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Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Capcom offer support after huge spike in YouTube copyright claims

[UPDATE] Publishers pledge to help those affected by recent surge of unexplained copyright claims; YouTube issues statement.

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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a YouTube representative provided a statement on the matter to GameSpot.

"We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of [Multi Channel Networks]," the YouTube representative said. "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 Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid."

The original story is below.

Major publishers Blizzard, Ubisoft, Capcom, and Deep Silver have extended a helping hand to YouTube presenters this week after various producers reported a huge spike in copyright claims. This uptick in claims is believed to be the result of a new system that automatically detects content that is determined to be in breach of copyright.

Various YouTubers reported a huge spike in copyright claims from their walkthrough and Let's Play videos this week. Enough strikes can mean a channel will be shut down, bringing to an end an opportunity to monetize content through the Google-owned video site.

The four major publishers offered help to users facing the copyright claims. Blizzard wrote through the Diablo Twitter channel, "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. We are working on a long term solution, but that is the quickest way to solve issues immediately."

Meanwhile, Capcom said, "YouTubers: Pls let us know if you've had videos flagged today. These may be illegitimate flags not instigated by us. We are investigating." Deep Silver international community manager Maurice Tan wrote, "If you are a YouTuber & get copyright claims on a walkthrough/LP of Deep Silver games, let me know. Especially if the claim is not from us."

Internet entertainment network Machinima also was apparently unaware of the any new YouTube policies regarding copyrighted material. "I share your frustration. Had we been informed, you would have heard. Got your backs and will be on the grind until it's resolved =)," a Machinima representative said on Twitter.

Lastly, Ubisoft issued the following statement on the matter.

"If you happen to be hit with claims on any of your Ubisoft content, it may be that some of the audio is being auto-matched against the music cataloge on our digital stores - it might show up as being claimed by our distributor 'idol'. In such cases please take the following steps and we can get it cleared for you.

  • 1. Leave the video live for now.

  • 2. Send us the URL of the affected video and let us know who flagged it.

  • 3. We'll get it cleared hopefully same day."

Walkthrough and Let's Play videos are somewhat problematic from a copyright perspective, as the presenters do not in fact own the content they are promoting. The presenters behind some of the most popular channels, who can earn thousands of dollars per month through advertising, claim that their videos fall under the fair use doctrine.

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