Not everyone enjoys Game of Thrones Season 6 spoilers, and that includes the folks at HBO who are hunting down a YouTuber famous for revealing somewhat accurate predictions of every episode. A YouTube user named Frikidoctor (also known as “Spanish Spoiler”) is gaining public notoriety for uploading videos in which he discusses the entire plot details of an upcoming episode.
Spanish Spoiler follows a common pattern: he posts the video two days before the episode airs on HBO. He carefully disguises the video as containing “predictions, theories and analysis” since HBO allegedly forbids him to post spoilers about the Game of Thrones Season 6 episodes. But Frikidoctor is getting more than just a warning.
The network is executing an aggressive takedown of the videos using YouTube DMCA’s system, making them unavailable for viewing within hours of uploading.
A discussion with Frikidoctor on a subreddit called Free Folk reveals that his connection with his source is only three weeks old. He also states that he is worried about the public attention he is receiving because he doesn’t want to risk his source.
“This is a hobby for me,” Frikidoctor said, Tech Insider quotes. “So it ends when YouTube bans me forever or when it stops being entertaining, or someone has to pay the consequences.”
According to Business Insider Australia, HBO claims these videos result in copyright infringement although no actual Game of Thrones footage is used.
But HBO’s action is being lambasted by critics on Reddit, some of whom are known supporters of the Spanish Spoiler. According to Redditors, the company is abusing YouTube’s takedown system by removing material that could be commercially damaging, although not necessarily in violation of copyright.
However, Dr. Andres Guadamuz, senior lecturer on intellectual property law at the University of Sussex, is of the opinion that the videos posted by Frikidoctor “may actually be infringing” copyright.
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“Copyright protects an expression of the idea, not an idea itself, and while plot points might be an idea, the expression of that idea is protected,” Guadamuz tells Business Insider. He adds that “characters, dialogue, plot twists” are all protected by copyright.
HBO SVP of Corporate Affairs Jeff Cusson said in a statement that while HBO “aggressively protects its programming,” it will not discuss the specifics of its “anti-theft tactics.”