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Stavros Dimou

Banning game related videos from Youtube for Copyright abuse.

9 posts in this topic

Yesterday and today a big stream of videos started surfacing from youtubers and game journalists,saying that video game publishers have gone in a spree of shutting down youtube videos of let's plays,cutscenes,and even trailers,claiming copyright infringement.

 

I'm really curious to see if this tactic is going to have any positive outcome for the publishers and developers.

It seems at least weird,that what indies are trying hard to achieve,publicity,those who already have it act like they are against it.

Does somebody have an estimated guess on how exactly limiting publicity is a good thing for a publisher ?

 

As far as I'm concerned,video games aren't like movies or music,where someone can have the full experience by watching youtube. Perhaps if a song is on youtube,someone whenever he wants to listen to a song he might just get get it to play from youtube instead of buying the cd and playing it through his hi-fi,so in that case youtube could actually be cutting revenue from the creators and publishers of songs. But a game can't be played through youtube. When you watch a video on youtube of a game,you don't get the experience of playing a game. Watching someone else play a game isn't the same as playing it yourself. Have publishers really discovered that there are people who instead of buying a game,or even pirating it to play it themselves,they feel more satisfied by watching someone else play it ? And have we reached a point were watching someone else using a product,is considerred piracy for the one who only watches someone else do it,without having paid ?

If watching someone else play a game is considered and dealt the same way as piracy does,what does that have to say about the medium ?

 

And since SONY's new big feature for PS4 is letting a gamer watch another gamer play a game,does that mean that the big publishers consider that SONY is advocating piracy too ?

 

Personally I can't believe that this medium is getting so underrated that someone could claim that the action of playing a game is so bad that someone would prefer to watch somebody else doing it than do it his own self. As a person who loves playing video games,and has plans for making games,I find this offensive.

What about you ?

Edited by Stavros Dimou
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Publishers have not been pulling videos from Youtube - a quick look at the news will tell you this (always google before you post and cite references ;)! ). Youtube has a new algorithm that is supposed to determine if audio, specifically music, has been uploaded without permission. Games that use licensed music have as a result inadvertently been caught by this.

 

If you want to point blame here, you'll have to point it at Google and record labels. Game publishers are unlikely to care about game videos on the web, and indeed a few are at least proactively trying to get the newly banned content back online.

 

Sauce:

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/publishers-ready-to-engage-youtube-in-copyright-battle/0125642

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I'm sorry I watched Jim Sterling's Jimquisition,and Boogie2988's new episode and they both said that it was the publishers who took off their videos from Youtube.

And it made me curious as to why would the publishers do that,what was the thinking behind it.

If it's a Google problem I think it's easier to comprehend,but still,I didn't expected these journalists to lie.

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Sounds like they've also too hastily jumped to conclusions. To put things in perspective, neither game publishers nor Google really have anything to gain by removing game videos from Youtube. I suspect the key issue really is content licensed from the music industry, and as a result video games videos have been impacted by Google policy and software changes.

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I'd say they want a share of the revenue of these videos (if not all of it). Complete speculation though.

 

Now that I think of it, what I said was just stupid. They probably want some way to allow only approved content to come out, aka censorship.

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I'd say that the driving factor is that Google doesn't want to risk being sued by the record industry for copyright infringment of these songs. Because no matter how you look at it, and no way how they turn their terms of service, it is nevertheless Google who is doing a million-times copyright infringment by copying the data onto the network and sending it to the end-user's computer.

 

They can somehow mitigate this risk by having a "report copyright violation" button and asserting that they block infringing videos in a timely manner (read as: due diligence). However, in the end, all it takes is a judge who agrees with the doing-millions-of-illicit-copies point of view. It is a risk, and the smaller the risk, the better.

 

Obviously, the person uploading the movie is culpable in the first place, too, but that person is much, much harder to get hold of, and a lawsuit is much less lucrative. Why go through the trouble of persuing a person and filing a lawsuit for 500 dollars of damages if you can instead sue Google for 500 dollars multiplied with 2 million hits?

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Interesting, I remember seeing a rant by TotalBiscuit a couple months ago about this very thing - IIRC, he was putting most of the blame on certain publishers (and Google for being complacent), and argued that the motive was indeed censorship. I can certainly see the motive of a publisher wanting to censor a harsh critque of their game. More generally, the DMCA and YouTube (and similar) has been a heated topic for a while. There are many that feel it is too easy for copyright holders to get content taken down for censorship or other reasons, and that there is little or no penalty to these copyright holders even when the takedowns have no merit.
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Sounds like that a heap of video game soundtracks have been added to YouTube's "ContentID" system, and in the recent blitz, they've run the system over almost every video instead of just doing random checks.

 

Also, if a game has licensed a particular song (e.g. think of the radio stations in GTA), then the system isn't going to be able to tell the difference between you simply pirating that song, or your showing footage from a game that includes that song... As far as "ContentID" is concerned, you've simply uploaded that song, so you are bad. You're punished until you prove your innocence by filing a dispute against the claim, explaining that you're not pirating a song, but showing footage recorded from a video game under fair use -- and that the game itself has licensed that song.

 

From mike's link above:

Under YouTube rules, copyright claimants automatically start receiving advertising revenues from videos in which they report violations.

Well, that seems like a great way to incentive spurious infringement claims... Even if you dispute it and win, the spurious claimant gets to steal some of your advertising revenue!

 

I've had a particular recording from a game taken down from YouTube twice, by the same company (Telstra), who aren't even associated in any way with the game developer. They just said that the video is infringing their copyright. I disputed it, twice, explaining that it's just footage recorded from a game, and got the video restored... but in each instance, it took about a month for the dispute to be resolved! If I was actually a partnered content producer, making money from advertising, I would've been pissed!

Edited by Hodgman
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And since SONY's new big feature for PS4 is letting a gamer watch another gamer play a game,does that mean that the big publishers consider that SONY is advocating piracy too ?

It seems like you're trying to be sarcastic and I do not appreciate this type of inquiry. I may have a response but this line and the exasperated manner you asked questions makes it difficult to disclose any new knowledge. Please try to state everything in a calm collected manner and avoid jumping to conclusions. You'll get a response like this from a PR.

 

Youtube is Google's sandbox.

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I disputed it, twice, explaining that it's just footage recorded from a game, and got the video restored... but in each instance, it took about a month for the dispute to be resolved! If I was actually a partnered content producer, making money from advertising, I would've been pissed!

 

No, if you were a partnered content producer you would sue Telstra for harmful interference. laugh.png

 

Seriously, though: This kind of thing (not paying any random reporter, but making reporting dead easy for every nutter) is necessary to fend off the "due diligence" trap. Otherwise they'd find themselves in court every day of the year, on millions of cases.

 

Sadly, judges are even more stupid than politicians, and they do not easily apprehend that you have a hard time of controlling what people who are completely unrelated to your organization post or upload to your site, or what other websites that are entirely unknown to you might publish.

 

I remember this then-famous case when Heise (one of the leading publishers of computer magazines in Germany) was dragged to court and sentenced for publishing neonazi propaganda. What had really happened was that they had a public user forum where some disturbed guy posted a link to some website which said some stuff that was presumably not very... philantrophist. Heise did of course moderate these forums, but apparently failed to detect and remove the offending link within due time (whatever "due" is, most probably before it's posted).

 

Since that time, pretty much every German website has a disclaimer that they do not consent with anything that is displayed on any website they link to (what an absurd statement!) and that they have no control over other websites that they do not know about (again, what a bullshit...). It's deprives every logic or common sense, but it is necessary because judges are so fucking stupid, and in the end you are delivered to their grace.

 

Now, being the maintainer of a site like Youtube which lets users upload videos makes this issue a million times harder for you. In the end, you are responsible for what is on your site, and you are responsible for what you distribute.

In the case of videos/music, this can mean that you are guilty of piracy, because technically you are committing the copyright breach, not the end user downloading the content (also, the end user may have the advantage of plausible deniability -- they can argue that if they download something from a well-known, reputable source like Google, then they can assume it is legal).

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One of the issues is the use of "Library music" either for games themselves or for game trailers.  When you get a piece of music from a library, there are different prices depending on what the usage will be.  The cheaper licenses do not include a "right of public performance."  The ones that include "right of public performance" are by far the most expensive.

 

You may think--well, that's not a problem for my game/game trailer!  It's not like this little trailer will be performed by Video Games Live, or played in a concert....

 

However, a youtube (or any other) streaming playback is, according to US law, a "performance".  

 

So if you're going to use library music for your game and/or game trailer to put on YouTube, you need to make sure that the license you get includes the "performance right".

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