YouTuber Super Bunnyhop recently released a video about Konami and Hideo Kojima that featured a large amount of speculation along with a decent number of questionable sources to try to make sense of the whole situation. The video is embedded below.
It's an interesting video, filled with the sort of guesswork many people in gaming have been doing with regard to Konami, but nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering.
Konami hit the video with a copyright claim and had it removed from YouTube. Suddenly things got interesting.
The video has since been returned to YouTube, with the copyright strike removed from Super Bunnyhop's account, and Konami got back to us to state that the company wouldn't comment on the matter. It looks like the video being reinstated wasn't Konami's choice, either.
Ack! Scratch that! Just got an email from YT themselves saying the strike was "missing required information." Has that ever happened before?— Chairman George (@superbunnyhop) May 11, 2015
Brad Newberg is an intellectual property partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, whose practice is almost entirely copyright and trademark law. I sent him the video with a simple question: Would Konami have any reason, if not cause, to get this taken down?
"While there are various Konami copyrighted works present in the video such as annual reports, PR statements, web video snippets, and, most importantly, portions from actual Konami video games, almost everything in the video would likely be considered fair use from a copyright perspective, and the law does require the copyright owner to at least undertake some internal fair use analysis before making a DMCA claim, which might be why it went back up so quickly," he explained.
"That being said, the video is pretty heavy on video game clips towards the end, so while very likely in the fair use realm should a legal case be filed, Konami could make a good faith argument that it believed infringement occurred if and when it filed its DMCA takedown."
Since the video delves into speculation about real-life people and business matters, I was curious about whether there was a risk of defamation, but Newberg was skeptical.
"In addition to the fact that the author would have to have had actual malice or a reckless disregard for the facts — unlikely given the statements in the video — YouTube is shielded by the Communications Decency Act, which basically makes any fight between the aggrieved party and the poster, and the website can stay out of it and keep the posting up without worrying about liability," he told Polygon.
So Konami had no cause to take the video down, the company won't give us any insight into what happened, the video has been reinstated, and here we are. The most immediate and noticeable effect Konami has had on the video is now the world is looking at it trying to figure out why the company wanted it taken down.
You can now watch the content and decide for yourself, at least.