back to article First analysts, now YouTubers put you on blast. Do you A) take it on the chin or B) up fire up the DMCA-o-tron?

Nikola Motor Company has demanded the removal of videos posted by the embattled electric vehicle maker's critics that incorporate its ridiculed promotional footage of its Nikola One truck. Last month, financial analysis firm Hindenberg Research published a report questioning claims made by the automaker and founder Trevor …

  1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    Haven't they heard of the Streisand Effect?

    1. all ears

      They're in a hole, and still frantically digging. Not only a scamming company, but a stupid scamming company.

      1. GeekyDee

        If we keep digging, we'll eventually have a mountain high enough to climb out on!

    2. macjules Silver badge

      I guess that any EV company that calls itself Nikola is going to suffer from lack of any concept of originality. "We wanted to call it Tesla, but when we checked that name was already taken."

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        "We came along and found Nikola and Tesla were taken, so we went with Nikola Tesla".

    3. Steve K Silver badge

      It’ll just go downhill from here

      It’ll just go downhill from here...

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    dmca damage

    be aware, dmca has a simple dispute process. and this includes being able to ask for damages for filing false dmca complaints (false in this case because showing a few seconds of a promotional clip for satirical or commentary purpose is about as clear a case of fair use as there is.) Almost 0 people are aware this even exists but it does.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: dmca damage

      In another article, a YouTuber who was hit with a Nikola takedowns mentioned that process. The difficulty is that the challenge is litigated in court. Thus, a copyright holder with deep pockets can use litigation cost and delay tactics as a cudgel to make the fair-use challenge prohibitively expensive for the "strikee."

      In a case like this one, by the time the issue is actually be decided it would probably be moot and all that money would have been wasted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: dmca damage

      You can ask, but you're unlikely to get any damages given the Lenz v. UMG precedent (the Prince dancing baby case).

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: dmca damage

      It unfortunately doesn't work that way on YouTube, the YouTuber is guilty until they prove their innocence - in that their video is removed until they can prove they have not infringed copyright, which can take a long time and for things like news channels, that means that the video is worthless by the time the issue is resolved.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over inflation...

    of tires cuts road resistance and improves run out, but greatly magnifies the bumps in the road. Wait, they didn't expect bumpy roads?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top marks to the author

    For not categorising Hindenburg as a "short seller" as most of the generalist (and some of the financial) press have done.

    I had never heard of them until this came out, then I did look them up. They have both long and short positions but I think what they do with their shorts is quite cool: they look for crooked companies and pounce on them. Basically they do everyone a favour. I read an interview with their founder recently, sadly I don't remember where, but the guy does know his markets inside out.

    As for the alleged truck company, it was so patently obvious that they are a scam that one has to wonder what kind of diligence any of the investors might have done.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Top marks to the author

      Diligence often oly happens when investors have some idea of what they are looking at, a lot of them have some spare cash, no technical knowledge and want in on the next big thing

      Put Free energy, sustainable energy, green transport etc into a YouTube search qnd see how many scammers are flogging ideas that will never work, thee are so many there must be enough mugs with money to encourage them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Top marks to the author

        "Diligence often oly happens"

        Yeah ... a case or so of Oly, and I've got yer dilligence right 'ere.

        Hold my beer and watch this!

    2. DoctorNine

      Re: Top marks to the author

      They sound ruthlessly efficient.

      Thank God they're not looking in MY shorts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Top marks to the author

        Ruthless efficiency is one of their chief weapons. I'm pretty sure we can all name the others...

        1. DaveFlagAndTenDigits

          Re: Top marks to the author

          I wasn't expecting that!

      2. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Top marks to the author

        "Thank God they're not looking in MY shorts."


  5. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge


    Thanks for the prompt. Much appreciated. Read up on Hindenburg Research.

    I suspect it might be this that you are looking for.

  6. ThatOne Silver badge

    You're too harsh

    They found a market segment which is virtually unexplored: Trucks that can't move on their own. Nobody builds these, we don't even know yet that we desperately need them (marketing will explain that to us), so here comes a plucky little company and they're immediately shot down by the "move-by-your-own-power" lobby. Sad.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: You're too harsh

        Not warehouses. Containers.

        1. Kane Silver badge

          Re: You're too harsh

          "Not warehouses. Containers."

          A warehouse is a container, just very, very big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to a warehouse.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: You're too harsh

            A warehouse is NOT a container.

            Warehouses are anchored to a foundation, and designed not to move. Not even if pushed downhill. Containers aren't anchored to anything[0], and are designed specifically to move, although it takes quite a push to get them moving without accessories. Even downhill, unless your hill is rather steep.

            [0] Although I've seen them used as anchors ... There are boats anchored out in San Francisco Bay (and The Delta) which use sunken containers as anchor points.

  7. Unicornpiss

    The video was simply miscategorized..

    It was Nikola's large, unwieldy entry into the Soapbox Derby, and they were just looking for sponsors..

  8. conel

    Vapour Ware

    This company started off with a concept for a gas-turbine powered hybrid truck, an obviously dumb idea which could never hope to compete with a diesel engined truck. Open cycle gas turbines, although a lot lighter and more compact than diesels are far ess efficient, more expensive, louder and require more maintenance.

    After a while I guess they figured the above out so they pivoted to hydrogen powered, but of course they didn't actually have any solutions for the usual problems related to hydrogen.

    And now they've pivoted to battery electric and couldn't even come up with the same level of functionality a scrapheap challenge team would manage.

    They seem like legit con artists.

    See below for the original pitch:

    1. Qumefox

      Re: Vapour Ware

      Yeah. How inept are their engineers that they can't cobble together a battery pack, motor and motor controller and make this thing move under it's own power? Hell I probably could have managed it for a few thousand dollars at most. Sure it wouldn't have been fast, had much range, or likely held together for more than a few miles, but it would have still been a damn sight better than just shoving it down a hill.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A guys got a strike because he had FOUR videos with the Nikola footage? Don't get me wrong, I do believe Nikola is vaporware at best, but the whole youtube "content creator" economy is frankly stupid. If you had to do four videos to stay relevant in the platform (which most surely are about the same but with different wording to be present in their subscriber's feeds) I'm more than happy to avoid consuming that kind of crap.

    1. Kane Silver badge

      "If you had to do four videos to stay relevant in the platform (which most surely are about the same but with different wording to be present in their subscriber's feeds) I'm more than happy to avoid consuming that kind of crap."

      I suppose after the third news report about when coronavirus started to spread around the world globally was aired, you just stopped watching news reports about coronavirus then?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nikola understand the gravity of their actions

    See video

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Sounds so fair, doesn't it ?

    "Users must fill out a copyright removal request form, and when doing so we remind them to consider exceptions to copyright law. Anyone who believes their reuse of a video or segment is protected by fair use can file a counter-notice.

    Oh, you remind them to consider exceptions to copyright law, but then you go and file a strike against the YouTuber anyway. So, in practice, you do bugger all to keep things fair because even if the YouTuber disputes the strike, that won't keep you from piling them on and, after three, he's down for the count.

    Stop trying to make it look like you're being fair, YouTube, because you are clearly not.

    Fair would be a DCMA claim is made, the target is notified, the target then chooses to file a counter claim or not. If not, then the strike is counted. If a counter-claim is filed, then YouTube (not a judge) analyzes the video and determines whether the copyright holder is justified in his claim. YouTube then notifies both parties of its decision, and if there still remains a dispute, everybody goes to court.

    THAT would be fair.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    "vehicle maker insisted it never said the prototype could move under its own power."

    No, but they did release a video of the truck moving, leading casual observers/press/investors to BELIEVE that the truck could move under its own power. Otherwise, why release the video? As a proof of concept that the transmission and wheel bearings work well enough that if you put the truck in neutral, it will roll downhill relying only on mother nature's largesse?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: "vehicle maker insisted it never said the prototype could move under its own power."

      > Otherwise, why release the video?

      It's the teaser for their new project about roads always heading downhill, no matter the direction. It's based on an older technology by dutch engineer Maurits Cornelis Escher.

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