A Fortnite season 6 (opens in new tab) trailer was briefly taken down earlier this week, after receiving a strike from YouTube for copyright infringement. That alone would be strange enough, since trailers and promotional videos typically secure the rights to any third-party media ahead of time. But the real kicker here is who issued the claim: according to a screengrab posted to Reddit (opens in new tab), it was none other than Fortnite's own developer, Epic Games.
Players responded with a bevy of memes and references. "You played yourself," "Trust nobody, not even yourself," "It hurt itself in confusion," and of course, the classic Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man (opens in new tab) image. With players clearly having a laugh and the trailer back up, it might seem like a case of no harm, no foul. But it does serve to highlight some issues with YouTube's copyright strike system.
YouTube is host to millions upon millions of videos, not all of them totally legal. To combat this, companies and individuals can issue takedown notices on videos they believe violate their copyright. If someone issues a takedown, the video in question is delisted and the uploader must appeal to get it back - a lengthy process in and of itself. Anyone found guilty of violating copyright three times will have their channel purged in entirety from YouTube.
This system has been criticized for having little oversight and placing undue burden on those impacted by the strikes. Someone looking to cause trouble could, for example, pretend to be a company and issue a fraudulent claim. Or, as has happened in the past (opens in new tab), a creator of a game or film could use YouTube's system to punish negative reviews.
In other words, there are two options here: either Epic Games accidentally issued a takedown of its own property, or someone pretended to be Epic in order to get the trailer taken down. Neither is a particularly good look, but one is a minor oopsie, and the other points to serious flaws in the internet's premiere video hosting network. I know which one I'd hope to be the case.
Playing Fortnite Season 6? Then you're going to want to know how to complete all of the Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges (opens in new tab) coming your way. Why not start with our guide on Fortnite Hunting Party Challenges (opens in new tab)?