After YouTube decided to flag thousands of videos that contained copyrighted gaming content, users took to social media sites like Twitter to vent their frustrations. Some even created response videos concerning the newly-instated regulations, questioning why the popular online video site chose to divert revenue from its users to the games’ parent companies.
The site originally stated that it would activate these strict regulations in January 2014, but shocked users when it allowed ContentID to flag thousands of gaming videos and Let’s Plays on Dec. 10. The web site further angered YouTube partners when it reinforced its position on the issue. “We recently enabled ContentID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of multi-channel networks,” a YouTube representative stated. “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 ContentID claims if they believe those claims are invalid.”
This policy understandably outraged users, many who depend on YouTube revenue as important sources of primary or secondary income.
Gaming publishers Blizzard, Capcom, Deep Silver and Ubisoft reached out to YouTube content creators following the copyright claim storm. “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,” Blizzard tweeted to its “Diablo” followers. “We are working on a long term solution, but that is the quickest way to solve issues immediately.”
Capcom, publisher of the popular “Street Fighter” and “Resident Evil” series, also took to Twitter to reach out to its 250,000 followers. “Youtubers, please let us know if you’ve had videos flagged today. These may be illegitimate flags not instigated by us. We are investigating.”
Deep Silver community manager Maurice Tan also posted a tweet regarding the new policies. “If you are a YouTuber and get copyright claims on a walkthrough/LP of Deep Silver games, let me know. Especially if the claim is not from us.”
While the positive responses from well-known gaming brands are certainly encouraging, there may not be a long-term solution to the new copyright policies and ContentID’s overactive flagging activity. Many YouTube channels are exclusively devoted to video game walkthroughs, reviews, commentary and Let’s Plays. It’s also pretty obvious that free previews of video games can lead to higher sales for a title. Why change the policy now?
How do you think this new regulation will affect you? Do you watch Let’s Plays on YouTube? Does YouTube have the right to flag gaming content? Leave a comment below.