Unexpected? Nintendo made a claim on many fan-made videos on YouTube that feature tips and walkthrough of the games for its platform (most likely Exclusive titles) and wants ‘monetization rights’. Some of these YouTubers have pretty famous and have a large following as they give easy-to-follow-tips and walkthroughs and usually displaying Nintendo video games is deemed fair use, the company, on the other hand, says otherwise.
This all started when Nintendo claimed Zack Scott’s video, who is one of the known ‘Let’s Play’ YouTubers. The company made a ‘content ID Match’ claim which isn’t as serious as copyright infringement, but Nintendo does get all the monetisation rights from video and the power to block the content.
Nintendo made the following statement:
As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.
On the other size, Zack Scott made a statement on YouTube:
I just want to express my feelings on the matter of Nintendo claiming not just my YouTube videos, but from several LPers as well.
I’m a Nintendo fan. I waited in the cold overnight to get a Wii. I’m a 3DS ambassador. I got a Wii U at midnight when I already had one in the mail. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since the NES, and I’ve owned all of their systems.
With that said, I think filing claims against LPers is backwards. Video games aren’t like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don’t need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?
My viewers watch my gameplay videos for three main reasons:
1. To hear my commentary/review.
2. To learn about the game and how to play certain parts.
3. To see how I handle and react to certain parts of the game.
Since I started my gaming channel, I’ve played a lot of games. I love Nintendo, so I’ve included their games in my line-up. But until their claims are straightened out, I won’t be playing their games. I won’t because it jeopardizes my channel’s copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers.
Folks have also started lashing out on Nintendo for this decision:
Looking from a corporation’s perspective, they maybe right in a very minor sense because you need to look at the fact that this is true for any platform and its one of the aspects needed to keep the community alive and fresh. This creates a healthy community not just around the YouTubers which is shared in discussion forums and in social media networks, but also gamers and obviously Nintendo gets the end benefit considering a lot of people buy games and even adopt consoles after looking at such videos.
But if this done, Nintendo is practically would get wiped out since such platforms need healthy gaming community and discussions online to encourage and broaden its customer base. Worse case scenario is becoming a ‘stale’ community with a gaming console. Then again, it makes an impression that Nintendo isn’t really doing well on the business front, but that’s nothing more than speculation based on how it looks. But one would also have to speculate if Sony and/or Microsoft intends to do the same.
Whatever side you may agree on, everyone will agree that this will end up being a huge and possibly irreparable PR damage to Nintendo, possibly even affecting their relationship and their current standing with gamers in general.