After two weeks of no uploads, a notable Borderlands personality on YouTube returned to the platform yesterday with a video explaining his absence. He said that the game’s publisher Take-Two Interactive hit his channel with several copyright strikes and sent investigators to his home in response to months of Borderlands coverage on his channel, which included leaks about upcoming games in the series.
Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games, however, said the YouTuber’s actions were sometimes illegal and harmful to the Borderlands community. “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,” a 2K Games rep said in a statement. “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 company did not specify what it was that Somers did that they think broke the law.
Somers’ videos include playthroughs of the Borderlands series as well as tips, tricks, and an in-depth history series that explores the lore of the Borderlands universe. For the last year, Somers’ channel has also been home to Borderlands 3 leaks and speculation, which he always attributed to either unnamed sources or the work of a community of fans digging through SteamDB, a third-party data repository that shows the work being done behind-the-scenes to get games ready for the PC platform.
Wherever he was getting his information from, Somers got a lot of things right
In his return video, Somers goes into great detail about what happened to him, his YouTube channel, and his Discord server. Somers claims that on July 25, investigators showed up at his home in New Jersey and questioned him on behalf of the New York-based Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Borderlands publisher 2K Games. He describes being tense due to strangers trespassing on his private property and regrets having spoken with them. Somers allegedly answered questions about his channel and various information he had previously reported on
his YouTube channel, which was later hit by seven copyright strikes he says Take-Two handed down following his visit from the private investigators. Since then, all but one of these copyright strikes have been removed from his channel, allowing it to remain live, although he’s unsure if this means they were rescinded by Take-Two or removed by YouTube.
In addition to the strikes against his YouTube channel, Somers says that his Discord server and his Discord account were terminated 20 minutes after the private investigators left. The explanation he got from an automated Discord email was that his account was “involved in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts.” He says that no information was provided as to who was behind this shutdown and denies that anything of the sort took place in his Discord server.
A rep for 2K Games, however, called the video “incomplete and in some cases untrue.” They noted that “Take-Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously,” adding that 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, but more importantly may negatively impact the experiences of our fans and customers.”
The rep declined to provide further information on Take-Two and 2K’s investigation.
What really gets me here is the callous way in which he was booted from several services (YouTube and Discord) with no idea why or how to fix his problem or how they were fixed in the end. It’s the same black hole Amazon sellers live of in terror. These services are now too big to allow them to get away with “it’s a free service and you can choose not to use them” – there are no viable alternatives. The creation of the rules and enforcement of these rules cannot be left in the hands of entities that are solely interested in profit.