In the wake of massive copyright claims filed against YouTube gamers over the content of their “Let’s Play” videos, several major software makers and game companies have stepped forward to assert that it wasn’t their fault. Capcom, Machinima, Blizzard, Ubisoft and others have taken to social media to report that the copyright notices being sent to inboxes of users — even ones from years ago — didn’t come from them. Rather it was the use of licensed material such as music from games that attracted the attention of YouTube’s content bots.
As a YouTube rep stated to gamer site Gamespot: “We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of [Multi Channel Networks]. This has resulted in new copyright claims for some users, based on policies set by the relevant content owners. As ever, channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid.”
Blizzard was first up, mentioning via their Diablo Twitter feed: “If you’re a YouTuber and are receiving content matches with the new changes, please be sure to contest them so we can quickly approve them. We are working on a long term solution, but that is the quickest way to solve issues immediately.”
Capcom also has asserted: “YouTubers: Pls let us know if you’ve had videos flagged today. These may be illegitimate flags not instigated by us. We are investigating.”
Deep Silver international community manager Maurice Tan wrote (again via Gamespot), “If you are a YouTuber & get copyright claims on a walkthrough/LP of Deep Silver games, let me know. Especially if the claim is not from us.”
Ubisoft issued the following statement on the matter:
“If you happen to be hit with claims on any of your Ubisoft content, it may be that some of the audio is being auto-matched against the music cataloge on our digital stores – it might show up as being claimed by our distributor ‘idol’. In such cases please take the following steps and we can get it cleared for you.
1. Leave the video live for now.
2. Send us the URL of the affected video and let us know who flagged it.
3. We’ll get it cleared hopefully same day.”
The quickness with which the statements were issued suggest that many of the largest game companies appreciate the communities that have sprung up in regards to their games, and as such, the “fair use” standard that many of the YouTubers are claiming shouldn’t even need to come into play. The statements have come as a result of actions taken by YouTube that affected some of the largest channels involved in the gaming world, which is, itself, one of the largest communities on YouTube. Definitely it’s not a group that YouTube should irk. As was commonly reported earlier, it wasn’t in fact Nintendo hunting down gamers, but their strange silence on the matter so far is discomforting to say the least.
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