YouTube: Changing the Face of Gaming
Last week YouTube entered a copyright battle after the automated copyright system Content ID flagged thousands of videos, some years old, for copyright violations. Gamers with YouTube footage of their games received notices from YouTube regarding the monetization of gaming videos and most indeed the music that is playing during the gameplay or as an overlay. These new flags are a result of a new code in YouTube’s copyright detection system, a change that has perturbed not just us gamers, but the video game companies that make the games these gamers are playing. How will this affect us? I delve into the issue and see if I can uncover some interesting points regarding this sudden change.
“Basically every game reviewer and let's player on YouTube is getting reamed with copyright matches right now,” YouTuber and gamer Zach Scott explained earlier this week.
The majority of the copyright claims on these fan-made gaming videos are actually on the video game music that plays in the video, a claim that did not come from the gaming companies themselves but from the actual music publishers who own rights to this music or soundscape in the games . YouTube has recently rewrote their copyright rules following issues between the National Music Publishers Association and Fullscreen, a multi-channel network on YouTube over cover songs created by musicians on the site of artists/songs that they do not have the right to use. The new Content ID system basically finds copyrighted music within a YouTube video and YouTube will then proceed to send out a warning to the video owners if the footage is not covered by any copyright and explains there could be legal implications involved.
Many YouTube gamers make their living off YouTube by running ads on their content whether it be initial 30 seconds clips or small 5 second snippets that pop up over the video, but if you take away their ability to profit off their videos (Known as monetization) they lose their incentive to make these videos. Obviously some content creators like to just make video’s, simple as that, but for some of the bigger YouTubers, Making video is a livelihood and can earn people a lot of money, hence the outrage from the community.
Gaming companies actually encourage YouTubers to create Let’s Plays, reviews and previews of there games as this promotion is free advertising for them. Some of the gaming videos affected with copyright claims are actually videos that were commissioned by the gaming studios themselves who obviously own all copyrighted content of their games. Many studios are now apologizing despite not being the one at fault and taking on the counter-copyright claims process for their gamers and clearing the thousands of claims themselves. Many large gaming companies like Blizzard, Ubisoft, Capcom and even Nintendo have come out in the media to say they have had nothing to do with these copyright claims and are willing to help gamers get their videos cleared of this content violation. It seems to be working as YouTubers that did not directly contact the studios for help have had their videos reinstated.
In my opinion YouTube have a lot to answer for. Gamers all around the world love watching the gaming videos on its platforms and it seems they are making things even harder for games content creators. Even games companies are now getting involved and backing the community. Only time will tell if this copyright embargo will manifest into something bigger but for the moment we all need to be wary about what we upload, or we could be facing legal action very soon!