Samsung clearly doesn't have a sense of humour when it comes to its exploding smartphone fiasco. The company has issued a DMCA takedown notice against a YouTube video that shows its volatile Galaxy Note 7 being used as an in-game weapon in Grand Theft Auto 5.
The video, which has now been removed from YouTube, showed a modified version of the popular video game in which a Galaxy Note 7 takes on the explosive attributes of a grenade – a parodic take on the company's ongoing PR nightmare.
More irritating than Samsung's knee-jerk reaction to the video is that fact that the copyright claim is invalid. The video was created by PC modder HitmanNiko; Samsung does not own any of the material in the video and being the case the takedown notice should never have been validated by Google.
Samsung likely saw a DMCA as a quick fix for diverting attention away from its deepening crisis. Bogus takedown claims are already a huge problem amongst the YouTube community because of their aggressive enforcement. Videos are usually taken down before any sort of investigation by moderators, and because of this DMCAs can be – and often are – abused by people looking to silence critics.
The Verge reports that other YouTube videos showing the mod are still available, although it remains to be seen whether Samsung will take the same action against these channels too.
The latest attempt by Samsung to smother its burning reputation is only going to level more derision against the brand, and follows in a line of missteps since the company was forced recall – and subsequently discontinue– the defective Note 7 handset. It was reported this week that the company offered a customer a new smartphone and $900 in return for agreeing not to publish a video he captured of his Note 7 going up in flames.
Earlier in October, a US man who was hospitalised after his Galaxy Note 7 caught fire received an errant text message from a Samsung representative revealing their intention to stop the story going to the press.
IBTimes UK has contacted Samsung for a statement and will update this story once it receives a response.