A user of the Chinese video-sharing site Bilibili is getting a lesson in copyright law after they had unlawfully reuploaded one video from Drillimation’s YouTube channel. The video in question was their cover of The Seal-Away Youkai ~ Lost Place from Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism (original video below).
YouTube, for the most part, is not accessible in Mainland China. Regional lockouts infamously encourage piracy. It’s unknown when the video was uploaded, but it was pointed out by a banned user who was nagging the Prophet Driller on Discord, often using poor English.
On September 7, 2022, Drillimation submitted a statutory DMCA notice and takedown to Bilibili, the hosting provider of the video. The complaint went as follows:
To whom it may concern, this notice has been written to you by the founder and CEO of Drillimation Systems.
Drillimation Systems is the exclusive owner of all copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights for the following Songs:
The Seal-Away Youkai ~ Lost Place (PC-98 Remix) | Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism (located at https://youtu.be/f5YMBje6Lv4)
- Country of First Publication: United States of America
- Name of Copyright Owner: Drillimation Systems Co., Ltd.
- Year of First Publication: 2021
- Additional Notes: This is a derivative work; it is a remix of a song from the 2008 video game Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism. This remix was created under a free license from the original license holder, Team Shanghai Alice.
Under 17 U.S.C. § 501, no one is authorized to copy, reproduce, adapt, use, or distribute the Songs without express permission from Drillimation Systems Co., Ltd. It has come to our attention that your website, located at bilibili.com, is reproducing, distributing, and/or offering for sale the Songs. Attached below are the URLs that link to the infringing material:
We have the good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained was not authorized by Drillimation, its agent, or the law. Drillimation diligently enforces the rights to all of its commercially released songs in all forms of media. We take responsibility for the protection of our IP very seriously, and internet service providers can be held liable if they do not respond to copyright infringement claims pursuant to the requirements of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
In accordance with the DMCA, we request the removal of the infringing material from your website and any other sites for which you act as the owner. Failure to comply with this legal request will result in civil liability under 17 U.S.C. § 501.
Under penalty of perjury, we declare that Drillimation Systems is the exclusive owner of the Song and that the information above is accurate. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (recommended) if you have any questions regarding this notice. Nothing in this notice constitutes an express or implied waiver of any rights, remedies, or defenses of Drillimation, all of which are expressly reserved.C&D Order to Bilibili
Bilibili operates under two URLs: bilibili.com is the Mainland China version, while bilibili.tv is the international version. Since Drillimation does not use Bilibili, the notice was sent to their legal department, who quickly disabled access to the infringing video and added a copyright strike to the offender’s account.
In 2020, Bilibili was sued by Youku for illegal uploads of scenes from the 2018 Chinese film Dying to Survive. Youku won and Bilibili was forced to pay $8,500 in damages. Drillimation will continue to protect its intellectual property rights for all of its audiovisual content.