Nintendo lays advert claim to Let's Play videos

If you plan to post a Let's Play video of a Nintendo game, remember this: Nintendo gotsta get paid. A GameFront report with Nintendo response reveals that videos which exceed a certain length could be bookended by advertisements from the company.

The "content ID match " process allows for much worse: it could automatically block videos on a regional or worldwide basis. That's not what Nintendo's going for, according to its statement:

"As part of our ongoing push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property."

It does mean, however, that the videos no longer produce ad revenue for their creators. Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell argues that Nintendo is shooting itself in the foot.

"A new media for talking about games has emerged, which comprises an audience far in excess of existing channels," Bithell wrote on his Develop blog. "This media is talking about your stuff a lot. Why curb it? Why dissuade those taking part in talking about how much they love you? Would you charge a celebrity for tweeting about how much they liked your game? Would you demand ad revenue from a game site for running a review?"

He says sales of his game increased eightfold from launch day when it was featured by YouTube personality TotalBiscuit. Would TotalBiscuit have made the video--and jumpstarted Thomas Was Alone's sales--if he wouldn't receive its ad revenue?

Of course, Bithell isn't a giant corporation with its own marketing department. Do you think Nintendo was right to clamp down on its intellectual property, or is it a shortsighted move?


  • Fireninjastar - May 25, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Stop bawwing. Nintendo's actually putting the money to good use (hence: The recent Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D public even that was amazing and hilarious), so think of it as a charity~
  • Aquasol - May 18, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    I'm not seeing much of the controversy, considering they're no longer blocking any of the videos, but instead having ads placed at some point within. And YT ads are usually one-shot things you can skip after 5-10 secs.
  • shawksta - May 18, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    I haven't really thought about the issue On one hand, it's a dick move, and can really hurt advertisements that are otherwise free. However on the other more realistic side, It's a copyright law nobody ever listens too, other companies have outright deleted and banned anyone from doing it while Nintendo is only really stopping people who think they can make money out of sitting down and playing a game while talking. There are tons are LPers who do it for the fun of it and don't expect money, and frankly the only people who DO deserve the money are people who kick their butts off of series featuring games and review places and such that take effort, not just simply sitting down, playing a game and expecting money out of it all of a sudden, that's like telling a restraunt to pay you just to eat there.
  • AtlanteanLancer - May 17, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Nintendo is just as out-of-touch as always.
  • brickman409 - May 16, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    definitely not the best move. Let's play videos already advertise their products for free, so it's ridiculous to take away ad revenue from people who make them. But at least they do not block them entirely, even though they have the right to do so.
  • thefreakysurgeon - May 16, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    As a Let's Player myself, this pisses me off. Why can't they accept the fact that Let's Playing is in a way free advertising? Although putting video game videos on the Internet with no permission has always been a touchy issue, the ones who take the time to make the videos are making them entirely for personal use and have no interest (or have ever had any interest) in undermining Nintendo or its revenue. I can see why Nintendo is doing this, to protect its copyrighted products, characters, concepts, etc., but without these Let's Play videos I wouldn't have become a fan of certain Nintendo franchises (EarthBound being the first one to come to mind). Without Chuggaaconroy's EarthBound, Mother 1, and Mother 3 LPs, I wouldn't have become a Mother fan or would've ever touched any of the games. The same goes for Okami. Without Chugga's Okami LP, I wouldn't have played it and never would have experienced the sheer awesomeness the game truly is.
  • Talvari - May 16, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    Was wondering when an article would appear here about it. Must suck especially if you're a nintendo dedicated LPer or something. Even more so if you're getting paid, or were getting paid for it. It's a pretty crappy move that i wouldn't expect nintendo to make but i guess at the end of the day copyright is copyright. Sucks : |
  • Sy87 - May 16, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    That's sad. Sometimes those video can help with sales I looked up games I saw on YouTube. This just makes them look very greedy for blocking out such stuff. I wonder if not showing publicly is part of the license agreement?
  • BladedFalcon - May 16, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    They aren't blocking anything, instead they're taking the revenue those posters would normally get for them. Which is still pretty fucking scummy if you ask me.
  • Sy87 - May 16, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    For a time they did. I had a friend that made lets play Mario party games pretty much the only ones for awhile then they were are gone. She had a whole channel just for that and poof gone. Copyright infringement and stuff.
  • BladedFalcon - May 16, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    Hrm, that sucks :/
  • BladedFalcon - May 16, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    That's... a pretty dickish move, honestly. Sure, they might not be blocking the content, and sure, those videos are made from the games Nintendo created. But it's still original content that other people are putting their own effort and commentary into, effort that if people like it, deserves to go to THEM, not Nintendo. Fucking copyright laws...
  • ParagonT - May 16, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Fair use my friend, fair use....
  • Rub3z - May 16, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    What does fair use mean? I see it all the time appended to some videos I watch "Copyright used under Fair Use. If you think your copyright... " etc, etc.
  • ParagonT - May 17, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    Pretty much need to look up the specifics since there are a ton of things to look out for within it. It's usually used as a loose defense in the use of others Intellectual property, videos, pictures, games, etc.... It means that when used under certain conditions such as for commentary, parody's, reviews, news, and informational purposes; that it can be used without the creators permission (don't take my word as gospel, be sure to read it if your wanting to use it). That's why many review sites can exist, because they don't need the permission of the creators or holders most of the time. Although its very difficult to nail down what it can exactly apply, it can be used as a legitimate defense for using others work. Pretty much a rule of thumb is this: If your giving your services away for free, or if it is for an informational purpose, you may be covered. Usually problems arise with the addition of money, but as long as your legally using content, your fine to make profits from it. Music and the like is a whole different ball game.
  • Rub3z - May 17, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    Hmm okay. I see. Good to know. At some point in the future... maybe this summer... I was planning on starting my own sort of gameplay videos series. I'd record myself doing cool stuff or fucking around or gallantly pursuing my various exploits to obtain pointless achievements that make me feel better about myself, or something. Oh yeah. Music is definitely a very different ball game, I understand that much. Artists need their money, man!
  • avantguardian - May 17, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    lol artists need jobs, then money :)
  • TanookiMan - May 16, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    This could be bad for the Angry Video Game Nerd
  • redwing605 - May 16, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Na, not really, he hosts his videos on another site now.

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