Please Understand, Nintendo is the Bad Guy

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Please Understand, Nintendo is the Bad Guy

About two weeks ago, Nintendo issued copyright infringement claims against 80% of a speedrunner's videos. This makes them the bad guys. Here's why.

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You could argue that maybe piracy took place when PangaeaPanga downloaded the ROMs. But this is only piracy if PangaeaPanga doesn't already own a copy of SMW, and I doubt anyone is going to suggest with a straight face that a die-hard Mario speedrunner never owned the original game.

Not quite. Technically (at least under US law) it is piracy unless you create the copy yourself from your own cartridge; even if you own the game, and despite the fact that a downloaded copy is byte-for-byte identical to a ROM you dumped yourself, that distinction is there. Not that Nintendo can prove either way from just a YouTube video.

Other than that, you are absolutely right. Nintendo really isn't gaining anything by their aggressive anti-YouTuber stances except ill-will. Alas, since they're Nintendo, it'll all roll right off them, at least for the time being.

P.S. Thanks

Shamus. You had to say Nintendo sometimes does bad things. May whatever god you believe in have mercy on you, because legions of die-hard Nintendo fans won't.

I agree, it's very much a dick move, especially since you-tube videos are essentially free advertising and picking on youtubers for daring to show their games off for free(You know, the shit companies hold controlled *coughE3cought* press events to do for new games) just looks like corporations bullying the little guy.

Man, we've had thread after thread from Nintendo fans complaining about how everyone on this site is constantly dumping on Nintendo, when in actuality nobody is, and then you go and drop a deuce like this. Brilliant! XD

OT: Yeah, Nintendo is a big idiot when it comes to online. Similar to how Studio Ghibli flips its shit if you dare post any footage or music from their movies on Youtube. Seems all that delightful, pure-hearted charm comes with a major drawback. Like your kindly grandfather who tells the most wonderful tales, but who can then suddenly go on a racist rant.

Great article. Now I have a perfect piece to link to if I ever get into another forum fight about Nintendo's bs youtube policies.

What gets me is Nintendo fans defending Nintendo for attacking other Nintendo fans. Is there a 'game as Nintendo intended it only' faction or something?

Well said. They don't seem to grasp the notion that these types of videos are keeping people interested in old properties. Meanwhile smaller companies are begging Lets Players and such to stream their games because they get how free publicity works.

I am a fan of Nintendo, I own a WiiU.
I think this article is pretty good and explanatory.
I always thought the Youtube thing was weird, it brings free publicity to them, so why stop that?
They were afraid they might sell more WiiU:s? because that marketing campaign sure as hell sucked.

How were they even allowed to take the vids down in the first place?
Because people were able to make money from their product? I think I read something like that back when this started...

I'm a die-hard Nintendo fan (they're the only consoles I get), and yeah, Nintendo's policies in this case are pretty atrocious. The worst part about it is that there really can't be any positive side to this; youtube videos of discontinued games can't hurt their bottom line, and bad press from this sort of thing certainly can.

Not to try to mitigate Nintendo's blame or anything (multiple people/things can be at fault, after all!) but a big part of it is the way the DMCA and content take-down is set up. It's just way too easy to abuse. And for content hosters like YouTube, since the guy demanding the take-down is likely a huge corporate entity spending oodles and oodles of money on lawyers and the guy whose thing being taken down is just an average joe making videos for fun, it's clear whose side they're going to take (just to save their own hides). The decision in the Lenz case (that Shamus linked in his article) is a huge step in the right direction.

Hopefully Nintendo will wake up soon and stop with these idiotic practices.

TAS are still promoting the use of ROMs and ROM hacks. Why should they look favourable on ROMs when it very nearly killed one of their handhelds in the past? They have any right to crack down on that.

Davroth:
TAS are still promoting the use of ROMs and ROM hacks. Why should they look favourable on ROMs when it very nearly killed one of their handhelds in the past? They have any right to crack down on that.

They do have the right to crack down on any illegal activity regarding their property, including downloading ROMs. The big problem, though, is that the video of them doing something (even if that something is illegal) is not itself illegal or an infringement on their property. I'd have zero problems with Nintendo using the videos as evidence that the user in question has illegal software or has done something illegal. (At least legally. I'd probably say that it's in their best interests to let it continue, but that's their choice, not mine)

By focusing on targeting innocent youtube video makers and using a badly made system to bully them into submission, Nintendo has earned their evil title.

I never trusted Nintendo. I always found them far too colourful and happy.

I feel somewhat vindicated.

Davroth:
TAS are still promoting the use of ROMs and ROM hacks. Why should they look favourable on ROMs when it very nearly killed one of their handhelds in the past? They have any right to crack down on that.

And we have the right to call them... bad names (in my case) and make fun of how stupid, incompetent, naive, aggressive, barbaric and moronic they are :P

*That is no excuse BTW.

Dalisclock:
Shamus. You had to say Nintendo sometimes does bad things. May whatever god you believe in have mercy on you, because legions of die-hard Nintendo fans won't.

I agree, it's very much a dick move, especially since you-tube videos are essentially free advertising and picking on youtubers for daring to show their games off for free(You know, the shit companies hold controlled *coughE3cought* press events to do for new games) just looks like corporations bullying the little guy.

Speaking as a die hard Nintendo fan, I can argue this was a MASSIVE freaking Dick Move by the big N.

Metalix Knightmare:

Dalisclock:
Shamus. You had to say Nintendo sometimes does bad things. May whatever god you believe in have mercy on you, because legions of die-hard Nintendo fans won't.

I agree, it's very much a dick move, especially since you-tube videos are essentially free advertising and picking on youtubers for daring to show their games off for free(You know, the shit companies hold controlled *coughE3cought* press events to do for new games) just looks like corporations bullying the little guy.

Speaking as a die hard Nintendo fan, I can argue this was a MASSIVE freaking Dick Move by the big N.

As another die hard Nintendo fan, everyone knows this stuff is bullshit.

Personally though, I don't have anything against them wanting to "tax" content makers that use their stuff, but it really should be alot less than the majority of the revenue...like 20% at the max if they have to do it at all...

Well, yeah... not to preach to the choir, but Nintendo has always been the Disney of videogames (in more ways than one): Happy and cuddly to the public, but you don't have to dig a lot into their business practices to notice some shit under the surface, which makes some of their management policies closer to mob families than entertainment companies...

Meh.

Being that Nintendo is still selling copies of older games (ex. Super Mario Brothers 2 and Super Mario World shown from images in the article) on the Wii and WiiU, as well as reading over the email that Nintendo sent PangaeaPanga, it really looks like they are focusing on dick-punching ROM users.

Which I don't have a problem with. They are still selling those games and they don't condone use or promotion of ROMs, which, while they do have legit uses, they are also a source of piracy.

Sucks for that dude, but I can see while he'd get a punch in the junk from them.

I've been saying Nintendo is evil for years, and between their YouTube policies, their "affiliate programs," and all the amiibo bullshit, I don't know how anyone can defend them. And even when it comes to their games, they're so uncreative you might as well slap a mohawk on Mario and give him a gun, because it might as well be Call of Duty for the under eight and over eighty. Nintendo is guilty of pretty much every shitty modern day practice in gaming, things that every other company is (rightly) excoriated for, and yet somehow they get away with it.

Dalisclock:
Shamus. You had to say Nintendo sometimes does bad things. May whatever god you believe in have mercy on you, because legions of die-hard Nintendo fans won't.

I agree, it's very much a dick move, especially since you-tube videos are essentially free advertising and picking on youtubers for daring to show their games off for free(You know, the shit companies hold controlled *coughE3cought* press events to do for new games) just looks like corporations bullying the little guy.

I disagree in the case of this Youtuber:

1. Most people already know who Mario is.
2. He is using hacked roms. If the viewers wants to try to do what they see on the video, they can't buy the ROM from Nintendo.

I don't agree with Nintendo actions (being so aggressive gives them worst publicity than leaving the videos alone), but in this case the "free advertisement" argument doesn't fit.

Meanwhile Nintendo's official stance is that they're not even doing this. At all. They're literally straight-up lying about it, and there are legions of fans who parrot their lies to any YouTuber who complains. Fraser from Video Games Awesome had a big rant about this a while back.

CaitSeith:
I disagree in the case of this Youtuber:

1. Most people already know who Mario is.
2. He is using hacked roms. If the viewers wants to try to do what they see on the video, they can't buy the ROM from Nintendo.

I don't agree with Nintendo actions (being so aggressive gives them worst publicity than leaving the videos alone), but in this case the "free advertisement" argument doesn't fit.

The "free advertisement" argument in general has never worked for defending ROM hacks or tool-assisted speed runs or Let's Plays because there's never been any proof of them bolstering a game in the first place. None, nada, there is no proof of correlation. And I would say this to Youtubers: this is probably just going to be the beginning. If people think Nintendo is harsh, wait until other companies hop on and start enacting their own policies, because I doubt they'll be as generous as Nintendo.

"That would be silly. The whole "defend it or lose it" applies to trademarks. And it's not a punishment to force you to sue people, it's just a natural consequence that if your word or symbol becomes a general part of the language and culture (like using the word "kleenex" to mean "any paper I use to blow my nose on") that it can no longer be enforced because you can't claim to own general ideas like that. "

Er. You make a very good argument here for exactly why trademark law forces companies to sue people using their IP, art assets, and whatnot without permission here. No company wants their multimillion or multibillion dollar franchise to become a generalized term, it devastates the work they put into creating and branding new IP. Becoming the next Kleenex or Xerox terrifies them all. I think it's Lego that strictly mandates the term 'Lego brick' to describe their objects, to avoid generalization.

Nintendo currently sells classic games that are being used in romhacks.
They also just released what is probably their biggest hit of the year, using those same assets.
They may very well have a legal obligation to their investors to show that they are cracking down on piracy and romhacks to protect their trademark until a court of law DOES toss this nonsense out, which is why they quickly did this right before the release of mario maker and then... has there been a second round sense then? They might just have needed to hit a corporate checkbox of 'did due diligence to appease investors,' which would include this guy, because Nintendo is invested in by shareholders that don't understand why they talk about video games, I kid you not.

(Guy probably wishes they were making pachinko machines to get a higher return on investment. I wonder if he invests in Konami?)

That might explain a lot of anti-consumer bad behavior, if they're in thrall to anti-consumer idiots. It's a horrible move from start to finish and completely inexcusable, but it's important that we understand that when shareholders have some control over corporations, those companies have to prove they are being responsible with the digital assets they control. We probably see a lot of horrible misguided DRM implemented just to avoid being exposed to a lawsuit from investors that the business is negligently missing out on potential profits. (This might also explain why the Nintendo Youtube program is only a Youtube program - that's where the money is. You can make a monetized video on literally any or every other platform, Nintendo has no policy to police you. The inconsistency that it is a Youtube creators program, not a web or video creators program, is interesting).

I'm not disagreeing that this was a wretched thing for Nintendo to do. All of the points made hold true. Nintendo has no proof of wrongdoing, no copyrights were in danger, this wouldn't hold up in a court of law. But they DO need to defend their trademarks, and they have to go as far as their shareholders demand, which won't stop until they get challenged in a court of law and beaten. Which would probably come as a relief to EVERYONE.

What we really need is to shake up our environment for distributing digital video here. Nintendo isn't our only bad actor here - Youtube has a huge market share of web video, always sides with the company over the user, abuse is never acted on quickly or goes to a proper trial, etc. If Youtube stops permitting and encouraging this behavior, we win. If they don't, they open the door to EA, Ubisoft, Activision, and all our other favorites doing the same thing, or even worse, getting shareholders that demand they regulate Youtube the way they do DRM on PC.

You really think video game copyrights holders don't have the rights to broadcasts of their games?

Unfortunately, Nintendo's trespasses are a joke compared to the crap other game companies pull.

Does it justify Nintendo, heck no, but they are still the better of two evils.

Remember when Microsoft tried to make it so nobody could actually own their own games anymore?
That makes Nintendo saints in comparison.

As a Nintendo fanboy, I have to accept that Nintendo is not a perfect entity, and they will do dumb things.

Still the best game company in existence.

Feels like Nintendo doesn't quite grasp how Youtube works...

Figures.
Youtube and Nintendo. Can't win, can you?

My youtube channel could have... At a guess, 90% of everything taken off it if Nintendo were to take issue with what I do.
I have better things to worry about, but it does make me wonder every time I upload a video...
Is this going to get flagged for something stupid?

To be fair, youtube itself is complicit in this.

Copyright laws are abusive and out of touch enough as it is without bringing in an automated unaccountable process where the concepts of a 'fair trial' or anything even remotely resembling it are non-existent.

Basically, youtube can pull your videos at any moment, for any reason, and tell you any random BS they like, and you can't stop them.

What do they do with this? Let large corporations flagrantly abuse individuals.
Sometimes even to the point that a company will steal your work, then flag your video (which they stole content from) as matching 'their' work...

Absurd system.
And Nintendo... Give it a rest already... >_<

Interesting read, though nothing will change without a huge overhaul on Google's end, and they have no interest in pissing off large corporations who contribute to their advertising sales.

Give people the tools to be dicks and you can place a pretty safe bet that a reasonable percentage of the population will act like dicks. Legality is their umbrella, and the fake victim shtick will pluck at the heartstrings of the fan boys.

Also, what the hell is "naïve"? Is that supposed to be naive?

Great article. You took an unpopular opinion, and did a very good job of backing it up.

Man... I don't know what Nintendo's problem is.

Xeorm:

Davroth:
TAS are still promoting the use of ROMs and ROM hacks. Why should they look favourable on ROMs when it very nearly killed one of their handhelds in the past? They have any right to crack down on that.

They do have the right to crack down on any illegal activity regarding their property, including downloading ROMs. The big problem, though, is that the video of them doing something (even if that something is illegal) is not itself illegal or an infringement on their property. I'd have zero problems with Nintendo using the videos as evidence that the user in question has illegal software or has done something illegal. (At least legally. I'd probably say that it's in their best interests to let it continue, but that's their choice, not mine)

By focusing on targeting innocent youtube video makers and using a badly made system to bully them into submission, Nintendo has earned their evil title.

You do nothing to disprove what I said, so I don't know why you bothered to reply at all. ROMs and ROM hacks are in most cases illegal. TAS promotes both ROM usage and ROM hacks. Why do people act like emulation is not illegal? Because it very much is in most of the western world. It doesn't serve to promote Nintendo in any way, since it doesn't really promote those old games, but merely promotes getting ROMs of those games and hacking them for TAS. That youtube video maker is not "innocent", people really want to take his side, but in reality, ROM hacks exist in an uncomfortable grey zone. And if you build your youtube channel on a not 100% legal activity, you have to expect that something might happen to it. To me, protecting this youtuber is not different from those people selling custom DS cartiges that allowed you to play SD cards with DS roms on them on your NDS. The cartige itself wasn't illegal either, but it wasn't used for anything but illegal activities by its buyers.

Charcharo:

Davroth:
TAS are still promoting the use of ROMs and ROM hacks. Why should they look favourable on ROMs when it very nearly killed one of their handhelds in the past? They have any right to crack down on that.

And we have the right to call them... bad names (in my case) and make fun of how stupid, incompetent, naive, aggressive, barbaric and moronic they are :P

*That is no excuse BTW.

So? You think a cooperation like Nintendo cares? Do you think this will sway anyone? Stories like this always brings the same people out of the woodwork who were just waiting to find a new excuse to complain about Nintendo. It's nothing new. Have you ever noticed that there have been plenty of youtube channels that run Nintendo content without a hitch and have been for years now? Oh gee, I wonder how they manage... That is to say, I know how. They don't promote illegal activities and make sure that their work is transformative and not just a straight let's play. And they are obviously not part of the creators program since they do games from other companies as well.

People want to blow this up way out of proportion.

Mad World:
Great article. You took an unpopular opinion, and did a very good job of backing it up.

Man... I don't know what Nintendo's problem is.

Since when is hating Nintendo unpopular?

Casual Shinji:
Man, we've had thread after thread from Nintendo fans complaining about how everyone on this site is constantly dumping on Nintendo, when in actuality nobody is, and then you go and drop a deuce like this. Brilliant! XD

OT: Yeah, Nintendo is a big idiot when it comes to online. Similar to how Studio Ghibli flips its shit if you dare post any footage or music from their movies on Youtube. Seems all that delightful, pure-hearted charm comes with a major drawback. Like your kindly grandfather who tells the most wonderful tales, but who can then suddenly go on a racist rant.

Ugh, and lets not even get started on Anno and Studio Khara, the makers of the one series that begs for critical analysis.

Although, I'm not sure they have quite the same family friendly reputation that Ghibli and Nintendo have.

Yeah, Nintendo has always been completely out of touch when it comes to the internet, and especially YouTube. Which has always been baffling to many a gamer, and to me it just makes me shake my head in disbelief.
And then there are the people that come screaming to Nintedo's defense every time they do this. I still remember how this forum blew up when this happened to Angry Joe.

This trend by Nintendo is worrisome. They have refused to enter markets that literally have customers clamoring for their products*. Continually attacking their fans is counter productive, both in wasting good will and actual resources. One wonders how much longer they are going to survive? Losing Nintendo has little interest for me, I have never liked their huge reliance on regurgitation, nor for that matter side-scrolling platformers.

Well stated Shamus, as usual.

* Although they have recently said they were doing mobile, I don't recall much beyond that.

Mad World:
Great article. You took an unpopular opinion, and did a very good job of backing it up.

Man... I don't know what Nintendo's problem is.

What?
Since when is that a unpopular opinion?

SecondPrize:
You really think video game copyrights holders don't have the rights to broadcasts of their games?

they clearly don't. the moment you interact with the title, any video of it becomes a "transformative work". The very nature of interactivity means that each experience is unique and personal, unlike posting a movie to youtube, something that everybody experiences the same way, every time. posting a video of a game doesn't make the viewer feel as though they themselves have played the game.

Pretty sure if people filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo, Nintendo would lose in court. People need to wake up and learn that publishers are nothing more than suits trying to control everything and make as much money as possible. Nintendo is no different. Publishers are completely heartless and couldn't care less about the industry they are serving. All of this "we love our fans" bullshit that Nintendo keeps spouting is complete nonsense. Take off your rose colored classes for a second and you would be able to see it instantly. Their facade exists to keep their fans from realizing what a steaming pile of shite that company is. I won't argue that they don't make good software, but outside of that they treat anybody who isn't them like shite.

#FucKonami and #FuckNintendo

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