Nintendo Suddenly Claims Ownership Of Many YouTube Videos

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Didn't Sega do this a while back too? Rather disappointing, Nintendo. It didn't help Sega with struggling sales, I don't think it's going to help you either. In fact, I don't think it helps anyone when any game company does this. Fans will no longer talk about your games for fear of getting in trouble, and you will lose out on potential sales because people are not talking about your games.

Bara_no_Hime:

blizzaradragon:
True, but that's not Nintendo's fault. The fact that reviewers or people with licenses are getting hit is due to YouTube's content ID system being flawed. It can't tell who was a license and who doesn't, so it flags anything that has the content in it regardless of legitimacy. So if anything, while Nintendo isn't exactly the nice guy here a lot of the flak they are getting is due to YouTube's ineptitude.

You assume one thing - that it was a mistake.

If those Reviewers get their add revenue back, then it was an error and no harm done. Fair Use stands.

If they don't... then everything you just said is empty wind. Or... the keyboard equivalent.

I HOPE you're right. But I've seen You Tube crap all over Fair Use WAY too many times to think you actually are right. If you prove to be correct, then I will be pleasantly surprised. But I don't think you will be. I think Nintendo will be keeping all of that add revenue, and screw all of the people on You Tube that used material under Fair Use.

That's true, at this point it is speculation. But at the same time I don't see how it won't go that way as targeting those that have the licenses to do so already would just make this whole move be thrown out. From what I'm seeing, it comes down to the people who are being flagged to fight back as I don't see YouTube themselves going through every video flagged and asking who has a license to use their stuff and who doesn't, cause let's face it we're talking about YouTube here. Now if the people who are getting flagged but have licenses aren't doing anything, then yeah I see what I said to be worth as much as a dog fart. It'd kind of be like an employee who gets extra on his paycheck due to an error but doesn't report it, except in this case the employee is getting thousands to millions of little paychecks. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see though. I wish I could find out what happened on YouTube regarding similar situations when other companies started doing this such as Microsoft so we could see some sort of comparison, but so far my research has come up with squat...

waj9876:
Okay...I'm getting conflicting stories here.

On one side it's "Nintendo is an evil, shitty corporation who deserves to die in a fire for taking ALL of the money LPers are getting."

And the other is "Nintendo is just doing what every other company does, and this isn't as bad as people are making it out to be."

Which is it?

It is the first one.

The second option is harder on the end user because some companies are downright demanding that their content to be removed, but it is more honest.

Nintendo is kind of doing an "eye for an eye" thing: you stole my work, now I'm steeling yours.

And I know some people argue that making a LP requires no work at all. Those people are just wrong. As in any craft there are good and bad people. God LP normally involves hard work and/or someone with a lot of charisma and skill in the game.

I kinda know going into this that it's probably not going to be a very popular opinion, but I don't really have a problem with this. I think Nintendo is well within their right to get paid for the use of their intellectual property and it is actually a fairly cool move on their part to leave the videos up and not outright sue or ban the users.

Of course I do realize that the commentary does inherently change the product, and that people are return users for the personality attached to the channel, but it IS still a video chiefly made up of their assets. Commentary being just one piece of the overall whole (art, design, music, SFX etc.), saying that Nintendo has no right to any compensation just seems naive to me. Of course I think in a perfect world it should be some sort of a revenue split, but even then Nintendo would have to end up with the lions share of the money.

But in our imperfect world we are left with this solution. Nintendo says "It's cool to use what's ours, we will seek compensation on our own." leaving the fans to decide whether or not its worth it to them. If you are a career LPer and only in it for the money (and I don't mean that in a negative way, there's no shame in doing something for the money, it's called a job.) then just don't do those games, if you are just a huge fan that wants to pay tribute to a game you love, then go ahead and don't worry about it.

Sniper Team 4:
Didn't Sega do this a while back too? Rather disappointing, Nintendo. It didn't help Sega with struggling sales, I don't think it's going to help you either. In fact, I don't think it helps anyone when any game company does this. Fans will no longer talk about your games for fear of getting in trouble, and you will lose out on potential sales because people are not talking about your games.

Kind of. Sega didn't keep the videos up, they just took down anything that used their content. A better example would be Microsoft which did this same thing back in October, so only those who have licenses to use their products such as Machinima can use them to make money. Haven't been able to find a comparison to what Microsoft did to what is happening with Nintendo though.

If anyone out there has evidence, an article, or something showing what happened with any videos that were making ad revenue when Microsoft did this, please let me know. I want to do a comparison to know whether what is happening now(legitimate videos with license agreements being flagged due to YouTube's content ID system) is something that happened when Microsoft did this same thing or if they took another route. So many questions, so little evidence...

blizzaradragon:
That's true, at this point it is speculation. But at the same time I don't see how it won't go that way as targeting those that have the licenses to do so already would just make this whole move be thrown out. From what I'm seeing, it comes down to the people who are being flagged to fight back as I don't see YouTube themselves going through every video flagged and asking who has a license to use their stuff and who doesn't, cause let's face it we're talking about YouTube here. Now if the people who are getting flagged but have licenses aren't doing anything, then yeah I see what I said to be worth as much as a dog fart. It'd kind of be like an employee who gets extra on his paycheck due to an error but doesn't report it, except in this case the employee is getting thousands to millions of little paychecks. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see though. I wish I could find out what happened on YouTube regarding similar situations when other companies started doing this such as Microsoft so we could see some sort of comparison, but so far my research has come up with squat...

Fair enough.

I just remember another fan-project video that fell under Fair Use and parody getting taken down entirely a couple of years back. They protested with You Tube, but to no avail. It wasn't with a video game, but a TV show, but it set a certain precedent in my mind that You Tube + Fair Use = Suck it.

Like I said, I hope it doesn't go that way this time. I hope you're right. But, due to previous You-Tube burns, my hopes are not high.

Desert Punk:

Mr.Pandah:
As an LP'er, or once was, the time and editing that is actually put into making a decent video is not given as much credit as people think. I would love to just hit record and have my audio and video files automatically synced up and cutting out unnecessary noise and parts that don't need to be in the video amongst many other things.

Anyways, I think Nintendo shouldn't have the ability to profit off of things like this. Just doesn't make sense to me.

I agree, but I guess according to Jeffers and Nintendo they consider you a talentless hack who offered nothing of value or originality. I know how much work it takes to put one together, as I have a friend who does it, whichb is why those arguments piss me off so much.

Yeah, it's rather unfortunate that LP'ers are viewed in that manner. It was so time consuming for me because I like everything to be near perfect in terms of presentation and what not so this is why I actually gave it up. I do miss doing it but god...between my actual job and that, I had no time for anything else...which turned it into just another job. =/

waj9876:
Okay...I'm getting conflicting stories here.

On one side it's "Nintendo is an evil, shitty corporation who deserves to die in a fire for taking ALL of the money LPers are getting."

And the other is "Nintendo is just doing what every other company does, and this isn't as bad as people are making it out to be."

Which is it?

It all depends on your point of view in all honesty. Neither side is inherently right or wrong, although motives behind it can paint either one as either side.

For example, there are LPers who are flipping shit because they want to make money on their videos but don't want to get a license so they have view #1 because they're losing money. I'd say this motive paints view #1 as bad. Maybe a bit of an extreme, but they're there.

In short, neither one is right yet neither one is wrong. Ultimately it comes down to how this plays out to determine what happens, as some of the bile from both sides comes from how this has been implemented(YouTube's content ID system, which most YouTubers will tell you needs to have some kinks worked out anyway). So essentially do some research, and the answer will become clear to you. Hope that helped :)

Well, that is just silly. Is Nintendo just dumb or what?

Bara_no_Hime:

blizzaradragon:
That's true, at this point it is speculation. But at the same time I don't see how it won't go that way as targeting those that have the licenses to do so already would just make this whole move be thrown out. From what I'm seeing, it comes down to the people who are being flagged to fight back as I don't see YouTube themselves going through every video flagged and asking who has a license to use their stuff and who doesn't, cause let's face it we're talking about YouTube here. Now if the people who are getting flagged but have licenses aren't doing anything, then yeah I see what I said to be worth as much as a dog fart. It'd kind of be like an employee who gets extra on his paycheck due to an error but doesn't report it, except in this case the employee is getting thousands to millions of little paychecks. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see though. I wish I could find out what happened on YouTube regarding similar situations when other companies started doing this such as Microsoft so we could see some sort of comparison, but so far my research has come up with squat...

Fair enough.

I just remember another fan-project video that fell under Fair Use and parody getting taken down entirely a couple of years back. They protested with You Tube, but to no avail. It wasn't with a video game, but a TV show, but it set a certain precedent in my mind that You Tube + Fair Use = Suck it.

Like I said, I hope it doesn't go that way this time. I hope you're right. But, due to previous You-Tube burns, my hopes are not high.

I hope I'm right too, as one of my hopes is to get partnered with a big name like Machinima that has the licenses. That or get popular enough to get the licenses on my own. Ultimately it's a wait-and-see game though, and I hope that those unfairly targeted can recover.

That being said, do you know how many years back this was? I know that since Google got YouTube they've let some of their policies slip(like their user agreements, which prevent Let's Plays in the first place if their monetized without a license) but they've been more fair about protecting Fair Use from what I've seen, so it will probably be easier for people effected by this to get their ad revenue back.

blizzaradragon:
That being said, do you know how many years back this was? I know that since Google got YouTube they've let some of their policies slip(like their user agreements, which prevent Let's Plays in the first place if their monetized without a license) but they've been more fair about protecting Fair Use from what I've seen, so it will probably be easier for people effected by this to get their ad revenue back.

... I can't remember. ^^;;

**checks as best as I am able**

Summer of 2011, I think?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
EDIT
Turns out this is not a unique thing. In fact, this is industry wide practice. Nintendo have simply finally decided to do what the rest of the industry already does.

I think the question here is 'why now?'

My opinion is that Nintendo are attempting scavenging new ways of making money, considering profits are down. And, as numerous other people have stated, trying to profit on fans who're already providing you with free marketing is not the most judicious move out there.

It's less surprising to see EA or Activision participate in this kind of behaviour, because it's well documented that they have a low opinion of their customers. But Nintendo have always tried to sell this lovely, happy, family-friendly, user-friendly, customer caring company, and this move just doesn't fit with that mold.

Furthermore, if we deem it ok simply because others in the industry are doing the same, then by that same logic, I guess we shouldn't complain whenever another company announces they're adding near-game breaking DRM to their games, seeing as Ubisoft, Activision, EA, etc, are all doing it?

Nihilm:

Entitled:
*snip*

Exactly this, soemthing being legal does not make it right.

Legality cannot be argued here, it is legal, otherwise Nintendo would not have made the move, they checked if they could do it legally.

Morality can be argued here, because soemthign being legal and moral are not the one and the same.

Wow, this has been quite a thread. I'm glad that there is general agreement that Nintendo is in the right legally. LPs are not covered under fair use. Reviews, probably even longform ones like TotalBiscuit's "WTF is ..." series, do fall under fair use since a small portion of the product is used and the usage of the clips have little impact on the "potential market". Obviously the commentary can affect the market, but that's legal. NOTE: TB does do LPs though. Terraria with Jesse Cox was an LP that he complained about doing later just for money basically. TB generally has complained about the quality of LPs.

Anyway, the morality issue is interesting. I think Nintendo may be making a bad business decision here. It seems likely that they earn more from the free advertising aspect of LPs than they will through these ads. I have some major problems with copyright (especially the length), but I think Nintendo is in the right morally here too. I think the current definition of "fair use" and "transformativeness" are both good moral laws or readings of the law.

LPs are not "transformative". I really, really enjoy some LPs. I watch YogscastSips almost every day. I think he does a lot of hard work to put his videos together. I would like him to get paid for it, so I'm glad Yogscast has that worked out. However, I don't think his LPs of "Orcs Must Die", "Skyrim", or "Sim City" are transformative. Sips adds lots of jokes and creates a lot of extra material that wasn't there before by adding extra story details, but he's still just clearly playing the game. He doesn't transform the work into some kind of statement about humanity. He makes jokes, but they don't qualify as "parody" since they aren't statements about the game or the makers of the game.

Anyway, is this a good law? I think so. Before saying we should throw this out, make sure to flip the situation. Suppose I was trying to have a career as a songwriter. After several years I have a small following and I'm getting by. Should a huge corporation be allowed to swoop in and take all my songs by making small changes to them? I think most people would find that to be wrong. Imagine I wrote a book. Would it be ok for David Letterman to simply read my entire book on TV in a funny voice occasionally making jokes without me getting paid?

Nintendo may be making a bad business decision here, and they may have went about this in a questionable manner, but I really don't see how it is immoral.

Terramax:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
EDIT
Turns out this is not a unique thing. In fact, this is industry wide practice. Nintendo have simply finally decided to do what the rest of the industry already does.

I think the question here is 'why now?'

Nintendo said they only signed up for the Youtube Partners service in February, while to compare other publishers have already been using the service for years.

My opinion is that Nintendo are attempting scavenging new ways of making money, considering profits are down.

I doubt it. LP revenues wouldn't even add up to what one decent selling game would make for Nintendo. This is about copyright management, nothing more. We've seen other studios like Microsoft do exactly the same thing (and they're not hurting for cash atm), and we've seen other studios like Sega go even further in demanding videos be taken down.

Nintendo just had the bad luck to sign up later than everyone else, and gaming media picked the story up and rna with it.

And, as numerous other people have stated, trying to profit on fans who're already providing you with free marketing is not the most judicious move out there.

That could go right round the other way: trying to directly profit from a game you had nothing to do with is hardly the most noble career choice either.

Furthermore, if we deem it ok simply because others in the industry are doing the same, then by that same logic, I guess we shouldn't complain whenever another company announces they're adding near-game breaking DRM to their games, seeing as Ubisoft, Activision, EA, etc, are all doing it?

DRM is a completely different issue, even though it ties into copyright. The LP issue is about people directly making money from Nintendo's games, and not paying license fees or giving up ad revenue. In that sense, it's much more comparable to something like gold farming in WoW. DRM affects a user's basic right to own their games. LPs don't affect your ability to own or play a game at all.

Oh god! It's the SEGA debacle ALL OVER again...but with a relevant company...

Terramax:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
EDIT
Turns out this is not a unique thing. In fact, this is industry wide practice. Nintendo have simply finally decided to do what the rest of the industry already does.

I think the question here is 'why now?'

My opinion is that Nintendo are attempting scavenging new ways of making money, considering profits are down. And, as numerous other people have stated, trying to profit on fans who're already providing you with free marketing is not the most judicious move out there.

It's less surprising to see EA or Activision participate in this kind of behaviour, because it's well documented that they have a low opinion of their customers. But Nintendo have always tried to sell this lovely, happy, family-friendly, user-friendly, customer caring company, and this move just doesn't fit with that mold.

Furthermore, if we deem it ok simply because others in the industry are doing the same, then by that same logic, I guess we shouldn't complain whenever another company announces they're adding near-game breaking DRM to their games, seeing as Ubisoft, Activision, EA, etc, are all doing it?

You make some good points. Although with your last point I guess one of the big things to ask people is why is the backlash happening now as well, instead of back when other companies started doing this. Other people have pointed out that Microsoft took this same move back in October, yet the internet backlash was a fart in the wind compared to what is happening when Nintendo does it. I didn't see people on Twitter talking about how bad this move was, or the arguments that are taking place across the internet like they are now. There was an article about it here on the Escapist, but it didn't attract nearly as much attention as this did. Like you said it doesn't fit in with the image of Nintendo, yet the keyboard warriors coming out in droves were hard to find when other companies did this. If we argue against DRM from everyone, why are we only arguing against Nintendo for this policy? In comparison, the Microsoft thread barely hit 7 pages within 9 days, while there are two threads for this that are almost at the 7 page mark in less than 24 hours. Hell, I've been in arguments across the web now with people who are boycotting Nintendo and only going Microsoft because of this move, a move just dripping with irony. I guess that begs the question of how many people are angry at anyone who does this and how many are angry only at Nintendo doing this?

Clovus:
*snip*

Its immorality in my eyes can be reduced to:

LP's are making quality content(atleast a lot of it i've seen is quality) and getting a tiny but fair bit of money for it.
Nintendo, wants to take that money because legally the LP'rs shouldn't be able to make that money.

The damage the LP'rs have done to Nintendo with this is next to none, especially considering the free and mostly good advertisement, their games get out of it. A symbiotic relationship where everyone involved benefits some way or another.

Now Nintendo, decided it is worth to stop this and take all the benefits the LP'rs are getting for themselves as well, because they legally can.

By doing this it hurts all those LP'rs who have come to depend on the money, since they had large enough of a following to generate enough money to do it full-time or atleast just justify all the time they do put into the videos. Making that option to people not worth it.

So LP'rs did minimal if any harm to Nintendo, but Nintendo came and ate them and took their stuff because their bigger and they can.

CriticalMiss:
Oh, I wasn't suggesting that people wouldn't stop making them. Just that people could choose to become a sort of semi-official provider of LPs of Nintendo games. You could still go rogue and make one anyway, people who are popular could give Nintendo the finger and carry on but those who are just getting in to making videos might choose to become a partner with them.

I think the good LP providers will simply start adding enough original content to give them a legitimate claim to any money generated. The only leverage Nintendo has here is with LPs that just show long playthroughs of the game.

And I didn't think of the guide angle, but that could be one way for companies to advertise this. Rather than watching some guy play the game you could watch a video walkthrough with the commentary being hints, tips and strategies. A lot of LPs I've watched are people playing the game for the first time so obviously it is fairly useless for figuring out the best way to beat a level/boss unless the player is pretty good.

If they're planning to roll out Youtube guides in attempt to montetize them then it would benefit them to stamp potential competitors down to protect their IP now instead of after their entry. If they're not going to enter this arena then they're just being dumb unless there is significant profit to be gained from them doing this. Maybe these groups are getting a lot of money that I'm not aware of?

ASnogarD:
Right or not, the LP'ers will simply drop all their Nintendo based videos and look elsewhere... I am 100% certain there are other publishers / developers that will welcome more fans and attention.
I am pretty sure this move will bite Nintendo in the butt, and Nintendo will end up backing out and trying to encourage fans back into the fold.

This move is as bright PR wise as playing Russian roulette with a magazine fed pistol.

I would of said a M79 40mm Grenade Launcher, but whatever.

OT: Good thing a good majority of videos I watch of LPers dont do anything with Nintendo games or consoles.

Except Two Best Friends Play, they did a couple of Nintendo videos early on.

Safe to say I will continue to not buy Nintendo's shit consoles and shit games, congratulations on reinforcing my views on you Nintendo.

Also, can I get paranoid now that my Captcha is "Entertainment Authority"? Certainly it is talking about some other Company because Nintendo's form of entertainment is releasing the same four or five games over and over.

Waif:
Allow me to explain the situation as I see it. The people making these let's play videos are using content that Nintendo worked hard on, and paid for themselves. For a Let's Player to be benefiting from the hard work of other people, and not to mention the possibility of revenue being lost in sales. I think Nintendo has every right to want to gain ad revenue from videos that show the games in their entirety. I mean if I spent tens of millions of dollars making a video game only to find out someone uploaded videos of it making a profit from my work. I'm gonna be pretty annoyed, and the nicest thing I could do is simply ad revenue away from them. So yeah people are looking at this that Nintendo as the aggressor and the Let's Players as the victims, but to me anyways it's the other way around.

It's not like LP's are pirates that stole the game. These are legit buyers just trying to make chump change on YT compared to what Nintendo suits are making, It's a damn dick move. Hell what would be better that NOBODY showed Nintendo games. Letting Sony, XBOX and PC games take more of their market because even less people know that said Nintendo game is even worth their time. Most people don't trust reviewers so they use LP's as a more honest, less bias and more direct way of determining if a game worth their money. If they found a way to make that $60 back so they can buy another Nintendo game then what's so wrong about it?

Ok, so a lot of people are saying that because LP'ers add their own personality on top of the game, they should be exempt through fair use.

The problem here is that they are not creating something entirely new, but rather taking the original media in its entirety and then adding a commentary track over the top. People may come for the commentary, but the videos still contain hours of footage taken directly from the game. Nintendo owns that part of the content.

Imagine if we had 'Let's Watch's instead of LP's, where people took an entire movie from start to finish, added their own commentary, and then reposted it for profit without ever contacting the original copyright holders.
You could argue that game content is somehow different to movie content, due to it being interactive, but this is not true of all content in the game. The art, sound, story and many other aspects are literally lifted straight from the game and reposted verbatim.

Under these rules you are still allowed to make LP's of Nintendo games, you just can't illegally profit off of Nintendo's content. But if you do want to make a career out of LPing, you still can. You just have to actually go talk to the copyright holders and negotiate with them some kind of revenue split. Many channels already do this, eg Machinima.

I don't see why people feel they are automatically entitled to some kind of revenue split (or even all the revenue) without even having to ask the copyright owners about it first. At the end of the day, Nintendo invested the time and money into making the game. Nintendo owns the content, and if you want to distribute large portions of their content for profit then it should be negotiated with them first.
As a community that is usually so anti-piracy, I find it surprising that so many feel we have the right to profit off of copyrighted content we dont own or have the license for.

I have no problem with not making money of Nintendo games in my LPs, nor any game for that matter. As long as I can still LP my games, without any more hassles than the ones YouTube puts us smaller LPers through, then I'm fine. For me I see people nowadays only doing Let's Plays so that they "can make money off their videos" which I find is sad. I do Let's Plays because I want to do them and to have fun and share my experiences with others, which is why none of my videos have ever been monetized.

Most people think that just because it says you are "YouTube Partnered" it doesn't mean it's okay actually. You will still be hit with copyright claims and with other things for posting content that you do not own and are trying to make money off of. The reason the bigger LPers can continue with their LPs with little to no problems is because they are partnered with companies that have permission from places like Nintendo or Microsoft to be able to post their videos and monetize them. While I do hope to one day get a partnership with one of those companies, trying Fullscreen Arcade now, I think that Nintendo does have a right to claim ownership on videos. Plus people can fight them, they don't always win but it doesn't hurt to try. Plus there is always Game Anyone to where you can post videos with little hassle and the only way you can make money off those ones is if you work hard and get accepted into the partnership program from them.

While the decision is really dumb, Nintendo is in the legal right here. Also to people who are saying that people like Chuggaconroy and Game Grumps will cease to exist, they are partnered with other sites that have legal permission from game companies to do what they do, they'll be fine. It's smaller LPers who instantly monetize their videos that will be in trouble with this move.

Edit: Time to change my opinion on this with the fact that those with contracts also have been flagged. What I think should happen is that Nintendo should get some of the money, but not all of it as YouTube is personality driven and I watch LPs more for the people who do them and not for the actual game itself.

Following the logic of all this... should a cars dealer be now entitled to the profits made by an ice cream truck? After all he manufactured/sold the truck right? That guy is using the truck to make money... that should not be right, after all he didnt build the truck... he should sell ice cream on his own without using the truck. Because somehow its illegal to use bought products to make more money aparantly.

This whole deal is bullshit.. nintendo and all software developers who think that they own the product i bought after i bought it can kiss my ass.

They have the copyright... but not the ownership of what i bought.. that changed when i bought it from them.

I bought it.. its mine.. and i should be allowed to do whatever i want with it bar creating copies of it and selling those copies.

The games industry is not the movie industry and should not run by the same laws since even if you show the entire game from beginning to end it still is not a copy of the game since you lack the interaction... you know.. the one thing that sets games apart from movies?

What to say, what to say. Well, Nintendo is in the right, but it's just such a stupid move to make. I won't withdraw my Nintendo-support, but this really makes me think; who thought of this brilliant idea?

Mr.Pandah:
As an LP'er, or once was, the time and editing that is actually put into making a decent video is not given as much credit as people think. I would love to just hit record and have my audio and video files automatically synced up and cutting out unnecessary noise and parts that don't need to be in the video amongst many other things.

I get this so much from some fans as well who think that it's just easy to simply edit some of the videos. I'm tempted to just upload a raw .AVI file to show them a before and after thing. Sound good? XD

How is this bad, exactly? Nintendo is allowing people who use their intellectual property on Youtube to keep using it by placing ads.

I can get that some Let's Players are upset that they're not getting revenue, but if you're doing Let's Plays for money, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Games are meant to be played for FUN.

Nihilm:

Clovus:
*snip*

Its immorality in my eyes can be reduced to:

LP's are making quality content(atleast a lot of it i've seen is quality) and getting a tiny but fair bit of money for it.
Nintendo, wants to take that money because legally the LP'rs shouldn't be able to make that money.

The damage the LP'rs have done to Nintendo with this is next to none, especially considering the free and mostly good advertisement, their games get out of it. A symbiotic relationship where everyone involved benefits some way or another.

Now Nintendo, decided it is worth to stop this and take all the benefits the LP'rs are getting for themselves as well, because they legally can.

By doing this it hurts all those LP'rs who have come to depend on the money, since they had large enough of a following to generate enough money to do it full-time or atleast just justify all the time they do put into the videos. Making that option to people not worth it.

So LP'rs did minimal if any harm to Nintendo, but Nintendo came and ate them and took their stuff because their bigger and they can.

So, to be clear, do you think the laws are actually somewhat moral? Like, we should have some basic rules describing what point someone should get permission to use someone else's work? Your response is focusing on the specifics of what Nintendo did, that it was immoral.

I still don't see it is immoral, because I don't think the balance is important. I mean, maybe I just want to write songs for fun and I make no money. If a big corporation takes my work and makes money off of it, then I haven't lost anything, but it is still clearly wrong of them to do that. I'm not sure "they did no harm" is a good enough reason to ignore someone using your IP. You could use that line of thinking to say that piracy is fine if you don't have enough money to pay for a product. If Nintendo had done this when LPs first started, any person doing LPs now would have been operating under a license, or maybe just making money by selling t-shirts or something. The fact that Nintendo allowed them to operate for years and develop a particular business model doesn't mean that they should let that continue once they decided they didn't approve of it.

One possible problem here, and a general problem with copyright laws, is that to be fair to the big LP channels, Nintendo should license their materials with them. But, unless I'm wrong about this, Nintendo can pretty much demand any amount they want. You can do a cover of song at a rate set by Congress, but I'm pretty sure other stuff is completely up to the right's holder. That seems unfair and problematic, especially given that special legislation was created for cover songs. So, Nintendo maybe has some moral need to deal fairly with them, ie to create a fair license system.

Nintendo is also definitely doing someting immoral by using the hamfisted YouTube content system. They are clearly putting ads on videos that qualify for fair use. They have no right to that at all, legally or morally.

itsmeyouidiot:
How is this bad, exactly? Nintendo is allowing people who use their intellectual property on Youtube to keep using it by placing ads.

I can get that some Let's Players are upset that they're not getting revenue, but if you're doing Let's Plays for money, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Games are meant to be played for FUN.

Games aren't just made for "FUN". Some games are clearly made to make money. Some are intended as art. Some are scary. Some can be depressing. I'm currently playing "Kingdoms of Amalur", which is pretty fun. But before that it was "Dark Souls". I wouldn't describe my experience as "FUN", but it was one of the better experiences I've had with a game in awhile. I'll forget about Amalur as soon as I stop playing.

Similarly, LPs don't have any weird rules like this. It's like saying a Punk Rock band shouldn't care about getting paid since it should "be about the music, man." As many have stated in the thread, good LPs require a lot of work. I want these guys to get paid since I want to see them focus on doing more LPs. I don't want them grinding away at a 40 hour a week job, I want them grinding away on camera and making funny jokes or explaining how to kill that boss.

There's nothing wrong with "making money". It's so weird when people suddenly think a particular activity becomes less just because someone is getting rewarded for it. Does getting paid require that your "job" suck or something? Like, hey, it's no fair that guy's getting paid doing something fun!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
EDIT

Turns out this is not a unique thing. In fact, this is industry wide practice. Nintendo have simply finally decided to do what the rest of the industry already does. If you read the terms of Youtube's monetization service it says:

image

Link

This is something that other publishers have already been following. This is the reason why networks like Machinima have licensing agreements with game companies in the first place. This is, at this point, standard industry practise, and I think it reflects poorly on every journalist who took this and tried to portray it as some unique attempt by Nintendo to shut down Lets Plays.

Removed the rest of my post, as at this point, it's irrelevant. Nintendo are simply doing what every other game company does. The only exceptions that I can see are Valve, Minecraft and FTL.

So to everyone huffing and saying how they're going to swear off Nintendo for this, I hope this is now going to extend to every other publisher or developer working in the industry.

Thanks, I needed to see that.

Kudos to those three, though, especially Mojang. They could have made a LOT of money if they took the ad revenue.

sirjeffofshort:
I kinda know going into this that it's probably not going to be a very popular opinion, but I don't really have a problem with this. I think Nintendo is well within their right to get paid for the use of their intellectual property and it is actually a fairly cool move on their part to leave the videos up and not outright sue or ban the users.

My first problem with this perspective is that (and feel somewhat free to let this view color your first impression of me) you let a big company like Nintendo (who, for comparison's purposes, no one will doubt have more influence than a youtube video producer) decide what's 'well within their right'. Don't get me wrong, I think they have justification as well to protect their IP, but (besides IMO not in this manner) to use an example, a group of thugs could claim they have a right to my wallet if they want to as well. This is all groundless suspicion, I'm well aware, but it IS my instinctual reaction to this situation.

Of course I do realize that the commentary does inherently change the product, and that people are return users for the personality attached to the channel, but it IS still a video chiefly made up of their assets. Commentary being just one piece of the overall whole (art, design, music, SFX etc.), saying that Nintendo has no right to any compensation just seems naive to me. Of course I think in a perfect world it should be some sort of a revenue split, but even then Nintendo would have to end up with the lions share of the money.

You're leading me down the assumption that you have not watched a Let's Play, or at least a variety of. You...can't really watch a Let's Play without the commentary taking the attention of the video (do tell if you differ in opinion). I hardly get any of the 'art, design, music, etc.' out of a Let's Play because they are toned down for the sake of the video itself (by either video quality, which often don't reach above 720p, or just the fact that sound levels are lowered for the sake of the commentary mixing).

But in our imperfect world we are left with this solution. Nintendo says "It's cool to use what's ours, we will seek compensation on our own." leaving the fans to decide whether or not its worth it to them. If you are a career LPer and only in it for the money (and I don't mean that in a negative way, there's no shame in doing something for the money, it's called a job.) then just don't do those games, if you are just a huge fan that wants to pay tribute to a game you love, then go ahead and don't worry about it.

'Career LPers' don't make their money by simply playing the game. First off, the money made is through ad placement revenue. Secondly, one must either pay prior, or have that ad revenue meet the threshold of AdSense in order to MAKE profit (somewhere ~$100 per video, could be wrong). To make that back from ads, you'd have to have tens of thousands of views. To make worthwhile profit, however, you'd need hundreds of thousands of views. Simple playthroughs, and there are plenty of those around, don't do that; it's the one's who happen to have a unique appeal in play that draw in viewers, and what besides the game itself can provide that, but the commentator/producer? Zinho73 speaks to the issue pretty well:

My main problem from this whole situation is that it is really AdSense who gives out the money that LP producers make. Despite the fact that they'd disrespect content producers because they can, why isn't Nintendo fighting where the money comes from, or at least helps themselves by getting their own ads on LP's focused on their games (under the assumption this doesn't happen already)?

What a bunch of bullshit. I can't believe people are actually defending Nintendo. Let's Play videos are not taking any money from Nintendo so they have no right to interfere with their videos. I don't watch Game Grumps play through the Mario Party games because I want to witness all the game's content without paying for it. I do it because it's funny to listen to Egorapter and Jontron banter back and forth. You can't experience a game without playing it. A let's play is the equivalent of watching a movie but with no sound or watching a really long trailer

Clovus:

So, to be clear, do you think the laws are actually somewhat moral? Like, we should have some basic rules describing what point someone should get permission to use someone else's work? Your response is focusing on the specifics of what Nintendo did, that it was immoral.

I still don't see it is immoral, because I don't think the balance is important. I mean, maybe I just want to write songs for fun and I make no money. If a big corporation takes my work and makes money off of it, then I haven't lost anything, but it is still clearly wrong of them to do that. I'm not sure "they did no harm" is a good enough reason to ignore someone using your IP. You could use that line of thinking to say that piracy is fine if you don't have enough money to pay for a product. If Nintendo had done this when LPs first started, any person doing LPs now would have been operating under a license, or maybe just making money by selling t-shirts or something. The fact that Nintendo allowed them to operate for years and develop a particular business model doesn't mean that they should let that continue once they decided they didn't approve of it.

One possible problem here, and a general problem with copyright laws, is that to be fair to the big LP channels, Nintendo should license their materials with them. But, unless I'm wrong about this, Nintendo can pretty much demand any amount they want. You can do a cover of song at a rate set by Congress, but I'm pretty sure other stuff is completely up to the right's holder. That seems unfair and problematic, especially given that special legislation was created for cover songs. So, Nintendo maybe has some moral need to deal fairly with them, ie to create a fair license system.

Nintendo is also definitely doing someting immoral by using the hamfisted YouTube content system. They are clearly putting ads on videos that qualify for fair use. They have no right to that at all, legally or morally.

I think here is where we are of split opinion, I find most of the laws in general leave open for certain scenarios that make the law immoral to use in that situation and moral in another. I mean most laws would not have been created if there was not a situation where it was the right thing to do, atleast I hope that is what people were thinking when they were created.

That said, laws are far from perfect and I personally believe they should be changed and made, so it is more understandable how they work and what is what. Now laws are ambigious at parts, because different situations need different action, but in terms of copyright it would be fairly simple to make the laws much more solid.

If for example Nintendo did make a easy service where one could buy the right to make money of stuff like LP's, soemthing easy to achieve, that anyone can get for a flat amount. It would be fine. Pay us 20 % of your revenue on the videos. Pay us 50 %, pay us 200 dollars once and you can use it, wtv. I might argue against some of the costs(and how high they are), but atleast it seems fair. Instead they out of the blue, just came and took all of it, hid behind laws which are exploitable and that is that.

This can be said about all of the copyright claims about most anything on youtube.

You could make the law even clear about, how there must be some addition and not just flat out gameplay, acknowledgements etc, etc.

It might be a naive view of the world from me, but the way I see things is, that if it doesn't seem fair it probably isn't. That's why I point out there how Nintendo aren't losing much because of the LP's to justify why I think Nintendo is causing more harm than the LP'rs ever did. It's not fair.

I think the songwriter analogy doesn't work here, if a big corporation adn took your sogns and made a few changes it isn't the same as a LP of a game. With the distinction that a LP is soemthign you watch and not play for the first thing, the second thing it encompassing the commentary part of it, also if it is a LP of something like skyrim it is a vastly different experience than what you would get if you were playing it.

Now if the huge corporation took your lyrics, changed them a bit and released their own mix with different music then I'd say it was fair for them to take it. I mean you aren't losing revenue due to it, you can continue making songs, your following will more than likely still stay with you . But these scenarios need a definite way to solve them.

Sorry if structually this makes no sense anymore, since i think i went on a tangent somewhere here. Eh, did I even answer your question?

EDIT: Oh yeah and about that piracy bit, I do believe there are cases of moral piracy, that aren't legal, but not having enough money is one of them. Though you could definately argue that. Anyway this isn't about piracy nor do I wish to discuss piracy on the escapist, considering how taboo of a subject it is here and how easily it derails every thread it is in.

After reading through both of the threads I did a little searching and found a recently compiled list of game companies that are LP friendly (link below). I think I'm going to use it as a guide, and support these companies from now on.

http://alloyseven.com/component/k2/item/115-monetize-gaming-videos

Legion:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
*snip*

I agree with this. People can still make Let's Plays, they just can't make money off of them, and I don't see what's wrong with that.

This false sense of entitlement to making money off of other peoples intellectual property is quite sickening to be honest. If Nintendo had said that they couldn't do them at all, that'd be another matter entirely.

While I get where you're coming from, I also somewhat disagree. Its not like LPers are selling pirated copies, they are simply using a product that they have bought (I guess) and use it for others to see. Imo its more or less as stupid as people filming themselves spraying Axe in their armpits and Axe wanting to get money from their views. I mean...you cant even smell it on video.

Nintendos products are not being compromised. Their intended use is for PLAY. Nobody can PLAY a game by watching lets play. If anything, nintendo receives free marketing. FREE.

This is why its a dick move of them to claim the money from the ads. They are basically getting free marketing and fan service and their thanks is to say: fuck you, we want your money too in case you have some. The work being shown is NOT theirs. Someone actually spent the time to play their game, film it and upload it. Thats the work being monetized, and I think the LPers should get the money.

TBH I dont care much, I almost never see lets plays. Sometimes I can look one up to get an impression of a game before I buy it, but otherwise...I'd rather play it myself.

Legion:

I agree with this. People can still make Let's Plays, they just can't make money off of them, and I don't see what's wrong with that.

This false sense of entitlement to making money off of other peoples intellectual property is quite sickening to be honest. If Nintendo had said that they couldn't do them at all, that'd be another matter entirely.

Except some people don't just record a playthrough of a game and attempt to live off that - they talk over it. Case in point: Jesse Cox of OMFGcata. He does LP's of all sorts of games but he's a comedian as well. All throughout he's cracking jokes about the game world, AI, influences on the game, etc. Jesse in essence is a gaming stand-up comedian. He's pretty popular because of that; in other words, people don't watch his vids for the game content, they watch for Jesse's personality. And that's what he's earning his living off of.

Another example: TotalBiscuit and his WTF is... series. Same thing - beginning game content with commentary over it - but this time the commentary is informative since it talks about the game's pros and cons. It's essentially a review (though technically, it's first impressions since he never goes too far into the game). The game content behind that isn't snippets either, he's actually playing the release version of the game. These vids are how TB earns his living and helps support his family.

And the sense of entitlement of making money off other people's IP? You do realize that third-party devs rarely get to keep the IP rights to their games now-a-days, right? Look at Halo. Bungie made it, Microsoft published it, now they own it (probably not the best example, but you get the idea).

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