Ever heard of the Streisand impact? It’s when somebody tries to suppress data, solely to wind up spreading it even additional than it may need in any other case traveled.

For instance: Final week, I may need been skeptical should you informed me a podcaster bought their arms on a casting script for the following Tomb Raider sport — one which reveals that a older, lonely Lara Croft might dodge lasers in a “gravity tomb” and have interaction in a romance with one other feminine character.

However should you additionally informed me that the top lawyer at Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics instantly despatched a DMCA takedown discover — one the place he attested underneath penalty of perjury that the podcast infringed on the studio’s mental property — I’d completely suppose that script and people particulars are fully, completely actual.

That’s precisely what occurred over the previous few days (through VGC). On Friday, Colin Moriarty’s Sacred Symbols podcast contained an uncommon phase that includes a part of an alleged casting script for British actors studying for the a part of Lara Croft herself. “They’re looking for a feminine of their mid-30s, who’s white, five-foot-six, athletic, and a prototype of Emily Blunt, Rosamund Pike, and so forth,” Moriarty learn.

Then he went on to learn a big passage describing a doable new tone for the brand new sport:

Lara Croft is now on the high of her sport. Gone are the times of the younger inexperienced girl coping with issues of legacy and familial reckoning, Lara has let go of her childhood and totally embraced a lifetime of journey and goal. Her legendary profession has been lauded in print and tabloids, tall tales of journey that have impressed a brand new technology of Tomb Raiders to hunt their fortunes on the earth. And with this new part of her life, Lara totally accepted her place among the many ruins.

For a few years, Lara plumbed the depths of forgotten locations, performed cat in mouse with many nefarious opponents, and labored to uncover, protect and defend the misplaced secrets and techniques of the world lest they fall into the flawed arms. However because the years have handed, Lara has change into lonely on the high. The start of this subsequent chapter presents Lara with the quintessentially grownup drawback going through one thing too massive to deal with alone on this new journey. Lara will encounter a problem she will solely overcome with a workforce at her aspect. Collaboration is overseas to her. She’s all the time succeeded alone. So, on this scenario, she’s a fish out of water.

After that, his co-hosts Chris and Dustin acted out the 2 casting scenes, that includes Lara, a lady named Tanvi, and a person named Devindra (I hope I’m spelling appropriately). Lastly, Moriarty reads a observe that the feminine actor they’re looking for might have “romantic scenes with one other feminine character,” however that “there is no nudity or simulated intercourse.”

All of that was apparently sufficient to push Square Enix’s Crystal Dynamics to ship the DMCA takedown discover the exact same day — although to not Moriarty, however fairly the Patreon web page the place subscribers assist his podcast, straight threatening his supply of revenue.

On Monday afternoon, Patreon despatched alongside the DMCA discover, and after spending $1,000 to seek the advice of together with his personal lawyer and time with Patreon’s authorized workforce, Moriarty says he determined to take away that one particular phase of the podcast — despite the fact that he thinks it was in all probability an act of journalism. “I didn’t steal it, I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t purchase it,” he informed listeners in a follow-up video in regards to the DMCA takedown. “I used to be appearing within the notion that this is honest use, this is of big common curiosity.”

I obtained a duplicate of the unique DMCA discover from Moriarty. Whereas it’s imprecise about what, precisely, Crystal Dynamics takes subject with, there aren’t loads of prospects. Even the YouTube model of the primarily-audio podcast has no visuals that would belong to Square Enix, no logos, and no photos of Lara, not even transformative ones. It’s simply audio. “I learn perhaps 2/5 of the coverpage, typically verbatim, after which we acted out the 2 scenes that got to me,” Moriarty tells me. Eradicating that audio was sufficient to fulfill Patreon’s authorized workforce, he says.

Moriarty additionally says he doesn’t blame Patreon for not eager to push again. “I’m not mad at them on this scenario, nor out guilty them.” However he doesn’t need to be “a free speech martyr” himself, both.

“I personally suppose we may make a ‘honest use’ play, each in notability of the information and in our interpretation of the script, however I don’t have the time, means, or power to combat, and I don’t wanna open us as much as additional bother. Simpler to capitulate, sadly, which — if I could also be conspiratorial — appears to be the purpose in these instances. I’m an individual working a enterprise out of my home; Square Enix is, effectively, Square Enix,” he tells me.

Richard Hoeg, a lawyer who covers these kinds of points in his personal Digital Legality podcast (and in addition has his personal Patreon), joined Moriarty within the follow-up video. He defined that it’s laborious to inform what might or will not be thought of honest use.

“If it’s the design doc […] that you learn out loud in your video, that’s going to provide the opposite aspect extra buy to deliver an infringement declare,” Hoeg advised, whereas nonetheless entertaining the concept it may very well be honest use. He concludes that you may’t actually inform till there’s a verdict in court docket — and Sacred Symbols has been clear that it doesn’t need to combat to search out out.

Nonetheless, the Sacred Symbols podcast isn’t totally caving to what they assume are Square Enix’s calls for. The unedited, unique model of the podcast will stay on YouTube and their free podcast feeds till or except Square Enix takes motion there too.

Square Enix didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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