Nintendo won’t brand you a criminal for making a video of your game – it will just take your money
WHO owns the videos you make and post on YouTube? Well, if you make one yourself playing a Nintendo video game, they do. Alan Wexelblat writes:
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 is not alone. Google is there to help:
Nintendo will accomplish this by using YouTube’s Content Match ID system, which allows publishers, television networks or record labels to identify if content being used in a video is something from their products. Those entities can then monetize those videos.
And lest you think Nintendo look like swine, they explain:
“We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube. That is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”
No, Instead of making you a criminal they will just take your money instead. Oh, the irony…
NOTE: In 2013, Nintendo made an annual profit of 7.1bn yen (£47m).