Naughty Dog and Sony are continuing to use third parties to take down anyone perceived of sharing leaks and in one case they removed a Grand Theft Auto V meme.
Reddit user KoshkaRusalka reported the meme they shared to the DeuxRAMA subreddit received a DMCA takedown notice and was subsequently removed from Reddit.
KoshkaRusalka shared a screenshot of the email he received from Reddit notifying him of the takedown notice.
The email begins, “From time to time, we receive a notice from a copyright holder stating that certain content on our website allegedly infringes their rights. We have received a notice claiming that content you posted or linked to at the following URL9s) infringes one or more copyrights.”
It then provides the link to the DeuxRama subreddit.
The email continues, “Upon receipt of such a notice, Reddit must expeditiously remove or disable access to the material that is claimed to be infringing.”
YouTuber Jeremy Griggs shared an image of the meme in question to Twitter.
Naughty Dog hid this meme on their replies.
RT because fuck Naughty Dog. pic.twitter.com/oV0gRMb5P8
— Jeremy Prime (@DDayCobra) May 6, 2020
Ian Miles Cheong at Hype Break describes the meme.
“There was a picture made in Grand Theft Auto V. And it shows a character, Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Solid Revengeance or Metal Gear Revengeance playing golf with the models or the character models from the first Last of Us.”
He elaborates, “It was made in GTA V the whole thing is a meme. It’s not serious. It doesn’t even actually spoil anything. They are just playing golf.”
This isn’t the only meme that has been targeted by takedowns.
YouTuber Ryan Kinel reports that multiple posts on The Last of Us 2 subreddit have also been removed by Reddit after receiving takedown notices from Naughty Dog and Sony.
Kinel states, “This is how desperate they are to silence any form of criticism.”
One of those memes used South Park characters and replaced their heads with The Last of Us 2 characters.
Kinel also documents that former Naughty Dog employee Angel Garcia is demanding video memes be removed.
On Twitter, Garcia demanded a video meme showing The Last of Us Part II leaked footage with a voice over from Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance be removed.
— Killuminati soldier (@DiabolicADB) May 1, 2020
@PlayStation can you guys remove this?
— Angel Garcia (@ArtsbyAngel) May 2, 2020
As of writing Garcia’s request has not been taken up as the video is still viewable although it is marked as “sensitive content.”
Kinel states, “Copyright striking memes about this is going to a whole ‘nother level. That just shows how salty you guys really are. And how much you have to hide.”
Sony and Naughty Dog have fully embraced the Streisand Effect. By censoring and copyright striking memes about The Last of Us Part II all they have done is bring negative attention to their game.
And my guess is that negative attention is going to turn people off from the game, and subsequently not purchase it. People don’t like rewarding bad behavior. And Naughty Dog and Sony certainly have been behaving badly.