The End Times Are Nigh As YouTube Mounts Copyright Crusade

Over the past few hours, I’ve seen developers from around the Twittersphere tweeting, sometimes even in a personal capacity, urging YouTube users who have experienced copyright claims to let them know.

What’s going on?

In what is being referred to as ‘Judgment Day’, YouTube have finally lost the plot and are allowing games developers to issue copyright infringement claims on videos that feature footage from their games. I spoke about this in a previous article, but it looks like the situation is reaching DEFCON 1.

Reading comments, it seems as though warnings of copyright infringements are appearing and removing videos from YouTube for thousands of users – some monetised – for having these clips in them. Absolutely incomprehensibly ridiculous.

The Escapist’s Jim Sterling talks about how he’s had videos flagged which include trailer/b-roll footage which were provided by the publishers themselves. At a glance, it’s hard to see how this absurdly self-harming and nonsensical campaign got green-lighted in the first place.

The amount of videos uploaded by users is monumental, and the amount of advertising these games get through Let’s Play videos and the like is colossal – the thought of shutting them down from the developer’s perspective is far beyond impractical, verging on damaging.

I’ve said it before, and Jim mentions it too – if massive games developers are going to weaponise YouTube’s copyright laws in order to source the money for themselves, so be it. Smiles will be collectively wiped from faces when the same YouTubers who used their passion to make these videos start making them about games from developers who want the publicity.

Let’s not forget, these channel owners make a living from these videos through advertising revenue and other related sources. This isn’t just a casual copyright purge, this is actively halting people’s income.

I should be quick to establish the fact that most developers seem to be in opposition to this motion. If you are affected by these issues, it’s best to hop on Twitter and track down the developers themselves – lots of them are actively encouraging people to appeal and giving them their backing.

Thank goodness for that – I was starting to think the world was going insane.

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