The leaked Tomb Raider script now appears to be like fairly legit after being DMCA’d by Sq. Enix.

Ever heard of the Streisand effect? It’s when someone trying to suppress information, only to spread it further than it could go.

For example: Last week, I would have been skeptical if you had told me that a podcaster had gotten into the script of the next Tomb Raider game, which reveals that an older, lonely Lara Croft can dodge lasers in a “gravity tomb.” and have an affair with another female character.

But if you also told me that Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics’ general counsel immediately issued a DMCA takedown notice — one in which he asserted under penalty of perjury that the podcast infringed on the studio’s intellectual property. I really think the script and those details are absolutely, absolutely absolutely. sure

That’s exactly what happened over the past few days (via VGC). Colin Moriarty’s Sacred Symbols podcast on Friday was an unusual segment It contains part of an alleged casting script for British actors reading for the role of Lara Croft herself. “They’re looking for a 30-something, white, five-foot-tall, athletic female, Emily Blunt, Rosamund Pike, et al. prototype,” read Moriarty.

He then read a long passage describing the possible new tone of the new game:

Lara Croft is now at the top of her game. Gone are the days of a young inexperienced woman dealing with legacy and family reckoning, Lara has let go of her childhood and fully embraced a life of adventure and purpose. Her legendary career was celebrated in the press and tabloids, in tales of adventure that inspired a new generation of Tomb Raiders to seek their destiny in the world. And with this new phase of her life, Lara fully accepted her place among the ruins.

For years, Lara has roamed the depths of forgotten places, playing cat-and-mouse with many nefarious opponents and trying to uncover, preserve and protect the world’s lost secrets from falling into the wrong hands. But as the years passed, Lara became lonely at the top. At the start of this next chapter, Lara is presented with a major adult problem facing something too big for her to handle alone in this new adventure. Lara will face a challenge that she can only overcome together with the team. Cooperation is alien to her. She was always successful alone. So, she is a fish out of water in this situation.

His co-stars Chris and Dustin then acted out two casting scenes featuring Lara, a woman named Tanvi, and a man named Devindra (I hope I spelled it right). Finally, Moriarty reads the note that the actress they’re looking for may have “romantic scenes with another female character” but “no nudity or simulated sex.”

All of which was apparently enough for Square Enix to send Crystal Dynamics a DMCA takedown notice the same day — though not to Moriarty, but to the Patreon page where subscribers support his podcast, directly threatening his source of income.

Patreon sent out a DMCA notice Monday afternoon, and after spending $1,000 to consult with his attorney and spending time with Patreon’s legal team, Moriarty says he decided to remove that one particular podcast segment, though he thinks it was probably an act of journalism. “I didn’t steal it, I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t buy it,” he told listeners. in the following video on DMCA takedowns. “I acted in the belief that it was fair use, it was in the great public interest.”

I received a copy of the original DMCA notice from Moriarty. While it’s unclear what exactly Crystal Dynamics is having trouble with, there aren’t many possibilities. Even the mostly audio version of the podcast on YouTube has no Square Enix-owned images, no logos, and no pictures of Lara, not even transforming. It’s just sound. “I read maybe 2/5 of the cover, usually verbatim, and then we did two scenes for me,” Moriarty says. That audio removal was enough to satisfy Patreon’s legal team, he says.

Moriarty also says he doesn’t blame Patreon for not wanting to back down. “I’m not mad at them in this situation and I’m not going to blame them.” However, he himself does not want to be a “martyr of free speech.”

“I personally think we could do a ‘fair use’ game, both for news exposure and for my interpretation of the script, but I don’t have the time, means, or energy to fight, and I don’t want to.” opens us up to further trouble. Unfortunately, it’s easier to capitulate, which, if I may be conspiratorial, seems to be the point in these cases. I am a person who runs a business from my home; “Square Enix is ​​Square Enix,” he says.

Richard Hoeg, a lawyer who deals with such issues his own virtual legality podcast (and also has his own Patreon ), joined Moriarty in the following video. He explained that it is difficult to say what can be considered fair use.

“If it is a design document […] that you read out loud in your video, it will give the other side more purchase to sue for infringement,” Hoeg suggested, though he continued to entertain the idea that it could be fair use. He concludes that you can’t really tell until there’s a court verdict – and the Holy Symbols have been clear that they don’t want to fight to find out.

However, the Sacred Symbols podcast doesn’t quite meet Square Enix’s requirements. The unedited, original version of the podcast will remain on YouTube and their free podcast channels until Square Enix also takes action.

Square Enix did not respond to a request for comment.

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