Users on Reddit have claimed that YouTube videos they created and published that include in-game footage of League of Legends players from the LCK team SK Telecom T1 have been removed by the organization for infringing on the organizations copyright protection. The comments have drawn harsh criticism from YouTube content creators, as three of these takedown requests will result in suspension of the individual’s entire YouTube channel.
According to Reddit user Catfish_BILLY, the DMCA takedown requests began once SK Telecom T1 players, most notably Faker and Peanut, began streaming via Twitch. The user included a photo of the notifications via YouTube.
The basis for the claims from the Korean esports organization comes from the fact that YouTube content creators are using gameplay footage of their players in order to make money. The Reddit community immediately ignited in debate over whether SK Telecom T1 can claim ownership over the gameplay footage, which many believe should belong to Riot Games.
In the message that Catfish_BILLY received from a representative at SK Telecom T1, they claim that Riot Games acknowledges the organization’s copyright over footage of their players. What is further angering the affected YouTube users, Catfish_BILLY included, is that some of the DMCA takedown requests are on videos with footage as old as three months.
That creates a difficult situation, because even if League of Legends YouTube content creators are perfectly willing to comply with these new requests from SK Telecom T1, they risk losing their channels over content recorded and published months ago. As reactions from those in the industry point out, such as analyst and commentator Erik “Doa”Lonnquist, there is little precedent for the recent moves from SK Telecom T1.
Yep. This isn’t going to end well…
SKT, I am disappoint. https://t.co/w33HRSah15
— erik lonnquist (@ggDoA) February 18, 2017
When a slightly similar scandal broke out this time last year over the SpectateFaker Twitch stream, esports lawyer Bryce Blum penned an in-depth legal explanation of the situation via Dot Esports.