PewDiePie gets DMCA'd for letting a naughty word slip

  • This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
  • The alluring Olivia makes her debut on the Katbox After Dark (Mature audiences only) Click here!
  • Venture into the beautiful, mad world of The Sprawl! Look into it's darkness and the horror deep within! (Mature audiences only) Click here!
  • uses Project Wonderful ads to pay its server costs and artists can have their own PW ads to let them draw comics for a living. We humbly ask that you whitelist in adblock to support us. Thank you.
  • The Katbox developer Patreon helps us grow as a site! Show your support and earn special forum badges, or access the private subforum where we personally answer your questions or chat about whatever you want!
  • Don't miss an update, Guest! Follow us on twitter at @Katbox_Comics to stay in the loop!
  • Come chat with your favorite Katbox artists and fellow community members on our Discord server!


Outside contributer, not comunuty member.
Jun 1, 2009
Okay, this is kind of an sorted situation here. You see, during a livestream of Player Unknown Battlegrounds, PewDiePie let slip the N-word. Now, racial slurs and such things aren't really acceptable. But Campo Santo Games decided to DMCA every lets play video PewDiePie did of their game Firewatch.

Again, while what PewDiePie said is unacceptable, what Campo Santo Games did is not acceptable either. The livestream was not of their game, he did not say the word in those videos that were claimed, and the fact that they're now saying they're going to DMCA every video PewDiePie tries to make of their games....

This is NOT what the DMCA is for. It's understandable people will take issue with what PewDiePie said (accidental or not), but the DMCA is for COPYRIGHT CLAIMS! This is not a violation of copyright, but rather a company trying to hurt a Youtuber because they take issue with him. If they wanted to try an rally other companies against him, this is not the way. Instead, they're now looking like the bad guys here, and just mudding the waters of this whole situation.

What are your thoughts on this?
Apr 26, 2007
It goes without saying that PewDiePie is in the wrong for using that kind of language. It's one thing to use foul language in a heated moment of anger, but it's another to use an explicit racial slur.

As for Campo Santo Games (or Sean Vanaman, more specifically) and their threat of using the DMCA system, this is where things get tricky. PDP is entitled to use game footage for his videos under the doctrine of fair use. Assuming he's speaking or making jokes while he's playing, this means the footage qualifies on the grounds of commentary and/or satire. However, it becomes muddied and gray when you take into consideration the monetization aspect. There's a possibility that Campo Santo Games might be allowed to strike the video(s) down because they don't extend commercial permission to PDP to make money off of footage of their product.

Lastly, I think PDP's little slip is going to hurt more than just him. I'm sure people haven't forgotten about the 'ad-pocalypse' incident (which many claim PDP started, as well, with the whole Nazi thing) and how much that hurt the income of many content creators. This incident might further disturb potential investors and advertisers from paying into YouTube, thus hurting content creators that had nothing to do with this.
[doublepost=1505278880,1505158870][/doublepost]SidAlpha has posted an update video. It seems that he's taken a step back and accepted, like I said, that this is more complicated and not so 'black and white' as we think.

While we're differing on the points of focus (I focused on the fact that PDP's video is monetized, thus subject to DMCA restrictions, while he focuses on the fact that lets-play footage might not be covered by fair use), the point remains that Campo Santo Games might be in the right, legally, to strike down PDP's video. However, I find myself agreeing with SidAlpha in that it appears that Sean Vanaman is doing this out of spite rather than any actual damage to the company (e.g., piracy).

If he chose to file the strike, it would show that he allowed PDP the commercial approval to use their product all this time, and only changed his mind once he did said something controversial. Unless there's some fine print in the EULA that specifies a 'code of conduct' for use of game footage, it might not look so good for the game devs, should they try to justify a DMCA striking of PDP's footage.


Katbox Forum Member
Sep 21, 2007
PDP is entitled to use game footage for his videos under the doctrine of fair use.
From the talks I've had with lawyer kin, he actually is not entitled to as much. Fair use is fairly iffy in its application, yes, but Let's Plays and Streams and the like are almost undoubtedly not Fair Use and in fact more in a legal grey area where Developers could strike down videos (that they haven't given permission for, at least: There's a difference between a Let's Play done on a lark and one that has specifically had the developer's endorsement) at any time but tend not to do so because it's usually free publicity and not worth the absolute hell of chasing every video maker down. Especially when, as mentioned above, some people do hunt down developer permission (or in the case of actual fair use, such as educational videos or whatnot, have a legal leg to stand on) and that only further compounds the resource issue for shutting down what amounts to free publicity.

Problem here being, in this case, Pew is using that free publicity to say racial slurs to a population larger than several major nations and increasingly has a history of engaging in such (or similar) behavior and falling back on "I'm sorry that you got offended and it was just a joke / slipped out of my mouth". Which Campo, rather predictably, does not want associated with any of their products (especially when hitting such a wide audience). The reason people are concerned is not that they're afraid Pew will be hit by a lawsuit and Campo might weaken the use of Fair Use for other greedy companies to exploit, but that Pew might try to issue a lawsuit because he's not as smart as he think it is (which pretty much every lawyer kin I've spoken to has come out to say "This won't end the way he thinks it will") and saw at the string holding the Sword of Damocles over the Let's Play industry by establishing legal precedent.

That said this whole discussion is a bit of a clusterfuck as part of it relates to the Great Online Culture War (and another part of it tangentially politics, which is even more a volatile matter) and so having a discourse on it on here might prove troublesome to say the least.
Apr 26, 2007
Problem here being, in this case, Pew is using that free publicity to say racial slurs to a population larger than several major nations and increasingly has a history of engaging in such (or similar) behavior and falling back on "I'm sorry that you got offended and it was just a joke / slipped out of my mouth".
I agree that PDP abused his publicity, as a YouTube content creator, to spew a racial slur in a fit of anger. However, he uttered the word when playing a completely different game than Campo's Firewatch. While that has no bearing on company invoking their legal right to strike down the video, the context makes it look like the company (or at least this one particular employee) is using their right as the copyright holder simply to look better in the eyes of the public.

I concede that I was incorrect, and acknowledge that game developers have the right to rescind the commercial license given to YouTube content creators, but I still can't stand entirely behind Campo for their decision to copyright strike PDP's videos. Do they have the right? Sure. However, any merit they'd have for doing this seems watered down by the fact that they let PDP keep his video up for all those months, before eventually deciding they didn't want it there. The fact that they're suddenly invoking their right to strike the video, because of the live-stream incident, makes this all feel like a cheap opportunity to score PR points.

Besides, a YouTube content creator playing your game doesn't mean the devs or publishers endorse you. That'd be like saying an auto manufacturer like Chevrolet or Toyota endorses drunk driving because a reckless driver used their vehicle to do harm.

EDIT: Also, it would appear that the folks at Campo have gone ahead and filed to have the video removed, and YouTube accepted it.

Polygon said:
YouTube has accepted the copyright takedown request submitted by Campo Santo against Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg for his two hour stream of its game, Firewatch.

In a new video, Kjellberg addressed the copyright takedown request, confirming that the strike had gone through. Campo Santo founder Sean Vanaman first tweeted that Campo Santo would be issuing the request on Sunday, following one of Kjellberg’s livestreams where the YouTuber was caught using a racist term.

Kjelleberg said when he saw Vanaman’s tweets, he privatized the video out of respect for the developer and Campo Santo. Despite that, Kjellberg said YouTube accepted the strike anyway. As Kjellberg points out in the video, Campo Santo’s DMCA takedown strike could become much more problematic in the future.
Last edited:


King of Kings
Sep 27, 2011
Not your business
Personal Text
Just believe in me
Hey there, just wanna say I haven't read the previous posts about this topic because I'm short on time, yet I'd like to throw my opinion out there.

I think that Campo Santo has right to come up and say
"I don't want my brand associated with this person" and using this opportunity to throw a statement about their feelings towards Felix.
What I consider an abuse and a seemingly opportunistic way of dealing with their disapproval of said content creator is that Campo Santo didn't tell Felix to NOT play their game when he first did and also their DMCA abuse to take these videos down.

Once again, while I agree with the developers not wanting to be associated with the PewDiePie brand, name, what ever... I also find their ways abusive and opportunistic.
About them reaching to other developers in order to close doors in Felix' nose I consider that childish and harsh, something born from the gut not from the brain.
We all have our right to not wanting our stuff related with something we don't like... you could say "Why didn't they said NO to Felix from the beginning then?" And while you would be right you gotta understand they run a business and exposure is what the studio wanted and what better way to do it than a guy with 50+ million subscribers on the most popular video platform that currently exist.
Once again, I understand their argument even though I don't agree with their ways.

I personally feel that Felix should be very well aware of the reach his words.
Yes it is a LIVE stream, tons of things could go wrong, we are all human and we all have the right to fuck up. Still he should learn once and for all to be responsible with his mouth and specially with his actions.

FINALLY, I've seen his apology and I feel like he understands fullly why people got triggered. It's hard to be angry with someone that fully recognizes the error of his ways and wishes to correct them.
Hope he truly learns from this terrible experience and I really hope tha no more developers take the "easy route" and abuse the system as blightetly as Campo Santo did.

Thanks for your time