The reality of the current copyright situation on YouTube seems to be: figure out what game companies will either endorse (or not obstruct) monetization and avoid the others. And that’s just what Lars Doucet, co-founder of Level Up Labs has done. Under the name WhoLetsPlay, named after the Twitter hashtag used during the initial Content ID sweeps, the site is a wiki page that educates gamers on what companies are cool and what companies actively endorse the copyright bans. Breaking developers down into three groups, “Yes,” “Maybe,” and “No,” the site aims to not only distinguish between gamer-friendly companies, but also to align the gamers into a cohesive alliance so this sort of thing never happens again. It’s a sort of détente amongst the competitive/friendly crowd of gamers who are mostly all vying for the same views.
According to Doucet via Gamespot, the issue isn’t as black and white as game companies thought: “Right now, there’s an issue with music,” Doucet said. “Many developers, small and large, license music non-exclusively. This means the musician owns the music, but gives the developers some rights (namely to use it in their game). This means that *technically* it’s not legally clear-cut (again, I’m not a lawyer) that the developer has the right to grant permission for fans to make monetized videos that include the music.This ambiguity leads to situations where 3rd party licensors and Youtube can actually issue takedown notices and content-ID matches to developers for hosting THEIR OWN OFFICIAL TRAILERS or THEIR OWN MUSIC, in order to ‘protect them.’ Insane, right?”
What will really be interesting is whether a noticeable rift will slice down the gaming industry in accordance with the content of WhoLetsPlay. Is the gaming community powerful enough to game the developers?
Since this has become an official news bonanza, here’s more on the YouTube copyright war: