Wednesday, December 11, 2013

YouTube Copyright Bonanza

Producers and content developers at Machinima are in flux. Some developers in the gaming industry are taking up the copyright rules with YouTube and causing tens of thousands of videos to be disrupted almost overnight. This is affecting even the smaller “Let’s Play” videos that we have all become so fond of over the past year. Why is this an issue now? What’s at stake? Why is the gaming industry getting all up in YouTube’s business?

Here’s the bottom line: money. Machinima and other YouTube personalities are able to make money from advertising through the millions of views they receive on their channel every month. They acknowledge that their earnings are based on the games, to which they do not own rights to. Most companies are okay with the “Let’s Play” type of videos so long as they are not monetized. But with the ease of Google’s Ad Revenue system, it takes a few mouse clicks to get it set up and you are on your way. And the payout has been so little that the time and effort it would take to slap copyright notices on every video would have been a waste of resources. This was a long time coming, but now some developers are taking back control over their content.

Part of this is in conjunction with an upcoming change to YouTube’s policies regarding copyrighted material. Originally this was going to be a gradual progression in 2014, according to emails received by content producers and YouTube, but they jumped the gun and hundreds of thousands of videos are in violation. Mostly YouTube is updating their policies to cover themselves from more lawsuits, as the music industry continues to hammer them. Even those companies with partnerships with developers to use the content are receiving the “flags” and “bans” on their videos.

So it’s a combo of developers and YouTube rule updates that have evolved into a plethora of video violations. But apparently, that’s not all. Some companies and third parties are claiming rights to content that is not even theirs; therefore flagging content that didn’t need to be banned at all. Capcom is working with YouTube to remove some of those false claims that they were having Street Fighter and Resident Evil videos removed, but they never instigated the requests.

Start downloading those favorite videos of yours now while you can. Things are about to get really messy.

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