Kevin Smith blasts YouTube over copyright policy after gamer outcry

Clerks director says creators are "not hurting anybody with clips of video games."

Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob director Kevin Smith has spoken out to voice his support for gaming video creators in the ongoing controversy over YouTube's recently expanded copyright policy. Speaking on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in Canada, Smith said YouTube's policy is negatively impacting creators' freedom of expression.

"On YouTube they're starting to cull all the these video game clips," Smith said. "And I know a lot of people who have built careers off of taking video game footage and running commentary under it or reviewing it. And so now YouTube's gone like 'You don't have the rights to do this.' And they're starting to pull back on the freedom of expression people have been enjoying on YouTube for a while."

Smith pointed out that various video game companies, including Capcom and Blizzard, had pledged to support creators who have had their videos flagged for copyright infringement. However, Smith acknowledged that doing so is probably in the companies' best interest, as it acts as free promotion for their games.

Overall, Smith said the Let's Play and walkthrough videos fans are creating are harmless.

"They're not hurting anybody with clips of video games," he said. "Don't stamp down someone's creativity; even if it's someone else's creativity with other people's material, because you make found art out of art that you find."

Smith also addressed reports of government snooping, after it was revealed that American and British agents infiltrated World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Xbox Live to hunt terrorists. He said he's not concerned about being watched because he has nothing to hide.

"What are they gonna know? He looks at weird porn? I tell people that all the time [laughs]. So I'm not too afraid; I've got nothing to hide," Smith said.

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.

One developer, Lars Doucet of Level Up Games, is taking a stand. He launched a campaign this week letting video creators know which publishers allow their videos to be monetized and which don't.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

250 comments
mrhappy702
mrhappy702

They restrict content not because of infringement, but to protect "approved' means of review, etc. The "approved" channels are continually threatened by an independent start up, so they "lobby" such companies as YouTube to prevent competition. Nothing new and is the bane of free market. At bottom, established companies hate competition.

zenstrata
zenstrata

In regards to government spying, it is not about having nothing to hide.  It is about the government targeting people or specific groups because of their potential political affiliations.


For an easy example, look at China or world war 2 Germany, where if you object to the current political regime, you are often sent to prison, tortured, or worse.


It does not take much for a government to start doing that once it has access to so much personal information.  All it takes is one unscrupulous official in the wrong position who then attempts to insure his place of power by eliminating or suppressing all opposing viewpoints.  That is the problem with invasion of privacy.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Out of anyone in the movie industry, Kevin Smith is the only director that seems like he's never lost touch with his fanboy roots.  Good for him.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

The argument that "I've got nothing to hide" does not give anyone the right to snoop into your private life and hobbies. That's the equivalent of keeping your front door open so complete random strangers can come and take a peep at you for no reason. Privacy is a right, protect it!

winshot
winshot

Now that Xbox One and PS4 has their own video streaming services, they decided to kick the barrel and shunt out Google from hosting their walkthroughs, I guess google is feeling the heat from them...

lion2447
lion2447

Not all games have demos, so I've used Youtube alot to see how a game looks and how it will play.  Many of my game purchases came from being able to see how the games will play.  I guess I may be missing out on a lot of good games in the future.

jflkdjs
jflkdjs

Is Stroumboulopoulos actually a real name?!!

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

Everyone go to twitch or Dailiymotion or some one start up new website, maybe with kick starter, would be happy to donate, FUCK GOOGLE

DrKill09
DrKill09

"He said he's not concerned about being watched because he has nothing to hide."


I hate that false logic.  People throw that shit at me all the time.  Just cause you have nothing to hide does not mean you'd walk around in public with a t-shirt that has your name, marital status, age, social security number, bank accounts, passwords, sexual orientation, and political affiliation written on it.


That bullshit statement misses the point entirely.  THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPY ON YOU WITHOUT A WARRANT.  4th Amendment ring a bell?!

dethtrain
dethtrain

Isn't all this stuff protected anyway under federal copyright law? All these videos are considered "derivative works" right?

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

95% of the time the reason I even go to YouTube is to see some video game tips, walkthroughs and gameplay vids.  It actually helps SELL a video game seeing it on YouTube!  Fuck em.  They will lose a shit load of gamers going there from now on.  This policy totally hurts YouTube in the long run.


PS- Does Kevin Smith where that hockey jersey everywhere… or is it because he's in Canada?

Judzilla
Judzilla

"Stroumboulopoulos"


Gesundheit!

frylock1987
frylock1987

Never mind the fact that his studio has movie clips of his movies pulled from youtube.daily.

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

 The policy is stupid, and then again, for the majority so is youtube. I rarely if ever use it, and when i do its for music listening/learning purposes but that's about the only legit use I have found for it, so i suppose i don't much have an opinion on this either way. If/when I rarely have a game question I look it up on gamefaqs anyway I don't go to youtube. I also agree with Kevin Smith in that I don't care who's spying on me playing video games because I too have nothing to hide and can see how chatting/messaging services in games especially like WoW could be used for nefarious purposes, so if they wanna listen in on our fart jokes, and which Star Trek captain is the best (Picard) who cares. Is it an infringement on our freedom, yea probably, but news flash true freedom doesn't exist even in Merica' so whats the difference?

blackace
blackace

The policy is so stupid. I could see if people were actually profitting from the videos on YouTube, but they aren't. No one is make watchthrough videos and selling them on EBay. Why remove all this great information that actually makes other gamers want to play your games? It's just silly. Game companies who do this crap with actually lose fans and support more then anything else.

hyksiu
hyksiu

I live on youtube so it sucks for me that my favourite videos are going to be deleted...

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

daily motion is the future 


as much as linux is the feature of gaming....

LuzerGS
LuzerGS

Cool dude is cool. Peace it.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

personally I think this whole game copywrite policy is a blind, the majority of game publishers want gamers to share videos its basically free publicity, whats the betting Google will reverse this decision and in the process whilst they're soaking up all the praise for reversing it, they hope everyone forgets they've been forcing everyone to join Google+, collaborating with the NSA and violating our privacy for years for their own financial gain.

kessel21
kessel21

youtube's been a joke for several year's now.  it's an unwatchable mess.  i try and create videos to share with my family with a song playing underneath and it's flagged.  meanwhile, i can google any song or video clip (or entire movie for that matter) and none of those videos are flagged.  their policies make zero sense and i only go there if i have to pull a reference.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Was he the one who was too fat to sit in the seats on that airplane?

zenstrata
zenstrata

This has already begun in the United States where the current administration used the IRS to purposefully target specific political groups for IRS audits.  Not because they suspected foul play, but because the current administration wanted to harass their competition!  For information specifics look at the very recent IRS scandals that were in the news just this year regarding this issue.


Letting the government get free access to peoples personal lives is never appropriate and should not be allowed.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@J_Dangerously True. I may not always like what he writes and/or creates but the guy has managed to stay grounded through the years. Good on him for taking a public stand.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@winshotIt was Google's decision to implement this service, no company or publisher explicitly asked them for this.

frylock1987
frylock1987

@WolfgarTheQuiet

You really dont think Dailymotion or Twitch wont become like the current Youtube when millions of people leave that shit hole, for these two equally shitty shitholes?

simon1812
simon1812

@DrKill09why is it false logic? it is ok for the ppl to distrust the government, but it isnt ok for the government to show the same attitude toward the ppl? thats fine, just the next time there is a terrorist attack and a lot of ppl dies, before going and saying "the government didnt do enough" then remebember  "we dont let the government do enough".

btw your example of ..."walk around in public with a t-shirt that has your name, marital status, age, social security number, bank accounts, passwords, sexual orientation, and political affiliation written on it." ... now thats false logic.

focuspuller
focuspuller

@DrKill09 You're right, but I don't live life the Kevin Smith way. He's not the sharpest of minds at the best of times.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@dethtrain The problem is Google has no balls.  If they really gave a damn, they would hire a team of lawyers to protect the people who made YouTube a success in the first place.


Even though I hate what they've become, AVGN and Nostalgia Critic MADE YouTube.  Without them, it would not have been such a success.

frylock1987
frylock1987

@The-Longshot

"
I don't care who's spying on me playing video games because I too have nothing to hide"


Its assholes like you that are a huge part of why America has been pussified.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@blackace If I go on YouTube to find help on a game and it's not there, guess what? I no longer play that game. So this only hurts game developers.

kuda001
kuda001

@wEEman33_IV  Tell 'em, Steve Dave!, Hollywood Babble-On & Smodcast are pretty awesome podcasts.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@de-astroturfer I never had to join Google+. When they started using it for Tube I stopped using Tube. I have G+ but that was long before the changes.

Oni
Oni

@redskinStu He wasn't too fat. Southwest flight attendants were being arrogant. He then went to twitter about the BS actions of Southwest and from there the media took over and blew it out of proportion like everything else.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@focuspuller@mav_destroyer Who gets to decide that? Just because it's not that important to you doesn't make my point any less (or more) valid. It's still a very serious matter, especially since a lot of people have an indifferent attitude towards it.



If you want me to latch on to the other point, well, there's not much to say apart from the usual "Youtube sucks, we need an alternative service". 

Someone made an interesting observation though. What's happening to Youtube now would be the norm everywhere had SOPA/PIPA been passed. Looks like even though the government failed to pass them as law they're still implementing it anyway. How ironic since Google was among those sites that participated in an internet black out in protest of SOPA/PIPA.



Sorry if I ranted, I hope this comment is more to your satisfaction :)

winshot
winshot

@mav_destroyer@winshot All game companies specifically might be complaining google/youtube to take their game videos down and this time they might have made google feel the pressure... Who knows?

frylock1987
frylock1987

@HartPuncher@frylock1987

He owns the films he wrote and directed, seeing as he still gets profits from dvd/blu ray sales along with ad revenue when they play his movies on TV.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@frylock1987@The-Longshot Exactly.  All these people who say "Oh, I don't care if I'm spied on.  I have nothing to hide" are why the government is stripping away more and more of our rights every day.  It's sickening.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@winshot The claims system used to be done manually. A company complains about a video and then Youtube staff would either flag it or take it down completely. This new system is probably half Google being pressured and half being lazy.


One thing for sure, a lot of publishers were just as surprised as the users by the sheer amount of claims that were suddenly made on their behalf.

HartPuncher
HartPuncher

@frylock1987 @HartPuncher He directed and wrote the films and was paid by Mirmax to do so. Sadly in the end Mirmax and Disney ultimately have a say in what goes on what. Kevin Smith doesn't pay himself to make the movies Harvey Weinstein does.