Tomb Raider script leak leads to DMCA from Square Enix

Tom West - August 3rd 2022

Square Enix has issued a DMCA request to Patreon for the removal of an alleged Tomb Raider script that was read out on Last Stand Media's Sacred Symbols podcast, and which is apparently being used to cast actors for a new game.

The federal law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a tool used regularly by video game publishers and developers to request that social platforms like Patreon, and most commonly YouTube, take actions to remove copyrighted content that a user has uploaded.

The latest high-profile DMCA to be issued comes from the current Tomb Raider publisher, Square Enix (thanks VGC). The firm has requested via Patreon that Last Stand Media removes a segment of its Sacred Symbols podcast that featured one of the show's hosts reading from a script that is reportedly being used to cast actors for the upcoming Tomb Raider game.

Sacred Symbols podcast receives Square Enix DMCA

The upcoming Tomb Raider game is reportedly known internally as Project Jawbreaker and is “an action-adventure game set in a modern-day world rocked by a mysterious cataclysm." The script was read out in a faux-cockney accent by Colin Moriarty's co-host Chris Maldonado during an episode of the Sacred Symbols podcast last week, and if we had any doubts about its authenticity then, it's harder to continue being doubtful now Square Enix has issued a DMCA via Patreon for its removal.

Speaking during a video about the allegations, Moriarty said: “They DMCA’d Patreon, to have them ask us to take down the offending audio of us talking about the new Tomb Raider game." Moriarty believes that the script was read with the knowledge that it was Fair Use — which is a general defence against DMCAs that allows creators to use copyrighted content as long as it's used in a transformative way, such as guide content, reviews, opinion pieces, etc. “I was acting in the notion that this is fair use, this is general interest, this is of huge general interest, I didn’t break into Crystal Dynamics to steal it,” Moriarty says. “Chris’ reading of it is insane, there’s no way anyone would take it seriously."

“We are not going to take all of it down unless we are forced to do that," Moriarty declared. At the moment the episode is still available on Patreon, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts, but only time will tell how long it'll remain available.

Although Embracer Group is in the process of acquiring Crystal Dynamics alongside other Square Enix studios, the deal hasn't been finalised yet, so the rights are still owned by Square Enix for the time being.