, the DMCA and other laws would likely support the company’s stance. “It is well-established that the software code is protected by copyright law,” he says. “There is also lots of authority to suggest that the playing of the games in a public forum — like on YouTube — is also protected. In the context of a ‘public performance’ like this example, the copyright laws provide for an immediate takedown, (which) would also allow a game developer to run to court for a preliminary and eventually permanent injunction.”
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