Nintendo claims ownership over gamer fanvids on YouTube

Alan Wexelblat comment on the news that Nintendo has claimed "monetization rights" to fan videos on YouTube that feature tips on playing its games. Some of these videos are incredibly popular, and while their use of Nintendo's creations are often fair use, Nintendo gets to use YouTube's monetization system to advertise on all the videos:

The basic idea is that if someone makes a video of themselves playing a Nintendo game and uploads it to YouTube any ads shown with that video will be of Nintendo's choosing and revenue from it will flow to Nintendo. Ads may appear beside the videos or actually be inserted before and after the video when people go to play it.

The problem here is that "Let's Play" style videos are a pervasive form of information and sharing throughout the industry. I did a quick YouTube search for "let's play" for this blog post and got back over 9.1 million hits. People create these videos to show off their skills, to highlight interesting things they've seen such as game "easter eggs", to provide guides or walk-throughs, or just to share a bit of fun with friends. There are a few professional or semi-professional games writers who use this style of video to promote themselves or their channels, but they are a tiny minority of that nine million.

Nintendo has positioned its action as a gentler approach; rather than trying to ban content related to Nintendo games, they just want to make money off it by changing the video that an individual uploaded. Yeah, um, guys that's not a whole lot better. It also comes across as cheap and lazy - rather than creating content for YouTube that fans and players would want to watch, Nintendo is just taking over other peoples' content.

Nintendo Decides It Can Own Fans' YouTube Content


    1. Effectively providing free advertising for us?  I like it, but what if instead of providing us this valuable service for free, you payed us for the privilege of doing so?  Excellent…

    1. Paris being under French jurisdiction, it probably is the case that you pretty much can’t photograph any known sight-line without trampling half a dozen people’s “moral rights”…

    2. What’s funny is this is kind of true. You can’t publish any night picture/video of the Eiffel Tower without getting permission from France. Because of the ‘copyrighted lights display.’

  1. There is a reason why I haven’t upgraded my Nintendo handheld in nearly ten years: I read the EULA that has shipped with the DSi, the XL and the 3DS. It sucks. It’s greedy, offensive and insidious.

    And if EULA’s have any legal power, their action is entirely in accord with the one they have been using for the last two or three system-generations.

    So this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone.

    1.     Your no gamer, not if you can go ten years without trying out the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.  Ten years for some legal jargon that will not impact 99% of players in any meaningful way.

      1. Who are you to decide what a Gamer is, random internet guy? Especially a random internet guy who considers Nintendo the ‘latest and greatest in the industry’ without anything to back that claim up. You really created a Disqus account to leave that gem here?

        And You’re.* For fuck’s sake.

    2. Well done. I sold my PS3 and got out of the console market when I saw the Batman Arkham City shenanigans last year (witholding extensive content from gamers/purchasers who didn’t buy their copy of the game from the “right” store). I still game, I just pick my games and systems carefully

  2. I’m glad to see Valve on the list; my son has made hundreds of Portal videos. It would suck to have them pulled.

    EDIT: Oops, reply to ethicalcannibal.

      1. And not every Let’s Play is a fanvid – some are “Let’s play this crappy game and laugh at its.”

        1. AND that video, while satirical, can also serve to educate the average gaming consumer so they don’t waste their money on crap.

  3. Ah, Nintendo… Even assuming that these videos aren’t protected under some flavor of fair use or similar exception(they might be; but I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t), let’s think about what we are trying to accomplish here.

    Aren’t you supposed to be out selling consoles and games? Aren’t you the outfit that has traditionally propped up their technically-inferior hardware with strong first part titles and innovative control mechanisms(ie. exactly the sort of thing that would show to best advantage in a ‘Let’s Play’ video; but might be hard to sell in a 30 second TV spot against sharply superior graphics)? 

    I’m inclined to suspect that Nintendo is acting within their legal rights, they just seem to be acting foolishly to an almost unbelievable degree. How much are those adsense pennies going to help you out, Nintendo? How many ad plays does it take to equal a single game sale? 

    1. They have as many short-sighted bean counters and lawyers as any other company.  They can’t resist what they currently view as a fast buck.  They won’t see reason until this turns around and bites them on the ass. 

    2. They’re not protected under fair use. They’re not targeting videos that are educational or instructional – so if you have a detailed walkthrough or guide on how to play, that’s OK. Those uses are fair use. If it’s just you playing a game and talking about stuff that’s not fair use, and they are claiming monetization rights on those vids.

      1. No they are targeting all videos. That’s what youtube partnership is all about.

      2. Wouldn’t that be nice if it were true?  But sadly, YouTube’s “Content ID Matching” system has already flagged many reviews.  And what exactly IS the fine line between a Let’s Play and a strategy guide?  A computer program certainly can’t tell.

  4. Since the minds of gamers and fanboys are already fully pwned by the entertainment industry, I have no problem with this.

    1. I’d actually be fine with the ads, as long as the revenue went to the creators of the videos.  The studios and Nintendo are rich enough, and they only contributed a framework.  If only Nintendo’s contribution were shown in these videos, It’d just be the character sitting there, doing whatever housekeeping animation it has, while the background music plays.  Nintendo needs the video creators a lot more than the creators need Nintendo.

      Nintendo should realize this, and understand that being humble and not being unholy, greedy, unscrupulous assholes who only contribute minimally to the value of these videos, is what’s going to make them money a year from now.

  5. Corporate greed has no bounds.  The people who originally wrote the code and made the graphics for these games are not affected by this.   They are either still living in their parents basements, or have moved on to more lucrative, but less creative pursuits.

    1. I suspect it turns out that developers employed by Nintendo don’t live in parental basements, by and large.

        1. WTF does that mean?  The people who “wrote the code and made the graphics for these games” are professional game developers.   (Professional being the operative word; in this case, professional “creative types” employed by studios published and owned by Nintendo.)  Who do you think makes Nintendo games?  
          Certainly Nintendo’s lawyers devised this to effect game players, not game makers (who are generally far too busy working to make these sorts of videos), though should the developers make any videos, they would be effected by this.

  6. Personally I don’t have a problem with this. Nintendo isn’t asking for the videos to be taken down. They spent $XX million making a game. Some kid comes along and posts the entire contents on Youtube. That’s only slightly different then posting a movie on Youtube. Some large percentage of the enjoyment of many games is seeing the content of the game and you can do that by watching these youtube videos rather than paying for the game. To be honest this seems like the a win-win. Players get to post their videos. Game Devs still get compensated for their work. I don’t understand the controversy 

    1. What you refer to as “some kid” is actually a very talented and professional community of video makers and gaming enthusiasts who have worked for years creating compelling, entertaining and transformative gameplay commentaries (Let’s Plays) as a means of personal income through YouTube’s AdSense system. The Let’s Play genre itself has yet to be tested in a court of law under Fair Use. However, it is worth noting that this move by Nintendo has also claimed the advertising revenue from games review content posted to YouTube, simply because they include clips that have flagged the automated Content ID system. This is a clear violation of Fair Use allowed for criticism, which could set a disturbing precedent if picked up by other major gaming and entertainment companies. Run a film review vlog and want to post your negative critique of Iron Man 3 to YouTube? It won’t be banned, but Paramount Pictures is going to take all the advertising revenue from your video! Hope you weren’t depending on that for bills or video production costs!

      1. Actually, every TV movie review program I’ve watched always has a little caption under every movie clip “used with permission from XYZ studios”. In other words, you can review or criticize a movie all you want but you can’t use clips from the movie to do it unless you first get permission. 

        There’s value to the reviews but they’re only valuable because their reviewing something popular made by someone else. That someone else, in this case Nintendo, deserves at least something for their effort. The guys are free to make videos without including any game footage.

        1. You’re arguing that, if someone who gets paid to write reviews writes about one of Cory’s books, then a share of their paycheque should go to him.

          Fuck, no. Their review gains him readers.

          1.  Writes about one of Cory’s books? Or includes the complete text within the review?

          2. RE:  Robert Drop
            (won’t let me reply directly, sorry)

            Ok I concede watching the video of an entire game is not the same as playing the game. But there is a reason game trailers don’t show the entire game from start to finish (time constraint aside).

            Is there nothing to be said for the importance of the narrative, and not having it spoilt beforehand? The level design/ characters/ etc?

            Part of a the gameplay experience is the discovery and the enjoyment of a storyline. It is one of the things that is being sold to you at purchase. I don’t personally think it is fair to the creators for these letsplays to trade that out and distribute it, let alone to profit from it.

            As cynical as I am, I do think that games companies put a lot of work into making the experience of playing their game as good as possible. And I think they have a right to protect that.

            The Youtubers who have profited so far have been able to build up huge fanbases and subscriber counts by showing these works in full – they could use that momentum to put out original content and profit from that. But I think the reason lets plays have become so prolific is because it is simply much less effort than producing original creative content – despite the amount of work they put into editing their videos.

            I understand my opinion is not a popular one, but I really do feel like people are viewing this issue with little consideration for the original creators of the content. I think the “underdog having their livelihood taken away” narrative is clouding opinions. As much as I feel for those people.

          3. I’m a game developer.  I make games, not videos – if a significant part of the gameplay experience can be replicated by watching a video, something is profoundly wrong.  Players make videos of games they care about, and in turn those videos help drive sales – and in rather significant numbers, at that.  Whatever pittance these video makers are getting in ad revenue is small compared to what it would cost the game company to hire PR people to generate an equal amount of interest in the game.  (And if making “let’s play” videos are easy, then the audience is so fragmented that only the video makers who add something of significance to the videos are going to get any number of views, making their contributions valuable.)
            The game companies may not be making full videos of the entire game content themselves, but spoilers are inevitable – videos, screenshots, even long forum discussions are going to give away every secret and nuance within weeks (or even days), if the game is popular.  Those spoilers are actually desirable – they can be valuable guides for players to get through sticky spots, help in the creation of meta-games that further promote the game (speed runs, etc.), they even function as fan-created unofficial competitions for the bragging rights to having achieved various things within the game and posted the proof (as videos) online.  (And that’s part of the reason why companies don’t make those sorts of videos – because they don’t want to take away from the players making them themselves.)  To interfere with any of these things is a profoundly stupid thing for a game studio/publisher to do.  Nintendo will lose more than they gain.

        2. In other words, you can review or criticize a movie all you want but
          you can’t use clips from the movie to do it unless you first get

          That absolutely is NOT TRUE.  If you knew anything about fair use, you would know that direct quoting IE using clips and footage, for purposes of criticism and satire are covered as fair use, and you don’t even have to ask the original copyright owner.

          Perhaps you should educate yourself on the copyright system.  Fair use means you don’t have to ask before you use, and is a limitation to the immorally and possibly illegally expanded set of rights granted to copyright holders.  These rights are so broad as to render the original provision for copyright, set out in the constitution, totally broken.  Fair use is one of the precious few rights the public has to balance the ridiculously broad and set of rights and nonsensically long terms granted by copyright.  Unfortunately, it’s an affirmative defense, so you can still be sued even if your use qualifies as fair under numerous tests.

          1. Like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like like .

            Sadly, the mechanism at work here is corporate law, which we can’t actually prevent.

        3. Give negative review and see your supply of permission for future films go down the pan. All film reviews are lies.

      2. I agree that being able to suppress any content that uses game footage is troublesome. There needs to be some finesse to the content ID system which seems to be lacking.

        But if that negative review of Iron Man 3 on Youtube contained showing the entire film from start to finish, I would be less sympathetic. I certainly wouldn’t describe the uploader as “talented and professional”.

      3.  You are still making money off a game they made. Don’t kid yourself into thinking people would watch your videos if they didn’t want to see the game without paying for it. If people would watch your videos without a game playing, you wouldn’t need the game at all

    2. I’ll have to disagree with you. Many of these videos are not just captures of game play, they include commentary, analysis, and perhaps not so much in the case of Nintendo games, but look at the Minecraft LP and you will see things that are truly transformative and unique. Sometimes it’s just fun to see someone else’s take on a game.

    3. People such as you are likening the “Let’s Play” videos to walking into an art gallery, taking a picture of a painting, and then trying to sell the print. None of you take into account the fundamental disconnect here. The people who make Let’s Play videos are not repackaging Nintendo content and selling it to the public. They’re selling their own experience, their own interpretation of the game. If someone throws up a straight up video of the plot of Zelda for the explicit and sole purpose of showing the whole plot, then fine. But Let’s Plays are far more akin to a picture of the Mona Lisa being used as a prop for the photographer to describe how the painting influences and moves him than it is a direct repackaging and resale of the content. If Nintendo really wants to go this route, there likely won’t be much to stop them, but there are plenty of developers and publishers out there that realize, as an above poster said, that Nintendo needs Youtube creators far more than the creators need Nintendo.

      1. The closest analogy is probably something like Mystery Science Theater, which in the old IP economy did have to pay for the rights to show films in their entirety (and for their yearly specials where they spoofed contemporary films could only spoofs short clips and trailers).

        However, in the present media landscape, similar projects like Rifftrax, while they don’t include the video footage, do use short clips with the original film footage as advertisements on YouTube. And things like the Plinkett Star Wars reviews use extensive amounts of footage from the source media without having to get permission or cede advertising space to Lucas/Disney.

    4. “Some kid comes along and posts the entire contents on Youtube”
      A game is not a video.  No “kid” can post the contents of a game on Youtube.  That’s like saying I’ve posted the contents of a movie by describing it in an email.  That’s not at all the same as posting a movie on Youtube.  Walkthrough videos of games are often intended precisely as a resource for someone who’s playing the game.  Anyone who finds pleasure in watching videos of games rather than playing the games wasn’t going to be playing the game in the first place.  To claim otherwise is almost as absurd as saying the makers of sporting goods have the right to income from videos of people playing sports using their equipment because watching someone else using the equipment playing is just as good as playing yourself.  The people who enjoy watching aren’t doing that as a substitute for playing.

  7. Is there a legal principle at stake here beyond a contract issue between Google, Nintendo, and the videos’ creators? I had assumed that if it wanted to, Google could set up a system where (for example) Nintendo could only advertise on Justin Bieber videos and Justin Bieber could only advertise on Maru videos.

  8. Is Nintendo in the right here? Legally, well the way laws are more and more being made to protect big business over the individual, I’d be surprised if they weren’t. Ethically, well the do have a right to try and protect their IP and any revenue it generates. Morally, hard to say on that one.
    But the bigger question, are they being smart? Not one little bit. Anyone with half a brain knows that marketing is changing. The internet has changed so many things from passive to interactive and the “Let’s Play” videos are just one example. How much money does Nintendo make when they sell a game compared to how much they’ll make off the ads. I bet when the word get’s out the ad revenue will dwindle due to players protesting by using ad blockers for those posts if nothing else.
    Nintendo should pull there heads out of their collective asses and see the “Let’s Play” videos for what they are. A community building, sales generating tool that costs a lot less then some glossy magazine ever did.
    H@ll they should be paying the guys to let them build a portal around them. Then they could say “Well game xxxxx isn’t do as well as we hoped, let’s get Joe Blow to do a let’s play and see if that generates any more excitement over the title.”
    This is the same short term gain over long term health mind set that is killing companies, not just in the video game industry either.
    Hey Nintendo, you know when Sega crashed and burned they were still a pretty classy bunch. Your just going to make everyone say good riddance as you start to circle the drain.
    Think about it.

  9. *sits back and waits*
    Hey why are our new games selling so badly…
    Well remember when we decided to get paid from all of the ‘Lets Play’ videos… it seems our fans took that poorly and stopped posting them… so now we have to spend more on advertising… and most of out customers won’t see that because they run adblocking software…
    I think this went poorly…

  10. So hypothetically someone could video capture themselves reading the whole of (underline)Rapture of the Nerds(/underline) with their own additional content such as drawings, comments about the text,etc. Upload it to YouTube and collect ad revenue for it and not worry about Cory wanting any of that revenue? Is this what I am understanding from the Zack Scott position?
    Constructive feed back would be appreciated.

    1. I’m gonna say yes, yes someone could. They are transforming the work, and giving the author’s work further exposure. I would liken it to watching a movie with the director’s commentary turned on — something I would never do unless I’d seen the movie first. I don’t think anyone could enjoy a Let’s Read video unless they’d already read the book. In this case, the value added by the Let’s Reader is what drives eyeballs to the content, not the content of the book. Therefore, the Let’s Reader has earned the revenue from ads, if there are any [ads]. The author of the work is very likely to get paid through an increase in sales — especially if the work done by the Let’s Reader is good. See the work of Team Sagemaster and company – – for some excellent examples. Games I had played 15+ years ago took on a new life because of the commentary and humor they inject. Game creators don’t deserve additional revenue from that.

      1. I’m not actually sure that’s the case.  Star Wars Uncut [] had to get express permission from the LucasFilm to even recreate the movie from scratch, even without using any actual audio or video from the movie.

  11. According to the BBC : ” Nintendo defended the move, adding that only clips showing games footage of a certain length would be affected.
    ‘Adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips,’ the company said.” What are we to make of this?

    1. Well, it is most likely a non exclusive OR : so expect ads at the beginning, next to and at the end of the clips.
      For the clip length, as less and less let’s play video will happen for Nintendo’s precious, it will most likely evolve toward Planck time…

  12. Why is nobody reporting that it’s only going to be on new releases?

    Let’s players are the laziest Youtubers out there. They basically expect to get paid for mumbling while they play computer games. To make out it deserves to be protected under fair use is a stretch.

    1. What’s your source for that bit of information?  Nintendo’s statement does not say that it’s “only new releases,” expressly or implied.

    2. Well, that one Let’s Play video you watched that one time might have left you with that impression, but you’re wrong. I’m not a Let’s Play watcher, but my 13-year old son is and I’ve seen many intelligent, funny and interesting examples of the genre with him.

  13. Nintendo doesn’t really understand the internet. That much has long since been clear with their odd policies on multiplayer. This just further adds to the pile of “Nintendo is hopelesly out of touch”.

    Wich is weird because they really were forward thinking with the Wii in targeting the new audiance of more casual gamers.

    The added problem they have here is that it not only effects fan content (wich is super dumb, never go against the people who support you) but also journalistic and critique content. Many legitimate blogs news and review sites use Youtube to publish their content and it’s pretty absurd for Nintendo to undermine that.

  14. Good for Nintendo.  

    I wish I could get a share of  ad revenue from my narcissistic comments on stupid blogs, but the blogs make all the money.  

    Because, “discussions” on the Web are just about getting ad revenue from refreshing the comment sections.

    I mean aren’t these fanvids, just  comments about the actual artwork made by Nintendo?

    1. Sure, if keyboards cost hundreds or thousands of dollars like some of the cameras, capture cards, microphones, and PCs that create such a high production value in said “fanvids.”

  15. YouTube represents the confluence of video, money, advertising, content ID, and copyright. It is the attention economy as cesspool. All the scum floats to the top. 

    Incidentally, the tools Nintendo is using were designed by the music industry, to do exactly what Nintendo is doing. As they say, the tools make the person, so it’s no wonder they are behaving like ass hats. 

  16. I’ve seen this around on other sites and on Reddit, my take is as follows.

    You make content, you package that content and distribute it in the way you choose and everyone’s happy, then someone takes that content and films themselves playing it and making money off revenue generated by that video. You would be pissed to not get that revenue off of your intellectual property being streamed. You would have an issue with this and seriously don’t lie. 

    Most companies would simply have it taken down. At worst they sic lawyers on them. Maybe get some trolling douchebags on the case. In this, Nintendo is still being the good guy. It sounds dickish, but they are just protecting things they own and have every right to the revenue made off of just recording a video of the product. People say it’s them not liking free publicity, that’s not the point at all. They have zero problem with people making them, they have a problem of people monetizing them. It’s in the license agreements they package in each and every game. This is the same reason you can’t make money off a video of you watching a Batman movie online. It’s exhibiting content that you have no right to exhibit for revenue purposes.

    They aren’t pulling them, they aren’t altering them, the videos are still splashing merrily about in the world of youtube. The uploaders can’t make the few cents they used to, or whoever was generating money off it. Which is as it should be. 

    As part of the game media you would be shocked at half the shit that ended up in my inbox over the past few days. Then seeing the Reddit posts and the articles on other game sites, all screaming for Marios blood over what amounts to Nintendo practicing their legal rights in a way that allows people to still make these videos, yet protects their rights and profits they rightfully are entitled to. 

    These people crying over this. Fat babies. Myopic fat babies.

    1. this is an archaic and backwards way to deal with the benefits of social media. thinking like this is why the music/gaming/film industries are finding it so hard to adjust to the modern world. companies need to stop thinking about how they can leech every last cent out of every possible avenue and embrace the intangible value it adds to the brand. 

      the people who watch these videos are engaged, enjoying and seeking out information about their product. these videos create goodwill for a game/company, they inform purchasing decisions. it’s basically free advertising. christ, it’s zero-cost advertising that’s actually going directly to their target audience, why even bother with tv or radio? how much intangible value does that add to the company?

      what’s the outcome of this? people who upload with the aim to make money off youtube (who will no doubt have larger audiences) will simply stop posting these videos. nintendo lose. 

      1. I’m not looking to get into a debate how the media has to change. It’s how it is now, it obviously needs to change. My point is that right now this is how things are. A content creator, that’s me, you, Nintendo should have a say in how they are being distributed. When you buy any game there is a user agreement, These user agreements should be dropped, but Nintendo asserting rights it actually has without tearing down the videos? That’s actually the only decent way to go about it, they are allowing people to still do it, it’s not really touching everything, so for charity streams of Zelda are still cool. They haven’t said no, they are just saying you can’t make money off of directly showing their products.

        This isn’t to say you can’t make a site like this, run advertising on it and post video of you playing a new Zelda. as long as the video isn’t being used for profit, it’s fine. There are other means to make a few bucks elsewhere.

        I find that the argument is just kind of silly, as someone who creates content (comics mostly, currently a game) I’m cool with fan works, streaming and showing things I made. It’s heartwarming for me. But if i’m not really making anything off it because of piracy (sometimes piracy can be a good promo tool) or someone is showing the whole damn thing in a video, I’m cool with the video, it’s something that’ll happen, but if they are drawing revenue on directly showing my work? I’m not cool with that. The only reason people got up in arms is because of Nintendo, Sony does this often, Microsoft does this. They have for years. Capcom does this. 

        The system needs to change but it’s something that takes time and committed people. Nintendo still allowing this to exist is actually a good sign. Instead of being the jerks they could have been. Lesser of 2 evils is still an evil, but this story is really just blown way out of proportion.

    2. You almost had a good argument until you got to calling people myopic fat babies. Hurts your case. In fact, I don’t remember anything else you said.

      1. Yeah, I overstepped. It’s more a reaction to the piles of angry emails, since at the site I work for I happen to be the guy who reviews Wii U stuff along with iOS. Like I personally made Nintendo take away revenue.

  17. That is so freaking dumb. So if you watch youtube of a walkthrough of a game, which helping other players, that game dev/publisher get all money from ads that related to the video?  What kind of dumbshit idea is that?!

  18. Did you even read it?  The part that bothers me the most about the 3DS is that basically Nintendo can stream updates to the 3DS any time they want, with or without your permission.  If you use “unauthorized cartridges” (which can mean a flash cart, whether you use it for pirated games or not) on the system, they legally have the right to brick the system.  I almost returned the 3DS after finding that out.

  19. Technically when you buy the game you own the license. So using that logic if you film yourself playing said game it is now your property solely. So what right does Nintendo have to piggy back of somebody elses time and money to something they own? 

    1. Owning one’s chattel-nature has been prouder, and completing farm contracts one made loss on is best done with conjured cheer, but you definitely left a step out of your logic.

  20. my rооmate’s step-auոt makes  $83 aո հоur оո tհe laptоp. Sհe հas beeո witհоut a jоb fоr  teո mоոtհs but last mоոtհ հer  pay сհeсk was  $13025 just wоrkiոg оո tհe laptоp  fоr a few հоurs. Read mоre  оո tհis site,.,,…. Fℴx85.ℂℴm

    1. Wow, sounds like some kind of online ads scam business…. it’s just the fed hasn’t follow yet…

  21. Good on Nintendo for finding a balanced solution rather than just forcing the content to be removed. They deserve more credit for this.

    And no fair use rights are being trampled on. Youtube gets to control the content & advertising on their site, and they obviously have come to an arrangement with Nintendo. If you don’t like it, create your own video-sharing site.

    1. “Good on Nintendo for finding a balanced solution rather than just forcing the content to be removed”
      They don’t want it to be removed.  It’s advertising for them – you know, the sort of thing that one normally pays for, rather than expecting to get revenue for.

      1. Exactly, they are not removing any videos.
        They’re probably contacting the top players as we type, asking about revenue sharing. If I did Let’s Players on Nintendo it would be tempting as others would drop out, creating more potential viewing figures for me. Yay.

        1. It doesn’t sound like Nintendo is contacting anyone, except through the automated process of claiming the rights to the content.  It’s pretty backwards on their part, whatever rights they may have. No one doing “Let’s Play” videos with their games and getting revenue would have a reason to keep the content up.

      2. The “Free advertising” argument is always bullshit. That is not for youtubers to decide, it’s for Nintendo to decide. It’s their content.

        1. “It’s their content.”
          But it isn’t – their “content” is a game, this is a video.  It’s a derivative work, but the video creator has certain rights, too.  
          And regardless of what rights Nintendo has, it’s a foolish move to claim ownership (even if just for revenue-making opportunities) of work others have done that effectively acts as advertising.  I work in game development – we pay people to make videos of games for promotional purposes.  If people are making videos of your games on their own, you do everything you can to let that happen because it increases sales.  You don’t want to interfere with that in any way.  They’re shooting themselves in the foot here.

          1. I work in publishing. Should I be allowed to make a comic book entirely out of screenshots from a Harry Potter movie, and sell it? It’s exactly the same thing.

            “Having rights” is not relevant in this case. Youtube is a privately owned content distributor. They do not have to allow anyone to do anything on their service.

            Nintendo is already being generous by not outright having the videos taken down. If you want to allow people to use your copyrights, go ahead, that’s your business. Nintendo games are Nintendo’s business. Whether it’s a smart business decision or not is again not relevant, it’s what Nintendo wants to do.

          2. “Nintendo is already being generous by not outright having the videos taken down.”
            No, they’re being not-incredibly-stupid by not having  the videos taken down.  Having the videos up is in their self-interest.  (And it’s really not the same as having a comic book made of video frames.)

  22. So Now When I Make A “Fix-It” Video And Put It On Youtube, The Fact That I Just Happen To Be Using A Craftsman Saw In The Video Gives Sears The Right To OWN My Video? So I Ask, Whos Gonna Pay For My Mauled Hand Now? 

  23. Can someone clear something up for me please.  What exactly is the difference between playing a video game and watching someone else play it?

Comments are closed.