Kevin Smith Defends Let's Plays, Speaks Against YouTube's Content ID

Kevin Smith Defends Let's Plays, Speaks Against YouTube's Content ID

Creativity should be encouraged, even if it's "found art," Kevin Smith argues in an interview.

Kevin Smith, film producer, director, screenwriter, and well-known for his movies like Clerks, criticized YouTube's recent policy changes that issued copyright claims for using video clips and music from outside sources. YouTube's Content ID has strongly affected YouTubers using video and music from games, challenging Let's Play videos and game reviews. In an interview with CBC Television talk show host George Stroumboulopoulos, Smith argues clips of videogames don't cause any harm.

"I know a lot of people who have built careers off of taking videogame footage and running commentary under it or reviewing it," Smith said. "And so now YouTube's gone like, 'You don't have the rights to do this.' And they're starting to pull back on the freedom of expression people have been enjoying on YouTube for a while."

Before instituting the new policy, YouTube was generally accepting of most game videos. Several publishers also actively encourage players to post videos of their games online. Smith points out that these publishers support creators who have had their videos flagged for copyright infringement because these videos are akin to free marketing.

Many of the copyright claims issued through the Content ID policy are automated, leading to plenty of mistakes by bots, such as an incorrect copyright infringement claim on Grand Theft Auto IV videos. One GTA IV video was flagged because the Content ID system mistook police sirens for a jazz song. YouTube has made no plans to revise its new policy despite the mistakes it has caused.

Moreover, Smith believes in the creation of art. While copyright law was initially intended to encourage creative works, more recently it has caused plenty of damage.

"Don't stamp down someone's creativity," Smith said in the interview. "Even if it's someone else's creativity with something else -- other people's material -- because you make found art out of art that you find."

YouTube recently responded to the vitriol in an email Kotaku posted. Content ID appears to be here to stay, but it's a flawed system.

Source: YouTube

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Oh look, it's Kevin Smith!

...Huh

OT: He seems to misinterpret the Content ID thing, it's more about revenue and the aquisition thereof through audio/video, but it still helps that someone noteworthy opposes it.

Surprised some Americans know who George Stroumboulopoulos is!

So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

He probably would love to have everyone watch them, but the studios that own the rights would rather sue you until you owed them your entire family's gross income for them next 50 years. Video games at have that gray area loophole over music and movies that they are interactive and posting a video of gameplay footage should not be infringement.

It's nice though that someone with some influence in the entertainment industries is speaking out against this youtube/copyright SNAFU.

Hairless Mammoth:

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

He probably would love to have everyone watch them, but the studios that own the rights would rather sue you until you owed them your entire family's gross income for them next 50 years. Video games at have that gray area loophole over music and movies that they are interactive and posting a video of gameplay footage should not be infringement.

It's nice though that someone with some influence in the entertainment industries is speaking out against this youtube/copyright SNAFU.

You do need to play the games, the company which made the game didn't do that. They did, however, make the software that allows for the output. It's infringing as a motherfucker.

M

SecondPrize:

Hairless Mammoth:

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

He probably would love to have everyone watch them, but the studios that own the rights would rather sue you until you owed them your entire family's gross income for them next 50 years. Video games at have that gray area loophole over music and movies that they are interactive and posting a video of gameplay footage should not be infringement.

It's nice though that someone with some influence in the entertainment industries is speaking out against this youtube/copyright SNAFU.

You do need to play the games, the company which made the game didn't do that. They did, however, make the software that allows for the output. It's infringing as a motherfucker.

I think if you're not distributing the direct work and directly profiting from it (ad revenue should not count), it should be under fair use. That's the legal grey area that greedy execs are now trying to grab a hold of to increase their profits when it never hurt and in fact could help them. If a person watches a let's play or a review and that makes them NOT want to play the game, that is the fault of the developer and publisher for not creating a work that caters to that person's interests not the guy on youtube trying to pay for the games and capture cards he bought.

Also, I believe in what my hero, Silent Bob, just said; its a form of art that uses an existing piece of art and should have at least some protection. I enjoy watching videos of of a game that I have previously played and hearing what's going through someone else's thoughts as they play. Or, I want to see if I would like playing a game so I watch a short LP or an in depth video review that show's another consumer person not a corporate drone playing the game with undoctored footage while hearing what they like and dislike about it.

Hairless Mammoth:
M

SecondPrize:

Hairless Mammoth:
He probably would love to have everyone watch them, but the studios that own the rights would rather sue you until you owed them your entire family's gross income for them next 50 years. Video games at have that gray area loophole over music and movies that they are interactive and posting a video of gameplay footage should not be infringement.

It's nice though that someone with some influence in the entertainment industries is speaking out against this youtube/copyright SNAFU.

You do need to play the games, the company which made the game didn't do that. They did, however, make the software that allows for the output. It's infringing as a motherfucker.

I think if you're not distributing the direct work and directly profiting from it (ad revenue should not count), it should be under fair use. That's the legal grey area that greedy execs are now trying to grab a hold of to increase their profits when it never hurt and in fact could help them. If a person watches a let's play or a review and that makes them NOT want to play the game, that is the fault of the developer and publisher for not creating a work that caters to that person's interests not the guy on youtube trying to pay for the games and capture cards he bought.

Also, I believe in what my hero, Silent Bob, just said; its a form of art that uses an existing piece of art and should have at least some protection. I enjoy watching videos of of a game that I have previously played and hearing what's going through someone else's thoughts as they play. Or, I want to see if I would like playing a game so I watch a short LP or an in depth video review that show's another consumer person not a corporate drone playing the game with undoctored footage while hearing what they like and dislike about it.

Fair Use doesn't cover the broadcast of the entire thing. LPers own the audio tracks they create. Publishers own the rights to broadcast their games. It'd be nice if they can get together and work things out but its not grey at all.

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

Well, Youtubers aren't selling it. So, I don't think so. I'm also pretty sure the Rifftracks are sold separately from the movie, to be played alongside it or something.

Anyways, asides from Letsplayers who play the entire game, which I can kinda see both sides of, they're also massively overreaching. Some people who just use small clips or samples are also being hit. When 90% of their video is their own production, and they lose all revenue of it 'cause of a small portion, there's a problem with that.

Chaos Isaac:

Well, Youtubers aren't selling it. So, I don't think so. I'm also pretty sure the Rifftracks are sold separately from the movie, to be played alongside it or something.

Anyways, asides from Letsplayers who play the entire game, which I can kinda see both sides of, they're also massively overreaching. Some people who just use small clips or samples are also being hit. When 90% of their video is their own production, and they lose all revenue of it 'cause of a small portion, there's a problem with that.

Google doesn't need to do anything either, because all networks, monetized videos, etc. use AdSense. No matter who or what channel you are partnered with, or if you're just partnered with AdSense, Google will always get a cut of the profit, no matter what. So Google pretty much here's these people complaining, but doesn't care because even if fraud is going on, they are still getting the same amount of money that they would get even if the person who monetized the video owned it. So basically, Google ain't gonna change a thing.

This video actually perfectly explains how YouTube's system is:

SecondPrize:

It'd be nice if they can get together and work things out but its not grey at all.

They won't work together unless it involves collusion of opinion, which is just another avenue to stamp out dissent and leverage gamer culture. I've seen the works from "Official partners"; it's largely bland rubbish at best, and corporate ballwashing at worst.

Legal right or not, nobody is winning here in the long run. Except Google, maybe.

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

And if so, can I join in with inane banter?

SecondPrize:
So I can give his movies the MST3K treatment then and sell them?

MST3K had to have a license for the films they riffed, unless the film happened to be in the public domain. Rifftrax doesn't so long as they just create an MP3 riff you can play along with your own DVD. That's why Rifftrax sells some movies as digital downloads or DVDs, they've either purchased a license to distribute those films or there is no legal license holder.

 

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