Nintendo to make profit from fanmade YouTube videos containing its IP

May 20, 2013

YouTube is a wonderful place to go if you want to see what a game is like before you decide whether or not to buy it. YouTubers around the world upload “Let’s Play...” videos, which are essentially free advertising for games. They allow potential buyers to see the game in action before purchasing it. However, YouTubers who monetize their videos to collect advertising revenue may not be uploading anything Nintendo-related in the future.

Nintendo has issued a “content ID match claim” on YouTube videos that contain audio or video (of a certain length) from its games. Essentially, this means that Nintendo will now be collecting the revenue made from advertisements that appear before and after these videos, and, in turn, the creators of these videos will receive nothing.

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What does this mean? It means that well-known YouTubers are going to stop making videos that contain Nintendo’s games. Why should they waste their time making “Let’s Play...” videos of Nintendo’s games when they can make videos of thousands of non-Nintendo games and continue to make money off of them? Nintendo may not realize it, but this is a step in the wrong direction.

Zack Scott, a YouTuber who is just shy of 200,000 subscribers, announced on his Facebook page that he will no longer be playing Nintendo’s games in his videos.

“I won’t because it jeopardizes my channel’s copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers (‘Let’s Play...’ video creators).”

However, those YouTubers who aren’t as well known and who don’t monetize their videos will probably continue to make LPs that include Nintendo’s IP. This new “content match ID claim” doesn’t mean the end of Nintendo LPs, but it does mean that your favorite, popular YouTubers may choose to not waste their time playing Nintendo’s games in their videos because they don’t stand to make a profit from them.

Is it wrong for Nintendo to take money away from YouTube video creators who spend a lot of time and effort creating videos that, essentially, promote their games for free? Or, is it okay for Nintendo to want money from the ad revenue of videos that contain their games because it's their intellectual property?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.