Machinima Is Shutting Down, With 81 Staffers Laid Off

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Deadline has learned that Machinima’s legacy has come to an end. The gaming network’s shuttering was already hinted at two weeks ago when its entire YouTube catalog was taken offline, but a statement from a company spokesperson has confirmed Machinima is officially no more. 81 employees have been laid off, while a few others were lucky enough to stay on with WarnerMedia’s Otter Media, which will continue to oversee other media properties such as CrunchyRoll and Rooster Teeth.

    Machinima’s history dates to 2000, when Machinima.com launched as a resource for those making videos using video game assets as their medium. It grew substantially with the advent of YouTube in the middle of the decade, and evolved into a major multi-channel network spotlighting dozens of creators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers each. Machinima was also home to major original series such as Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Street Fighter Assassin’s Fist and Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
     
  2. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    Didn't they do a BattleStar Galactica, blood and chrome I think? Sad. :(
     
  3. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    I liked a lot of their stuff, but we would have been better off without that particular one.
     
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  4. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    All those perpetuity clauses for not.
     
  5. TangledThornz

    TangledThornz Gawd

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    Why can't they just leave their videos up on YouTube?
     
  6. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    then they'd have to pay the authors.
     
  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I had never heard of them before. What did they do?
     
  8. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    A lot of the videos are arguable fair use cases. The parent company of Machinima (AT&T) doesn’t want to deal with it. AT&T has a lot to lose if people come looking for money from AT&T profited from.

    Machina was bought by Warner Bros Digital in 2016, then AT&T acquired Warner Digital in late 2018, and Machinima videos were taken offline shortly after.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  9. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    I knew the term from way-back, I had no idea there was actually a corporate entity called Machinima.
     
  10. Lazorz_Go_PewPew

    Lazorz_Go_PewPew Gawd

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    I used to watch Quake 3 machinima on there.
    Saw it coming. Still sad.
     
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  11. Yaka

    Yaka Gawd

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    it all started of with quake engine movies/shorts, think the first major one was quad god. those were the good ole days
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Huh.

    It got awfully quiet all of a sudden.

    It's almost as if people have something else to do right now :p
     
  13. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I like machinima respawn back in the day. Especially with Mr Sark, Hutch and Seananners.
     
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  14. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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  15. illaghee

    illaghee Limp Gawd

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    whats the point in buying the shit if your just gonna close the shit down and fire everyone....
     
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  16. Staples

    Staples [H]ardness Supreme

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    TWITCH took their audience I think.
     
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  17. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    Just big company things. It’s easier to buy a whole pizza and throw away the outer crust than it is to buy a pizza without the crust.
     
  18. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I wonder if pieces will be revived under the Rooster Teeth branch. Haven't watched the pod cast in a few weeks to hear if they have mentioned anything in the works. Although it was kind of hush hush for awhile when Inside gaming left Machinima and joined Rooster Teeth a few years back.
     
  19. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So who owns these videos then, can the original creators re-upload them on their own, or is everything lost in the ether?

    This reminds me of why I hate corporations, they don't give a fuck.
     
  20. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's more about protecting ip and not setting a precedent. Business is business and there has to be a monetary factor or they cease to exist... dont think I have to elaborate further
     
  21. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm sick and tired of people just using the "it's business" excuse. It doesn't make it good, and it doesn't make it right. And I'm not going to accept things just because it makes sense monetarily. It's like cryptocurrency mining, it makes sense because it generates money with no actual work. On the other hand it wastes resources and increases pollution. I'm not a fan of any business that doesn't contribute anything to society.
     
  22. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wish I could quote the Billy Madison comment after he makes the statement about the lost dog. What you just posted (kinda the beginning) is making everyone who reads and agrees with it dumber.

    How is it difficult to understand the profit motive? Ffs they do it here at [H]. This is an argument obvious that the core is flawed due to no understanding of how any of this works. Unless you want socialism and equal distribution there is a necessity for capitalist profit motive for any organization, that includes not for profit as well.
     
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  23. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is a company that gave no notice before taking down all their videos, many of which are now lost forever. If it's "just business" to destroy everything people created without giving them notice to allow people to back it up, then the business needs to be regulated.

    There's such a thing as operating a business responsibly. The abandonment of ALL responsibility in the name of the profit motive is psychopathic. Yes, it's the way much of our world works, but it's still psychopathic and means a business or industry is out of control.

    Giving 24 hours notice before destroying everything is not the same thing as socialism / communism.
     
  24. Shaten

    Shaten [H]Lite

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    It's either.

    1. They people didn't own those works anymore, so why should they be allowed to steal from the current owner?

    2. If a creative person didn't save a copy of their work they still had the rights to, then their an idiot and 24 hours wouldn't have saved them.

    Lets be honest your whining cause YOU didn't save a copy of the stuff YOU wanted. If you want it so bad put together and offer and try to buy it from the owner.
     
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  25. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'l remember Machinima for Mortal Kombat Legacy.
     
  26. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I guess I should give up on ever seeing Ranger Gone Bad 3 now lol
     
  27. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    ^ Here is how capitalism works. And I think it's pretty clear my leaning from all my previous posts and it's definitely not far right, but if you want someone else's ip after they are defunct then request to buy it!!! You can then choose to release it for free to the internet for everyone (but will probably suddenly understand profit motive)!
     
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  28. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    ???

    See I'm kind of the opposite, no actual work and you can make money? WHA!?
     
  29. spugm1r3

    spugm1r3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Or, sometimes it's easier to buy the pizza oven and throw it away, if your business is selling sushi. I'm not sure the people they kept were the crust, or just people with flexible enough experience to do something else of value.
     
  30. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes, "steal" something that was released for free. Do you think when people record something shown on TV that's also stealing? The Supreme Court would disagree with you. Saving a video from Youtube is functionally identical. So you're demonstrating that you don't understand copyright law or Fair Use and are trying to frame this as stealing. Great way to start off your post.

    If anyone, creator, viewer, whoever, knew a video was going to be deleted, they could download a copy of it and back it up. If you still don't understand how giving notice about this would have saved the videos, I honestly don't know how your brain works. Why do you think they evacuate buildings when bomb threats are made?

    I'm generally upset at seeing thousands of creative videos destroyed for no reason that people would have saved if they were aware it was going to happen, yes. It's understandable that they may have had to take them down for copyright reasons. Giving no notice ensured they were destroyed and many will never be seen again. You seem to be completely okay with art being destroyed in a way that is entirely preventable. Here's a question for you, why do you think creative media that ISN'T destroyed eventually enters public domain? Seriously, I'd love to hear your answer.

    If you people don't understand the ludicrousness of these statements, I'm not sure you'll ever get it, but I'll try to explain it anyway:

    First, we're not talking about buying the IP. Downloading a video for preservation does not entitle you to full IP ownership, nor was that even implied. If I record a TV show, I don't own the rights to the show. What I own is a copy for personal viewing (or depending on the license nonprofit public viewing also). If time passes and I have the only copy of the show and the rights expire, then it can eventually enter public domain to be enjoyed by people in the future. At no point did I have a commercial license, since that was never the intent.

    Second, the reason I call those statements ludicrous is you're stating the only rational way to resolve this issue is to buy the rights to the company. That was previously valued at 100 million dollars. So you're implying the only "solution" to obtain a COPY to preserve works released for FREE is to offer 100 million dollars to the holding company. Yes, very reasonable stances you're taking.
     
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  31. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Which was once valued at 100 million and now defunct. Did you take a single finance, accounting or basic business class? You are speaking as if that previous valuation is the current valuation of a company that just shuttered. And with authority. It's worth 0 right now. And as you said if you dont understand that... well... I actually laughed out loud to that response and attempt.
     
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  32. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What you're completely ignoring is the fact that while recording something for personal use is considered fair use, distributing it without permission of the original owner is copyright infringement. Sure, keeping the videos up can make a few people happy and maybe bring in several thousands of dollars, but fighting off a lawsuit can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if they win. Such is also a flaw of the American legal system. And putting up the notice that they were going to be deleted can cause even more legal ramifications for nothing but maybe less bad publicity.

    Edit: For example, putting up a takedown notice can be interpreted as admitting to knowingly distributing copyrighted material that did not belong to them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  33. MADNOD

    MADNOD [H]Lite

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    their BF3 videos used to be epic. funny stuff
     
  34. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's what Machinima was previously bought for. Yes, of course it's gone down since then, but that's the last figure that was available. And no, it's worth more than $0. If it was $0, I could offer to buy it for $5 and own the rights to the company. My guess is they wouldn't sell it for anything less than 6 figures, since it's not worth their time. Regardless, the whole concept is ludicrous and we're getting off track. My point was they should have given a notice they were going to remove the videos. Then, anyone interested in backing them up would have. You're proposing that an individual should BUY THE COMPANY instead. What's more reasonable, the company giving a 24 hour notice of their actions that will destroy their entire archive, or one person BUYING A CORPORATION just to individually preserve COPIES of media and not having interest in owning the IP?


    I think you're misunderstanding what I was saying. First, I was never saying Machinima should leave the videos up if they thought there was a problem. I'm saying they should have given NOTICE before doing so to allow individuals to preserve the unique content. Yes, users distributing said content may or may not have violated copyright (it likely varied per video, depending on Machinima's original ownership), but they could still be preserved for later after the copyright expired. It's one of the flaws of copyright law, where technically media cannot be distributed even if the rights holder has shut it down, is not selling it, and has no intention of ever releasing it again.

    As for copyright infringement, it sounds as though you're unfamiliar with how the DMCA is processed on Youtube. If I put up an infringing videos, unless the case is so cut and dried there's no grey area at all (none of Machinima's videos would meet this interpretation), nothing happens faster than 30 days. Even if I'm directly violating a copyright, there will not be any formal legal charges pressed through another company unless I fight it after 30 days of receiving the notice (technically it can go up to 90 days depending on if the claim is contested or not, but that's besides the point). This is considered a good faith period that is part of operating on the service. If you're making the claim through Youtube and I take down the video during that time, in most cases it's going to be considered resolved, Youtube will award income made since the claim to the claimant.

    But regardless, let's say Machinima was completely in the wrong on some of its videos. Removing the offending video would satisfy the vast majority of claimants, but let's say they have one that doesn't care and they're pressing a lawsuit regardless. The fact that they technically didn't delete the videos and set them to private instead says it all. If they were under direct legal attack and were in the wrong, retaining ownership of the videos on their channel would be a terrible move. The fact that they're set to private says whatever issues they had, they weren't serious enough to circumvent Youtube's DMCA resolution system, hence, them making a statement they were going to shut down the videos would have put them in no legal jeopardy.

    In other words, if they were getting sued and were in the wrong = delete the videos immediately to show cooperation and perhaps evade penalty
    if they were getting sued and were in the right = leave them up, maintain innocence
    Not getting sued, but getting a copyright claim through Youtube's system = set them to private to avoid issues, giving them at LEAST a 30 day window, potentially indefinite depending on the claim

    A notice would not have created problems for the latter case.
     
  35. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    Alright, let's get real here: who saved Happy Hour / Saloon?