When Fortnite Season 6 began, Epic Games published a trailer for the new Battle Pass on the game’s official YouTube account, as is customary when it introduces new cosmetics. But fans of the hit multiplayer title got a bit of a surprise earlier this week when they were unable to watch the video for an unlikely reason.
In a post published to the Fortnite Battle Royale subreddit, a fan of the game shared a screenshot of their (failed) attempt to watch the Season 6 Battle Pass trailer. After clicking on the video, they were greeted by a black screen with a message that read that the trailer is unavailable due to a copyright claim. Who was the copyright strike filed by? None other than Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite itself.
YouTubers are no strangers to automated copyright strikes resulting in accidental takedowns of their videos. Three years ago YouTube came under fire for its copyright policy regarding livestreams on the (now defunct) YouTube Gaming platform. Content ID would scan a stream for third-party content, potentially replacing the stream or terminating it altogether if it detected such media. This may even happen if the streamer held the rights to that third-party content.
EPIC’s own Battle Pass video got Copyright Striked by themselves. from FortNiteBR
But bizarrely, it seems that the copyright strike against the Fortnite Battle Pass trailer may not have been an accident. According to YouTube’s official explainer on copyright strikes on its platform, if a video receives a copyright strike then it means that “a copyright owner has sent us a complete and valid legal request asking us to do so.” This appears to confirm that Epic Games has actually filed a copyright claim against its own video, on purpose.
At least, that’s what it looks like. It’s important to note that sometimes companies, especially billion-dollar businesses like Epic Games, use third-party groups to enforce copyright and issue takedowns such as these. It is not unheard for one of these third-party partners to issue a strike to take something down on its employer’s behalf even when it makes no sense. While it’s not known for sure whether that has happened here, it is one possibility.
Positively for those who want to get the lowdown on the new Season 6 cosmetics, including the introduction of pets, the video has been restored. The company seems to have realized its mistake (or caught wind of the Reddit post) and the video is now available to watch once more.
Fortnite is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS. A beta is currently taking place on Android devices.
Source: Reddit, YouTube