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Nintendo claiming ad revenue of YouTube Let's Plays

posted 16 May 2013, 11:52 by Subik Khawaja   [ updated 8 Mar 2014, 12:41 ]

Let's Plays - full game playthroughs with commentary - have become a good way to see what a game is like before buying it. Nintendo is apparently claiming the creators' ad revenue for featuring Nintendo content. This works by YouTube's Content ID matching which places ads on a video, and sends the ad revenue to the copyright owner instead of the original creator (instead of removing the video).

Zack Scott, a Let's Player, had his Luigi's Mansion 2 videos matched by Nintendo. He posted this on his Facebook page as an open letter to Nintendo: 

"I think filing claims against LPers is backwards. Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don't need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?

Since I started my gaming channel, I've played a lot of games. I love Nintendo, so I've included their games in my line-up. But until their claims are straightened out, I won't be playing their games. I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers."

Gaming site GameFront has contacted Nintendo about this, and got a reply from a Nintendo rep who confims that this decision is official:

"As part of our on-going 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."

Do you think Nintendo are doing the right thing by claiming LP'ers' revenue? Let us know in the forums.