Cobain Guitar Hero 5 Vid Removed from YouTube

The cringe-inducing video featuring Kurt Cobain’s Guitar Hero 5 avatar performing songs from the likes of Bon Jovi, Bush and Public Enemy has been taken off of YouTube due to a copyright claim from Activision.

The user who posted the video has had his account disabled as well reports Kotaku. corporalgregg3 wrote,  “Yeah, my last account was permanently disabled due to (I think) Activision. Right before my account was shut down, the Kurt Cobain vid was removed due to copyright claim by Activision Games Inc.”

Cobain’s widow Courtney Love had threatened to “sue the shit” out of Activision over his use in the game before Activision responded with a claim to have a signed document from Love for just such use. Unfortunately (fortunately?) Love’s main means of communicating, her Twitter account, has been deactivated.

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  1. DarkSaber says:


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  2. cppcrusader says:

    Is it really such a slow news day that this is something deemed worth reporting?  So a Youtube video of copyrighted material was taken down, big deal, that’s a daily occurence.  I’m sure it’s probably already been reposted anyway.

    The only semi-interesting thing in this story is that Love’s twiiter account is gone.  That either means her lawyer made her do it so she’d stop digging herself into a bigger hole, or it could just be realted to the login and name change issues twitter has had recently.

  3. JDKJ says:


    Yes, if the uploader claims copyright or fair use or an invalid copyright claim, etc., then the YouTubes of the world can resist the takedown demand. But they, not the uploader, are the ones who have to put money where mouth is, something which is unlikely to be worth the expense to them. It boils down to cost-benefit. It’s cheaper for them to simply pull the content and move on to other more profitable concerns.

  4. DarkSaber says:

    YouTube doesn’t respect fair use.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  5. Weatherlight says:

    Its my understanding that you (as the poster of the video) can make a claim to ownership of the content or that it falls under fair/public use. I personally dont post to youtube, nor do I really watch more then the occasional video, but this is what I heard/read somewhere.


  6. JDKJ says:

    That’s not true. They have every right to do just that. Of course and in so doing, they run the risk of the claimant actually proving their copyright and therefore being liable for knowing infringement. But just because someone demands that you cease and desist, doesn’t mean you have to cease and desist. In fact, spurious claims of copyright infringement and baseless demands to cease and desist are often made by those who have been depicted in an unflattering but perfectly legal light and want the light to stop shining. Ralph Lauren’s recent claim that a blog post poking fun at them for retouching a model’s image was copyright infringement and must immediately be removed comes to mind. The blog’s operator told them, quite correctly, to go pound sand.

    I suspect that youtube’s policy has more to do with just not wanting the hassle or the headache and being more inclined to play safe than sorry.   

  7. Unruly says:

    Actually, filing a false DMCA claim has fines associated with it as well. Although it isn’t a fine for YouTube, since they aren’t the one that filed the claim.

    There has yet to be anyone taken to task for it though, since almost everyone that gets served with a DMCA notice either doesn’t have the money to cover court costs, or just finds it easier to comply. Kind of like the *IAA extortion letters that say "We have some tenuos evidence that we can point in your general direction which says that you downloaded X songs/movies. Pay us <insert 4-5 figure number here> or we will take you to court." But it might start to change soon, since the EFF is challenging Texas Instruments over some DMCA notices they issued regarding an OS signing key that they claim allows copyright circumvention, when in fact all it does is allow a person to install a homebrew OS onto their TI-83 and has nothing at all to do with copyrights in any form.

  8. chadachada321 says:

    But disabling the dude’s account? I mean, yeah, I support the right of youtube to do it, it’s their choice, I just think that it’s rather harsh…

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  9. MrKlorox says:

    I disagree. The video helped put her point across: that Cobain shouldn’t be usable in those songs. I feel like Acti took it down because of this then used the copyright infringement thing as a bullshit excuse.

  10. DarkSaber says:

    Not a more likely candidate than the copyright owners of the song or songs in the video.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. JDKJ says:

    Why? Given that she’s already on record as claiming that Activision has no right to the use? She’d be a more than likely candidate for demanding that youtube remove.

  12. DarkSaber says:

    I’ve ruled it out.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  13. Neeneko says:

    It is youtube.  The have no incentive to actually look into DMCA takedowns.

    There is no penelty for youtube or the content providers when they are overzealous or claim copyright when they do not have standing.. but there is penelty for youtube for ignoring the notices.

    Hmmmm.. one action has pentlies, the other does not.  Which do you think they will automaticly side with?

  14. DarkSaber says:

    YouTube are notorious for heavy-handed handling of videos that feature songs, especially if Warner, BMG or EMI own the rights to the song.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. chadachada321 says:

    I’m a bit confused as to what copyrights were violated, etc. I’m not knowledgeable on youtube’s terms of use, or what copyright issues are prevalent here, so I can’t really make an opinion at this point. Permanently disabling his account though? Seems a little harsh…

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  16. JDKJ says:

    Perhaps not on an even 1 – 1 ratio. But certainly the idea that the ready availability of free bootleg copies results in some lost sales isn’t the product of a damaged brain.

  17. DarkSaber says:

    Only if, for some strange brain-damage reason, you buy into the 1 copy = 1 lost sale fallacy.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  18. JDKJ says:

    If I was giving away my bootleg copies of "Thriller," I’d still be liable for copyright infringement. Just like peer-to-peer file-sharers are liable for copyright infringement. Which, if you think about it, does make some sense. Every copy given away could well mean one less copy sold by the rightful owner. 

  19. chadachada321 says:

    Not the same situation at all. It’d be more akin to you GIVING away bootleg copies of Thriller. The youtube user wasn’t making any money off of his upload.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  20. JDKJ says:

    How do you know that Courtney Love received a "lump sum?" That arrangement would run contrary to most license agreements which usually provide for payments based on number of units sold. Did you pull that "lump sum" thing from outta your lumpy behind? The place from where you seemingly get all your other facts? 

  21. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Blame the people who voted for the DMCA Treaty which goes around our laws.

    Courtney Love signed a release for Mr. Cobain to be released and his image to be used for a lump sum. So there is an issue thinking she can ask and accept money but she doesn’t have to uphold her end of the bargain.

    I am not going to lie though, I think using Kurt Cobain image like this is very creepy especially with the way he died.

  22. DarkSaber says:

    I honestly think there is more chance the video was taken down due to a copyright claim by one of the songs copyright holders than it being taken down due ot Activision.

    Just because he jumped to that conclusion doesn’t make it the right conclusion.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  23. Beacon80 says:

    Heh, remember when Thompson got his panties in a twist because somebody made a character out of him in Mortal Kombat?

  24. hellfire7885 says:

    You know, I’m pretty sure in Guitar Hero World Tour you could remake Cobain if you wanted to. Is that game next?

  25. JDKJ says:

    What difference does that make? If I get caught selling bootleg copies of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," is it any defense to say that 50,000,000 people already own a copy?

  26. Orelup says:

    Which they paid for the rights to use in their game which they have a copyright on since that is their IP.

    edit* was meant to be a reply to the person above me

  27. ShadowDragon28 says:

    So wait, Activition made a copyright claim because the video had footage from a game they made that features the image of a dead man, which they don’t own, performing songs from bands he was not in, which they don’t own…

  28. Meohfumado says:

    He was singing non-Nirvana songs. 


    Frankly, who cares about a dirtbag druggy who abandoned his toddler daughter to only knowing him through his music videos?!?!  Guy was too big of a coward to be a father….

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  29. SeanB says:

    I’m going to have to admit to some ignorance here. When they say

    "The cringe-inducing video…"

    what do they mean. What was so bad about it that it would be termed "cringe inducing"?

  30. SeanB says:

    Unfortunately that’s the law. Youtube isn’t allowed to say to anyone "proove you own it, then we’l disable it"

  31. Attack_Gypsy says:

    The thing with YouTube is that you don’t HAVE to prove that you own a copyright. You just make a claim against someone, and they remove the vid and disable the account. They are very draconian that way. Ask anybody who has ever protested Scientology about that.


    Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms.

    Calling an illegal alien an undocumented worker is like calling a crack dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

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