NEWS - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

YouTube Unleashes Copyright Claims

YouTube, game publishers and video creators have always had something of an uneasy relationship. Video content creators, those who make gameplay videos or review games on YouTube, have gone through approved services like Machinima to make games content for years now. They can often make lots of money doing so, and have been usually protected under fair use, or the idea that their work helps sell the product they’re talking about.

The problem is that yes, technically they are using copyright footage and/or music in their videos, content owned by those make the games. Usually, publishers have been content to let this idea slide, knowing how important essentially free press can be when it comes to selling their games, and how influential some of these content producers are.

That’s all changed this week, however, as something has finally snapped. YouTube has sent out thousands upon thousands of copyright notices on gameplay videos to content creators both famous and amateur. YouTube staples who have made hundreds of videos with few copyright complaints are now suddenly drowning in them, as part of YouTube’s new crackdown on previously unenforced gameplay video restrictions.

What’s going on here? It’s hard to tell, and details are still trying to be sorted out. The common notion is that YouTube is trying to cover themselves in case these game companies ever do try to enforce their copyright laws, and end up suing YouTube, which has all the money, as opposed to the content creators, who don’t.

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