Samsung removes YouTube video showing GTA V mod that turns its Note 7 into a bomb [Updated]

Update: YouTube appears to have denied Samsung's attempt at filing a DMCA takedown notice and has reinstated the video, which you can find below. According to an Imgur gallery of screenshots showing their correspondence with YouTube, the owner of the video filed a counter-claim against Samsung. After reviewing it, YouTube decided Samsung wasn't within their right to have it removed. The YouTuber in question, Modded Games, says they haven't had any contact with Samsung over the matter.

Original Story: 

You've probably heard about the Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 cell phone’s unfortunate habit of exploding. This design flaw—and that’s putting it politely—has led to a complete recall of all Note 7s and halt of sales. Not to mention incidents include a replacement model catching fire on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month. Making light of the issue, one GTA V player created a mod that swapped the game's sticky explosives with a model of the phone, letting players cause chaos in Los Santos by hurling them into crowds and detonating them. Apparently, Samsung didn't find that all that funny and, as Techdirt reports, has issued a DMCA takedown on one YouTube video showcasing the mod.

What's frustrating is this is clearly Samsung abusing YouTube's DMCA tool to suppress more negative publicity instead of using it for its real purpose of fighting copyright infringement. It's not like removing that video will suddenly get everyone to forget that airlines all over the world are banning the phone from their flights. The strange thing is that, so far, Samsung has only issued a claim against one video, leaving dozens of other videos showing players happily lobbing the Note 7 into crowds of citizens untouched. This could be due to the fact that this particular video gained popularity when it was embedded in articles first reporting on the mod's existence. Whether or not Samsung is pursuing takedowns against other videos or the modder responsible remains to be seen. 

Or, you know, maybe instead of investing resources into shutting down YouTube videos, Samsung could divert that energy to dealing with the people whose property has been damaged as a result of their dangerous product. "They told me they weren’t going to pay replacement costs of any damaged items," John Barwick told The Guardian after his Note 7 caught fire next to his bed, causing damages he estimates at around $9000. "We were asking to have our carpet replaced, and to have the goods that were sprayed on replaced." But Samsung is unwilling to play ball, and Barwick isn't the only one affected either.

Hopefully this is all just some big, weird misunderstanding and the video is reinstated soon. The YouTuber in question will suffer negative consequences for having a copyright strike on their account, which is hardly fair just because Samsung decided that their video was the only one that needed to die. In the meantime, enjoy this scene from GTA V that, mixed with audio from the Note 7 reveal earlier this year, is hilariously relevant. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.