Dev creates group to combat controversial YouTube copyright claims

Lars Doucet launches wiki page that lets video creators know which publishers allow their videos to be monetized and which don't.

One independent developer is attempting to organize a movement in response to the recent rise of YouTube copyright claims against Let's Play videos and other gaming-focused content on the video site.

Lars Doucet, cofounder of Defender's Quest developer Level Up Labs, has created a wikia directory page called WhoLetsPlay (based on the Twitter hashtag) where video creators can easily find out which publishers allow monetized Let's Play videos and which don't.

Publishers are divided into three groups:

YES - Allows Let's Play AND allows them to be monetized.

MAYBE - Might allow monetization under some circumstances, or it is unknown.

No - Does not allow monetization.

But the situation is more complicated than that, Doucet says, because many of the copyright claims are the result of YouTube's ContentID system automatically flagging music.

"Right now, there's an issue with music," Doucet said. "Many developers, small and large, license music non-exclusively. This means the musician owns the music, but gives the developers some rights (namely to use it in their game). This means that *technically* it's not legally clear-cut (again, I'm not a lawyer) that the developer has the right to grant permission for fans to make monetized videos that include the music."

"This ambiguity leads to situations where 3rd party licensors and Youtube can actually issue takedown notices and content-ID matches to developers for hosting THEIR OWN OFFICIAL TRAILERS or THEIR OWN MUSIC, in order to 'protect them. Insane, right?" he added.

According to Doucet, this is bad because it will pressure developers to secure exclusive music rights as a means to protect themselves. This is bad for everyone, Doucet argues, because exclusive rights are more expensive for developers and not as flexible for musicians.

YouTube is currently recommending Let's Play creators to make videos without music, though this is hardly an optimal scenario. Doucet said he may also create a second wiki for "known bad actors" in the music reseller space, but doesn't want it to become a "witch hunt."

YouTube said this week that it is standing by its controversial copyright policy after many angry gamers spoke out against it. A letter to affected users featured no apology or policy reversal, but rather an explanation of the scenario and tips for creators going forward.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
104 comments
Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Music copyright remains a complete clusterfuck.  The entire system needs to be torn down.

Red_hot_smasher
Red_hot_smasher

Doucet said he may also create a second wiki for "known bad actors" in the music reseller space, but doesn't want it to become a "witch hunt."

Why not? BRING THE WITCH HUNT, LET THE WITCHES BURN I say. Seriously though, why would music labels ever be worthy of any sympathy, considering how most of the bad ones act?

dpadam450
dpadam450

This is the kind of stuff Nintendo does. They block their videogames in every way.

meatz666
meatz666

Youtube turned to a sad internet MTV

berserker66666
berserker66666

Let's look at this in a different light. You are running for your life. You are being chased by a horde of zombies. You get cornered but find a gun lying on the ground. You get the gun, try to shoot the zombies BUT then Youtube steps up and takes the gun cause you "stole" it. That's the state of Youtube.

awhite33
awhite33

Its Google's website either get over It or go somewhere else.

BigFeef
BigFeef

People think this is all Google's fault; wrong. The ones at fault here are the record companies who push for this kind of control or threaten to sue Google's pants off. They want to control each and every instance where the music they 'own' is used and who gets to use it. The film studios have pushed for something very similar where they get to control every clip from a movie or television show. This is all made possible for very stringent copyright laws being passed under the radar in the US and many other countries that give these companies huge powers over what an individual can and cannot view or use on the internet in regards to media.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

Google are just a bunch of hypocrites. There was a recent court battle where Google copied millions of books without permission and displayed samples of pages for anybody to read for free and they won that case on the basis of Fair Use Doctrine. And now they can't be bothered to work out/protect those same rights for their users, BS MF!

emperiox
emperiox

Actually it is clear cut. Music companies are the greediest SOB's ever. If I make a fan-made video of a game or compilations, and put music in the background from some bigshot artist...they can't do anything about it. It's covered under the Fair Use doctrine.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Well, goodbye YouTube! Hope Twitch will replace you. 8-\

shadowkratos774
shadowkratos774

I don't think they should be banned and I get LP's help sales, but i really don't get why they should be paid for them.

nazart81
nazart81

in my view, microtransactions in full price games are way worse bullshit than this.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

People come for the personality not the game so pull your head out of your ass because you're only getting free promotion, its because of these videos i probably spend more money than i should on games.

Talavaj
Talavaj

You wonder people only watch the let's plays and don't buy your games ? Well put some GODDAMN gameplay in them.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

STFU about this already you lets players who are getting paid are a bunch of leechers and nothing more. You don't care about video games all you care about is a paycheck from youtube and twitch I cant stand it when they call themselves "Content creators" what a bunch of lowlifes. 

jeremywm
jeremywm

@Thanatos2k I would like to use my youtube as proof that it is broken I would happy to go to court and show people how they have broken for example I got many of mine dismissed because I am using YouTube and Pandora to play in the background as I play and all the videos that have more than one song got cant be played in some country's but the videos with only one song is at appeal and I have many where one passes and the partner to it did not, the system is broken and needs to be torn down I will go to court and explain how they are fucking me I have already talked with a few game developers as will as Pandora and we have a case so sign me up lets stop this.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

@adrianjarcaThen EA will shift the blame on Obama. Then Obama shifts the blame on the Game Industry. Then the Gaming Industry shifts the blame on EA. And then the whole blame cycle starts over.

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

@obsequies well Nintendon't has been doing this since last year, so I'm not surprised

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@berserker66666I would argue that YouTube doesn't "take" the gun from you. They give it back to the original owner (who is now probably a zombie, cuz hey, they dropped a gun in the zombie apocalypse....idiot...), who then proceeds to use it for it's own zombie self.... Basically YouTube is arming zombies with guns...

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@awhite33Their website but not their content. They profit off of each monetized video. They profit immensely from it. Now they are taking people's content and giving the money to someone who didn't make the content. Violating laws in the process.


I do agree though, I think Google would be best put in its' place if everyone went somewhere else. Twitch TV is ready for all the help Google is giving it atm.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@BigFeefGoogle used to fight stuff like this though.  Now they just roll over and do whatever the publishers want.  So yes, it's Google's fault.


ISPs didn't stand for this shit when the MPAA came for them blaming them for pirated movies.  They correctly stated that they didn't upload anything and you should take it up with the users themselves.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@shadowkratos774 Most shouldn't, imo. There are some LP'ers who do a lot of work creating guides and so forth - but then there are a lot of LP'ers who do literally nothing but upload raw footage of games, and AT BEST, speak or write a few useless annotations/descriptions.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@Talavaj The funny thing is, there's a positive correlation between Let's Plays and number of people playing the game, whether or not they bought it or pirated it or whatever. If I hadn't seen Chuggaaconroy's Let's Play of Okami, for instance, I would probably not have bought it.

It's not the problem with the contents of the game per se, rather the copyright surrounding it.

chuckles471
chuckles471

@Talavaj That's the same kind of argument pirates give "I would buy it, but you didn't make the a game good(even though I played the game from start to finish)".


If you aren't that interested in games without a lot of game play, stop showing them any interest, if you dislike them that much.  Do you honestly think that games companies don't look at the views of let's plays?

john_matrix8953
john_matrix8953

@HonorOfGod Aren't you the same troll that trolls every Nintendo article to bash a good company like Nintendo? Isn't it also surprising to see you defend a greedy company like Google while bash a good one like Nintendo? 

SexyJazzCat
SexyJazzCat

@HonorOfGod I don't know about you, but i follow a lot of Lets Players and I find their commentary very enjoyable. It's come to the point where Youtube and its Lets Players have completely replaced TV for me. Saying that Lets Players are "leeches" is an absolute flawed and ignorant statement. These LP'ers have an audience, and their audience keep watching their content. Why? It's quality. There's nothing more to it. The people who follow these LP'ers don't give 2 shits what they play, as long as their content stands up to par with their quality. Personally, i want these people to get their paychecks, otherwise i would have nothing to watch in my spare time.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@HonorOfGod You know there are these people who do critique and review? There aren't just let's players in the game video community, but also reviewers, such as Angry Joe and TotalBiscuit. Both their works are covered by Fair Use law, and Google is essentially stripping those who make legitimate content with this crap.

john_matrix8953
john_matrix8953

@DarkNeoBahamut Well, troll you ignored the fact that Nintendo quickly reserved the decision because their copyright DEPARTMENT doesn't know what the fuck their doing without Nintendo's consent. So I'm surprised. 

BigFeef
BigFeef

@Thanatos2k @BigFeef They fought; they lost. Remember when everyone was up in arms when the provisions in SOPA were made public? Well, many of those provisions are now the law of the land in the USA and many European countries, and very soon in a lot of others thanks to the backroom dealings at the recent WTO summit in Bali. When WikiLleaks tried to raise a stink about it; nobody seemed to care this time around. A sign of the very good smear campaign they've been running against Assange; if anything else.


You expect Google and the larger ISPs to continue to pay millions a year just in legal fees to continue the fight just so you and I can enjoy unrestricted access to whatever we want on the internet? It's not just their fight, it's also our fight; and we haven't been doing our part.

The_Last_Paladi
The_Last_Paladi

@chuckles471@TalavajHmm, not quite buying the "let's play is like pirating argument." the whole purpose of a videogame is to actually play it, and that isn't happening with the let's play videos.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@DanielL5583 @HonorOfGod oh and the people who go around reporting what ever they see on N4G like a news channel with a simple gameplay video are also lame.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@DanielL5583 @HonorOfGod As much as I like AngryJoe I just cant stand most of the YouTube partners who are nothing but lazy people that simply upload gameplay videos. I sub Joe and love his work and the fact that he puts so much into it with all his acts and ext. just makes watching his show worth the while... but not the simple minded lets players... they don't deserve a dime.

zeekybookydoog
zeekybookydoog

@BigFeef@Thanatos2k"Then realize that the US has already signed into law many of those provisions already; and then pulled off a major coup in a series of backroom meetings to get many other countries to also agree to those same provisions in exchange for certain concessions for the WTO's Bali Package."

Gonna need a source on that. I've been following this TPP shitfest. I check up on the EFF's website regularly and get emails from multiple pro-internet activist groups. If what you said is true then why haven't these groups told us yet?

BigFeef
BigFeef

@Thanatos2k @BigFeef  Oh yeah; you really think so? Look up TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and TTIP (Transatlantic Free Trade Area) and then look at their many provisions that deal with intellectual property rights. Then realize that the US has already signed into law many of those provisions already; and then pulled off a major coup in a series of backroom meetings to get many other countries to also agree to those same provisions in exchange for certain concessions for the WTO's Bali Package.


Did you really think all those millions of dollars spent to bribe members of Con... er; I mean 'political contributions received through lobbying campaigns' by members of Congress was just going to waste after SOPA fell through? Think again.

Red_hot_smasher
Red_hot_smasher

@chuckles471@The_Last_Paladi@TalavajBut doesn't that just mean we're punishing overly cinematic wankfests for having little gameplay? Sounds like a good thing to me, though of course it doesn't to an industry specializing in mostly that.

chuckles471
chuckles471

@The_Last_Paladi @chuckles471 @Talavaj  Reading comprehension needed.  At no point did I make that blanket statement "all let's play is like pirating."


He was saying that games without a lot game play are watched because you don't need to play them to get the whole experience.  Which is essentially pirating with games with little game play as the story and the video are the main assets of the game.


I get games with a lot of gameplay, you don't get the whole experience.

VelvetKevorkian
VelvetKevorkian

@HonorOfGod@DanielL5583You're confusing the style & quality of the content with the overall idea of Let's Play videos. By this same logic, even AngryJoe's videos should be affected just like all the rest of the shittier videos because they contain the same gameplay, just different presentation.