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2K Games defends ‘necessary actions’ against YouTuber who shared Borderlands 3 leaks

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SLoWMoTIoN

Unconfirmed Member

Video game publishers Take-Two Interactive and 2K Games have responded to allegations from popular YouTube creator SupMatto, who claimed he was unfairly and excessively targeted by the companies after he posted a series of videos, including leaked content from the upcoming game Borderlands 3.

“Take Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously,” a 2K representative told The Verge. “The action we’ve taken is the result of a 10-month investigation and a history of this creator profiting from breaking our policies, leaking confidential information about our product, and infringing our copyrights.” 2K is a subsidiary of Take-Two, and it handles publishing for Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series.

Although this is coming up now, the situation began in April, according to a detailed testimony of events from SupMatto, who is not disclosing his real name. A trailer for a Twitch extension called ECHOCast that could be used in Borderlands 3 included information for a private Twitch account that was being used to test the feature. The exposed accounts weren’t discovered by SupMatto, he pointed out, but were posted to forum sites like Reddit. Although the channel’s content wasn’t viewable, thumbnails were. SupMatto, who covers Borderlands quite a bit on his channel, used the thumbnails to make videos about Borderlands 3.

“The action we’ve taken is the result of a 10-month investigation and a history of this creator profiting from breaking our policies.”
Since the thumbnails were on Twitch, SupMatto believed they were public domain, but he then received several copyright strikes from 2K, he says. YouTube’s current copyright policies state that visual works “such as paintings, posters, and advertisements” all constitute copyrighted content. The copyright claims came after two private investigators, who he says were hired by Take-Two, allegedly came to SupMatto’s house on July 25th to discuss “various things relating to my channel, [and] the livestream that was discussed on my channel.” “I was very tense, as many of you could imagine, having two people in suits you don’t know show up at your home,” SupMatto said in a video on the issue.

2K representative declined to comment on whether private investigators contracted by its parent company were indeed sent to SupMatto’s house. Instead, 2K representative told The Verge the company will “take the necessary actions to defend against leaks and infringement of our intellectual property that not only potentially impact our business and partners.”
“The information he’s sharing about the situation is incomplete, and in some cases untrue,” the representative said. “Not only were many of his actions illegal, but they were negatively impacting the experiences of other content creators and our fans in anticipation for the game.”The situation has prompted backlash from both the creator and gaming communities. A hashtag — #boycottborderlands3 — started spreading on Twitter following the release of SupMatto’s video, and other commentary videos on the issue from fellow YouTube creators have helped the hashtag trend. The sentiment toward Gearbox and 2K has been increasingly negative of late following controversies and fallout related to its exclusivity deal with Epic Games for the PC release of the game, and this recent spat with a YouTuber is adding fuel to the fire.

“As an adult, as someone who’s thought about it, it was a pretty shitty thing to do.”
“I will add that since I’ve had time to reflect on the situation, I’d say excitement got the better of my judgment,” SupMatto said. “As an adult, as someone who’s thought about it, it was a pretty shitty thing to do.”
Following the alleged visit from investigators, SupMatto’s Discord account was terminated for being “involved in selling, promoting or distributing cheats, hacks or cracked accounts.” He voluntarily closed his Twitter account, too, and later dispelled rumors that Take-Two and 2K were behind the disappearance of his profile.

SupMatto says he’s seen how online communities, many with disparate motives, have latched on to his story and used it to further online crusades against 2K, Gearbox, and others. He says many people commenting on the issue are “exaggerating” or don’t have all the facts. As a result, after issuing his latest video, SupMatto says he’s taking time away from his online activities.
“I am absolutely on hiatus from making videos as I figure out what I want to do,” SupMatto said. “I want to give myself time to be depressed.”​
source : The Verge
 

Lanrutcon

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I don’t know if it was necessary, but I appreciate they are trying to protect their business.

They should be going after the streamers that broke NDA that he is parroting from.

Although this is coming up now, the situation began in April, according to a detailed testimony of events from SupMatto, who is not disclosing his real name. A trailer for a Twitch extension called ECHOCast that could be used in Borderlands 3 included information for a private Twitch account that was being used to test the feature. The exposed accounts weren’t discovered by SupMatto, he pointed out, but were posted to forum sites like Reddit. Although the channel’s content wasn’t viewable, thumbnails were. SupMatto, who covers Borderlands quite a bit on his channel, used the thumbnails to make videos about Borderlands 3.

Dude used a twitch's account thumbnails to figure things out and make videos. Doesn't sound illegal to me. What am I missing?
 

Kagey K

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Although this is coming up now, the situation began in April, according to a detailed testimony of events from SupMatto, who is not disclosing his real name. A trailer for a Twitch extension called ECHOCast that could be used in Borderlands 3 included information for a private Twitch account that was being used to test the feature. The exposed accounts weren’t discovered by SupMatto, he pointed out, but were posted to forum sites like Reddit. Although the channel’s content wasn’t viewable, thumbnails were. SupMatto, who covers Borderlands quite a bit on his channel, used the thumbnails to make videos about Borderlands 3.

Dude used a twitch's account thumbnails to figure things out and make videos. Doesn't sound illegal to me. What am I missing?
It wasn’t illegal, what they did was farm names from playtesters accounts and followed them. They each spilled a bit of the beans until he was able to make a coherent story based on all the crumbs he was left.

It was good detective work on his part and bad for those giving out just a “little” info.

That’s why I said 2K should go after them as well.
 

Kagey K

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Multi billion corporations using intimidation tactics is cool?
Anyone protecting their ip using resources available to them is fine by me.

When you create content, you have to be able to protect that content, otherwise anyone can steal, demean, or ruin it for you.

I said they should have gone after the playtesters first, but they weren’t the ones compiling it and putting it out there in a condensed form.
 
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danielberg

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This is the take two perspective which is different to the dudes story, i wonder whats the actual truth.
One thing is for sure If the dude never signed a NDA or as he claims found the info on a take two posted publicly available stream and thumbnail then there is nothing illegal he has done.
 
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S

SLoWMoTIoN

Unconfirmed Member
this is the take two perspective which is very different to what the dude is claiming.
I wonder whats the truth if he really didn't signe a nda its info from a public available thumpnail at that time then he should sue take two.
Guy sounds scared enough to tell others not to talk or say anything bad about 2K.
 

Lanrutcon

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this is the take two perspective which is very different to what the dude is claiming.
I wonder whats the truth if he really didn't signe a nda its info from a public available thumpnail at that time then he should sue take two.

His entire channel is built on Borderlands content. If he sues them, they'll copyright strike everything he ever does. He'll need to find some of other subject matter if he wants to continue as a Youtuber.
 

strange headache

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Multi billion corporations using intimidation tactics is cool?

Indeed.

From what I can gather that YouTuber didn't sign an NDA and collected the information from publicly available thumbnails and sources. It's what I would call decent reporting and for doing so Take Two sends a lawyer SWAT team to his house in order to threaten him with legal action.

I'd like to know on what legal grounds they acted against that YouTuber since he did not break NDA or resorted to illegal means in order to acquire that information. This is like SONY or Microsoft taking legal action against NeoGAF for sharing and discussing leaks about their upcoming consoles. Not to mention that said YouTuber was basically giving them free publicity by extensively covering Borderlands 3. Publishers want streamers and YouTubers to cover their games, but threatening them as soon as they do some proper reporting sets a dangerous precedent for their investigative freedom.

The YouTuber is clearly being pressured into apologizing. Imagine the outrage if they did the same to a games journalist... Take Two / 2K are clearly overstepping their boundaries here.
 

danielberg

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His entire channel is built on Borderlands content. If he sues them, they'll copyright strike everything he ever does. He'll need to find some of other subject matter if he wants to continue as a Youtuber.
yeah you are probably right.. suing over this from either sides perspective doesnt make much sense and is a waste of time and money
 
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Kagey K

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yeah you are probably right.. suing over this from either sides perspective doesnt make much sense and is a waste of time and money
Thankfully nobody in thier right mind has wasted money on suing each other for anything.

Otherwise this could get messy.
 

Whitecrow

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That youtuber is dumb. He used info under NDA to promote his public channel.
He may be clueless about what he did, but fortunately 2k will make him learn the territories people should not step into.
 

Lanrutcon

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That youtuber is dumb. He used info under NDA to promote his public channel.
He may be clueless about what he did, but fortunately 2k will make him learn the territories people should not step into.

NDAs only apply to those that sign them. They aren't law or copyright. The only way his activities are illegal is if he procured the information via illegal means.
 

Whitecrow

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NDAs only apply to those that sign them. They aren't law or copyright. The only way his activities are illegal is if he procured the information via illegal means.
I'm not talking at legal level, I dont care if he didnt do anything illegal, but sure he did something very stupid, that could harm the company.
That info was under NDA for a reason, even if he didnt sign it, leaking it is still something that deserves to be targeted and handled.
 

Lanrutcon

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I'm not talking at legal level, I dont care if he didnt do anything illegal, but sure he did something very stupid, that could harm the company.
That info was under NDA for a reason, even if he didnt sign it, leaking it is still something that deserves to be targeted and handled.

Sure. Handled with private investigators coming going to where you sleep. For not doing anything illegal. Over a video game.

Next up: Steam reviews! didn't recommend the game? guess we'll have to pay you a visit since you're harming our company. Maybe we'll chat to you. Maybe we'll chat to your wife, girlfriend or kids. Who knows! Have a lovely day.
 

CeeJay

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I'm not talking at legal level, I dont care if he didnt do anything illegal, but sure he did something very stupid, that could harm the company.
That info was under NDA for a reason, even if he didnt sign it, leaking it is still something that deserves to be targeted and handled.

it was the people under the NDA that leaked it though, not this YouTuber who just collated publicly available material.

If someone pulls some info from a publicly accessible website how are they to know whether that info is under an NDA or not?
 
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Whitecrow

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Sure. Handled with private investigators coming going to where you sleep. For not doing anything illegal. Over a video game.

Next up: Steam reviews! didn't recommend the game? guess we'll have to pay you a visit since you're harming our company. Maybe we'll chat to you. Maybe we'll chat to your wife, girlfriend or kids. Who knows! Have a lovely day.
I didnt say the measures where appropiate in any of my posts, did I?

it was the people under the NDA that leaked it though, not this YouTuber who just collated publicly available material.

If someone pulls some info from a publicly accessible website how are they to know whether that info is under an NDA or not?
Its not like it was on wikipedia. He did a detective work on info employees were leaking. Everything screams private. If he did not get it, as I've said, he is really dumb.
 
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MadAnon

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2 goons intimidating him... lmao. Probably just asked some questions and he was shittin his pants about the fact he might be in trouble. Though, I have no idea how leagal it is for private investigators to question people. If they actually introduced themselves as some random people and this guy willingly discussed things they were interested in, then not sure where's the problem. He could've easily refused. If they actually threatened him then yeah, that is unaccaptable. But the fact that he didn't involve police doesn't help his case. Using a word intimidated doesn't help either unless you can tell about specifics of how they intimidated you. I guess he got simply scared of 2 guys in suits who asked questions and he willingly cooperated. Sounds like a guy who's trying to oversell his story to victimize himself.

Will see how this turns out. Both sides defending themselves and who knows which side is spinning the truth.

And isn't the whole problem about him basically selling/profiting from copyrighted material? As I understand the things he got from Twitch aren't the only leaks either.

Besides, nobody is even suing him. They simply shut down his revenue stream from leaked, copyrighted material of BL3. To find the inside leaker you have to talk to the people who get the information. People have blown this whole thing so out of proportion. But then again, we are living in outrage culture.
 
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Hudo

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Yeah, I'm sorry. If a company is starting to hire some dudes to go after you, something is wrong. This sounds like some dsytopian mega-corporation bullshit. If a law was broken, let the appropriate instances handle it, that's what they're there for.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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YouTube is not a content-sharing platform nor a news platform. It's an advertising platform, and you'd better not upset the corps paying the bills.
 

JCK75

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There is just way too much awfulness around this game for me to buy it in good conscience no matter how much I loved previous games.
 

WorldHero

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I don't like leaks, they ruin a lot and put more pressure on studios and those who work there.

That being said, the leaker should be dealt with, not just the fan giving out the info.
 

Trogdor1123

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I don't like leaks, they ruin a lot and put more pressure on studios and those who work there.

That being said, the leaker should be dealt with, not just the fan giving out the info.
Not the fan at all,they didn't agree to keep anything quiet
 

Zenaku

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Don't answer the door unless you ordered something.
I did that a few months back. The guy at the door then called the police to break my door down.

Turns out it was an enforcement officer looking for the previous tenant. I was actually supposed to be at work that morning, but I had to swap shifts with a guy going on holiday, or I would have came home to find my locks changed.

Always check, even if you don't plan on opening.
 

Kamina

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I did that a few months back. The guy at the door then called the police to break my door down.

Turns out it was an enforcement officer looking for the previous tenant. I was actually supposed to be at work that morning, but I had to swap shifts with a guy going on holiday, or I would have came home to find my locks changed.

Always check, even if you don't plan on opening.
Very stupid enforcement officer if he didn't check who is registered at the address beforehand.
 

Zenaku

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Very stupid enforcement officer if he didn't check who is registered at the address beforehand.
He posted a notice through the door about a month earlier, it was like some card based leaflet saying to call him. Unfortunately I have tons of takeaways and shops nearby and get lots of junk mail (menus, specials, phone deals, tool hire, etc) so I toss anything not in an envelope into a draw that I sort through every month or two.

Just really bad luck there for missing it.
 

Z O N E

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Sure. Handled with private investigators coming going to where you sleep. For not doing anything illegal. Over a video game.

Next up: Steam reviews! didn't recommend the game? guess we'll have to pay you a visit since you're harming our company. Maybe we'll chat to you. Maybe we'll chat to your wife, girlfriend or kids. Who knows! Have a lovely day.

I'll never understand why people say "It's just a video game" "Over a video game."

You do realise Borderlands is a multi-million worth IP. The games industry itself is worth more than music, movies and several sports put together. It may be a "video game" to you, but it's millions in investments to the people who put money to develop it.
 

Panajev2001a

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It wasn’t illegal, what they did was farm names from playtesters accounts and followed them. They each spilled a bit of the beans until he was able to make a coherent story based on all the crumbs he was left.

It was good detective work on his part and bad for those giving out just a “little” info.

That’s why I said 2K should go after them as well.

What is the basis for going after him at all?
 

Panajev2001a

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2 goons intimidating him... lmao. Probably just asked some questions and he was shittin his pants about the fact he might be in trouble. Though, I have no idea how leagal it is for private investigators to question people. If they actually introduced themselves as some random people and this guy willingly discussed things they were interested in, then not sure where's the problem. He could've easily refused. If they actually threatened him then yeah, that is unaccaptable. But the fact that he didn't involve police doesn't help his case. Using a word intimidated doesn't help either unless you can tell about specifics of how they intimidated you. I guess he got simply scared of 2 guys in suits who asked questions and he willingly cooperated. Sounds like a guy who's trying to oversell his story to victimize himself.

Will see how this turns out. Both sides defending themselves and who knows which side is spinning the truth.

And isn't the whole problem about him basically selling/profiting from copyrighted material? As I understand the things he got from Twitch aren't the only leaks either.

Besides, nobody is even suing him. They simply shut down his revenue stream from leaked, copyrighted material of BL3. To find the inside leaker you have to talk to the people who get the information. People have blown this whole thing so out of proportion. But then again, we are living in outrage culture.
He did not leak anything, published what was already on the public domain. Corporation and some streamers done goofed and there is a price for that... material gets exposed.
 
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Lanrutcon

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I'll never understand why people say "It's just a video game" "Over a video game."

You do realise Borderlands is a multi-million worth IP. The games industry itself is worth more than music, movies and several sports put together. It may be a "video game" to you, but it's millions in investments to the people who put money to develop it.

And you think that gives them the right to bully people? He makes a living doing Borderlands videos. They could have shut down his leaks with a single phone call.
 
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Shifty

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I'll never understand why people say "It's just a video game" "Over a video game."

You do realise Borderlands is a multi-million worth IP. The games industry itself is worth more than music, movies and several sports put together. It may be a "video game" to you, but it's millions in investments to the people who put money to develop it.
That corporate-minded bullshit can go straight in the bin. If 2K has the resources to waste sending goons to intimidate someone, they have the resources to shore up their pipeline instead of victimizing their fans.
 
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Hypereides

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Whats even more eyebrow-raising about this case is the IGN article. IGN removed certain parts from the article after it went live and didn't explicitly state that it was updated:



The article remains unedited as of the current date (http://archive.ph/UWtKX) with no mention of the updated content. That's either shady or unprofessional incompetence.
 

MadAnon

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He did not leak anything, published what was already on the public domain. Corporation and some streamers done goofed and there is a price for that... material gets exposed.
Yes but the investigation supposedly started much earlier regarding earlier leaks when he said he has sources inside BL3 dev team or something. And as I said, nobody is suing him, as many have already mentioned he was not under any NDA.

The copy strike abusing by 2k is stupid though. I would understand if they shut down only the revenue stream from leaked, copyrighted material but they are striking unrelated videos too.

I have no horse in this race, personally.
 
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Sep 19, 2017
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That's what happens when you're not
A. a professional journalist and
B. with zero syndicate for online youtubers in order to protect your rights, inclunding the ones to not answer questions and to be represented by a lawyer.

Give me more popcorns please. 🤣😋🤭
 
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