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Magic to Master Developer Threatened Legal Action Against MMO YouTuber Before Finally Admitting To False Copyright Strike

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Magic to Master's developer Laniatus threatened legal action against MMO YouTuber Callum Upton based on a video Upton released about the company's Kickstarter campaign. However, since then Laniatus' Kickstarter has crashed to the ground, which may have been caused by a copyright strike they issued against Upton.

If you've not been following this, Magic to Master is an MMO that is attempting to get funded via Kickstarter. When the MMO launched its Kickstarter page, it was found to be using fake testimonials from us, our friends at MassivelyOP, Game Rant, and others. These testimonial reviews were fraudulent and when the company was called out for it the "reviews" were pulled. However, since then Laniatus has fought back against the negative coverage they created, and seemingly lashing out at anyone who even talked about the Kickstarter. 

Caught in the crosshairs here was MMO YouTuber Callum Upton. Upon making a video where he talked about the game's Kickstarter (not even all that negatively, either!), the video was issued a copyright strike by Laniatus. This brought the video down and gave a strike to Upton's channel, something that is no laughing matter as three strikes, and your channel is just straight shut down by YouTube.

It's nothing new for developers and publishers to abuse the DMCA takedown system to cull what they feel is negative discourse around their game. However, Upton chose to not be silenced here and instead uploaded the full version of the video to Twitter, as well as gave multiple players in the MMO space an offline copy to use as well. 

In a new video released today, Upton details the latest in the saga, calling the story of Magic to Master a "rabbit hole." 

He's not wrong.

In that video, however, he reveals that Laniatus sent an email to him threatening legal action if he didn't take it down. Upton, about to go on holiday (and the email was filtering to his spam folder), didn't see the email before leaving. Thus, a few days later, Laniatus issued the now infamous copyright strike.

The threatening email accuses the YouTuber of "defamation," "slander" and that the video caused "irreparable harm" to the company. They threatened to use "all legal avenues" to protect the game.

However, remember earlier this week when we reported that GameForge issued a copyright strike of their own, taking down the Magic to Master Kickstarter page claiming that Laniatus has infringed on their copyright by using stolen Metin2 assets and attempting to sell it as their own.

Yikes.

This isn't the first time it seems that the developers at Laniatus have been sued by GameForge according to Upton, as the YouTuber reports they have been sued to the tune of $600K before for running a private server version of Metin2 called Metin2Mester, with the screenshots to prove this.

Ever since the news of the copyright strike started to gain momentum, however, it seems Laniatus had a change of heart. In the video, Callum details an apology sent to him by Laniatus' Tayfun Cicek admitting that the claim was "false" and "spurious."

"I had been given bad advice by the people in my company that resulted in a lot of incredibly bad decisions that ultimately resulted in the spurious and false DMCA claim we made against you," Tayfun says in the "apology."

As someone who has been apologized to by Laniatus when the company used our logo and name to post a false and misleading (as well as poorly written) "testimonial review," I'll add that each apology seems to always blame someone else. For us, it was the Fiverr employee who kept the testimonial reviews in as a "test," here it seems Tayfun is blaming people in the company for what is ultimately his call.

Callum's video is fully worth a watch if you want to know even more of the story here, and it doesn't sound like this is even the end as Upton states he's been in touch with GameForge and their PR team. So we might learn even more about the drama surrounding Laniatus. 

Can we all finally agree that Kickstarter MMOs should just be a relic of the past now?

 


lotrlore

Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore