News Article

Thomas Was Alone Creator Responds To Nintendo Claiming "Let's Play" Video Revenue

Posted by Damien McFerran

"Nintendo. You're doing it wrong"

Earlier today we reported on Nintendo's move to gain revenue from user-created "Let's Play" videos on YouTube. The company has apparently been filing content ID claims against certain users, a move which stops short of blocking accounts but means that Nintendo is able to make cash off advertisements which play during the clip, thereby depriving the creator of valuable cash.

This move has generated quite a stir on the internet, and Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell has added his voice to the chatter. Speaking in a piece on Develop, Bithell was highly critical of Nintendo's move, stating that it was ultimately counter-productive and would hurt the company in the long run:

Nintendo seems to be taking a very literal approach to the scene. "This guy is making money from videos of Mario, that should be our money". That is phenomenally silly.

The guy in question is most likely not making much; even the big guys only get a tiny amount of money by international hardware company standards. Nintendo really, really doesn't need their cash. By taking these sums away, they are massively dissuading them from continuing to make content from their game.

But why should they care about losing an LPer? Well, put bluntly, marketing. The audience of these videos are an excitable, tribal group that go out and spend a great deal of money on the games talked about.

I'll close with an example from Thomas Was Alone's sale history. The game launched in July on direct sales, and in November on Steam. The following Christmas I ran a 50 per cent off sale, which was doing rather well.

And then, on January 1st, Total Biscuit did a WTF video about the game. Thomas sold eight times more units than on launch day. In a matter of hours. I was outselling Assassin's Creed 3 on Steam.

Bithell ends his piece with the comment ""Nintendo. You're doing it wrong". Given his experience on the topic, it's hard to disagree; this seems like a very backwards thing to do, and could potentially impact Nintendo's presence on YouTube — and ultimately harm its commercial fortunes as a result.

Do you agree with Bithell viewpoint? Or should Nintendo be allowed to claim revenue on videos which are based entirely around its IP? Post a comment to tell us.

[via develop-online.net]

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User Comments (166)

WaLzgiStaff

#1

WaLzgi said:

And my comment from the last post still stands: "Several problems. One, he is using indie developers as an example, which Nintendo is not. Two, Nintendo does NOT need these videos for marketing. Three, Nintendo games sell because of the brand itself. Four, this is no job nor contract; if the LPers are living off this money, tough! No one promised them money upon the release of their videos, so they shouldn't rely on it."

ToastyYogurt

#3

ToastyYogurt said:

I got a question. If I turn on ad revenue and LP a non-Nintendo game and then LP a Nintendo game, do I make money off of the non-Nintendo game LP but not the Nintendo game one, or do I just not make money altogether?

@gaby_gabito: The ads are not about Nintendo, the ads are about whatever. Nintendo is merely forcing videos having a certain amount of Nintendo game footage to have ads, and if the user is making revenue off ads already, the revenue goes to Nintendo instead.

Pokefanmum82

#4

Pokefanmum82 said:

i disagree with him. it might impact sales a little bit but not that many people watch these videos. so i really don't understand the big deal. people shouldn't be making money off of gameplay videos for Nintendo's hard work. They should be making gameplay videos for the fun of it.

Ryno

#5

Ryno said:

If you a watching a video of someone playing a video game all the way through you are pathetic and need to find something else to do with your life.

Dinosaurs

#6

Dinosaurs said:

What seems backwards is people earning cash from doing something they agree not to as per youTube policy.

Nintendo is setting some controls and its their responsibility as a property owner to do so. They certainly could have done more by removal of the content.

DefHalan

#7

DefHalan said:

Nintendo isn't taking down videos so the marketing excuse is null. It won't affect videos of people that have been granted the rights to use the license for the game. The only problem I see is that people will now have to watch ads about Nintendo games while watching a Let's Play of a Nintendo game... if anything that is a great Marketing idea: this person is interested in New Super Mario Bros. U well why don't we show this person a 3D Mario ad

Wolfgabe

#8

Wolfgabe said:

@Pixelroy People fail to realize that Lprs don't really own the rights to the content and monetizing Youtube videos is against the rules in the Youtube Partnership program.

Peach64

#11

Peach64 said:

It's kind of sad that on the day EA of all people drop their online passes, Nintendo pulls a move like this. Yeah, it's their right to do so, nobody is denying that, but why are they doing it? The money they will make on these ads is nothing to them, but it's stirring up a lot of ill will towards Nintendo from gamers, which is exactly what they don't need right now. They have annoyed a lot of people today, people that are pretty hardcore Nintendo fans.

Peach64

#12

Peach64 said:

@DefHalan That's not how it works. Nintendo won't control the ads, they just get the payment for it. They won't be Nintendo ads.

banacheck

#13

banacheck said:

Nintendo themselves are not marketing the Wii U at the moment, and there is people on Youtube market Nintendo's games better than Nintendo themselves. Thats why the Youtube vids are not being taken down, Nintendo can kick back have people market there games at no cost and make money all at the same time. Alot of people would have seen these vids intentionally or unintentionally, and seeing Nintendo themselves will be using Youtube with there Nintendo Directs. Tells me they obviously think a lot of people will see it, which they will, so the same can be said for these other Youtube vids.

okamiki

#14

okamiki said:

@Peach 64 Great oaks from little acorns grow.
And why are people making a big fuss when microsoft does the same???

DarkCoolEdge

#15

DarkCoolEdge said:

I think Nintendo has a point and so does mr. Bithell. But in the end, it's Nintendo's loss as the later explains.

I will add that it makes big n seem greedy, and that's always bad.

GC-161

#16

GC-161 said:

First post nails it.

All these claims coming from LP'ers about how their videos "help sell Nintendo games" are as bogus as pro-piracy advocates who claim that software piracy helps sell consoles. There is absolutely nothing backing up what they claim in either case.

Everyone knows that people watch Lets Play Videos to see the VIDEOGAME FOOTAGE. Not so much about the commentary. Very few LP'ers manage to offer valuable commentary. Most of what you get, though is extremely annoying. To the point where users leave messages like "ST*U and let me enjoy the game!".

These LP'er that are saying that they will boycott Nintendo and not cover their games, well go ahead! Its not like others on Youtube will not take your place and do Let's Play FOR FREE. Lots of them would love to get the exposure. And a lot of them do it because they want to share their joy of videogaming. Not because they want to pay bills or leech off Nintendo's IP's.

The sense of entitlement these guys have is incredible. "Nintendo is greedy" they say. Again, LP'ers are saying what piracy advocates would say. They share so many things in common . LOL

HugoSmits

#17

HugoSmits said:

@DefHalan they might not remove the videos, but they will disappear. Since the creator is not able to earn anything, he might stop making videos.

I don’t see the problem with people making money with services they provide.

Should Nintendo control and own all money that Nintendolife.com makes off their ads ? Since the website is full with Nintendo IP/content ? I don’t see why we would have a different standard for websites then for web shows that feature Nintendo content.

banacheck

#18

banacheck said:

GC-161
are as bogus as pro-piracy advocates who claim that software piracy helps sell consoles.

Are you for really? piracy and youtube game videos are very much different, to coping a game and selling it to others to make money. Hay I just got a really good deal on a copied game, the only difference is you cannot actually play it, and it's only 5-10mins long with some guy speaking in the background, piracy my ####. Nintendo has had plenty of time to deal with this, in the long run it only hurts Nintendo themselves.

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#19

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

This situation is akin to Wrigley Field and the rooftop owners, if anyone knows what I am talking about. The rooftop owners are making money off something they had nothing to do with creating. These pathetic people on youtube are making money off something they had no hand in making. It's really that simple.

When I create something and put my entire life and time into it I feel the same way. It's mine, and no one else should be making money off of it. People have the right to enjoy it once they purchase it, but should not be making money off of it in any way. Get a job and make money in a legit manner, or create your own games and play them on youtube if that is what you want to do.

skjia

#20

skjia said:

So everyone's mad at Nintendo for not marketing and now they're mad at Nintendo for marketing?

Neko_Rukiafan

#22

Neko_Rukiafan said:

@GC-161 You do realize that LP videos are not a form of piracy. Making money off of them may be questionable, but that doesn't mean you should label it as piracy. :P

banacheck

#23

banacheck said:

Some dev's teams actually invite some of these youtubes to gaming events, so they can get coverage of the game. They also give them free copies of the game to give away on there youtube channel, because they know they are marketing there game for them. And these are the actually people making the game the developers, yet Nintendo sees it as wrong.

Vincent294

#24

Vincent294 said:

Come on. I can see what Nintendo means, but still. Do they need the money? Their promotion of the games they play only could help game sales which pays Nintendo that way.

Neko_Rukiafan

#25

Neko_Rukiafan said:

Heck they've filed claims against my own Youtube podcast series for using Nintendo footage to promote upcoming games, come on Nintendo. :|
At least they merely blocked the content until I removed it, but still. :|

Midnight3DS

#26

Midnight3DS said:

@WiiWareWave

No, but some LPers do this AND with pirated software. People should be grateful these aren't the dark days of the music industry sueing everybody. There is little for LPers to gripe about here.

devilwaffle

#27

devilwaffle said:

Well, I, who actually watches LPs and game reviews, Think this is a horrible idea on Nintendo's part. Is it wrong for them to do this? No. Do they have the right to do this? Absolutely, but the point is, I've bought dozens of games because they looked fun when I saw others play it. And if those people can no longer make videos because of funding issues, then I can't watch them play it, and ultimately, Nintendo loses sales from me, and anyone like me. I still love the company, but this is not a good thing.

Williaint

#28

Williaint said:

I guess this is the same problem as taxing people for wearing a T-shirt with "your" "brand" on it... Next it's going to be tattoos... some person has some "I Heart Yoshi" tattoo, and it's going to be some legal problem.

Bulbousaur

#29

Bulbousaur said:

Agreed with everything devilwaffle said. This is just going to looe sales. Even if it is a small amount, it is still sales lost.

Ryno

#30

Ryno said:

Good, Nintendo is giving these people a kick in the pants to get out of their parents basements and get a job.

WaLzgiStaff

#31

WaLzgi said:

@HugoSmits If I'm not mistaken, Nintendo Life is a non-profit website, meaning all money goes toward maintaining the site. Besides, they are providing a service for Nintendo directly rather than for their own benefit

theblackdragonAdmin

#33

theblackdragon said:

@lz: Hugo's point is that for NL to say that they aren't profiting from the website (that all funds go right back into server costs and whatnot) is the same as a LPer saying that all their funds go right back into better camera equipment or hiring a professional editor and whatnot. that said, we're already in regular contact with Nintendo, they know we're press and they regularly send out official images and updates for the press to use while working up articles. It's not really the same as a someone recording an entire playthrough of a game and posting it to YouTube in 47 parts, Nintendo isn't sending out that 47-part video to be posted anywhere.

GCGaming

#34

GCGaming said:

@LzQuacker "Several problems. One, he is using indie developers as an example, which Nintendo is not. Two, Nintendo does NOT need these videos for marketing. Three, Nintendo games sell because of the brand itself. Four, this is no job nor contract; if the LPers are living off this money, tough! No one promised them money upon the release of their videos, so they shouldn't rely on it."
One: What does size matter in this case?
Two: Nor do they need the money from the ads.
Three: Everything sells to someone because of their brand, but you can't completely deny that peer reviews and let's plays have a major impact on sales no matter how big or small the IP may be.
Four: It's not contracted by Nintendo, so why should they monetize on the work that went into it? Work that DID NOT involve the game, such as video editing and voice recording. If you make a living off of something, that means you're DOING SOMETHING TO MAKE THAT LIVING!

WaLzgiStaff

#35

WaLzgi said:

@GCGaming: One: Indies can benefit greatly from LPs. Nintendo doesn't need them
Two: Nor does the LPers that are not using original works to make money
Three: Nintendo has IGN, Nintendo Life, and many others for reviews. Videos aren't needed on Youtube
Four: But it's not original work. You are using someone else's IP to make money, which is against Youtube's ToS.

GCGaming

#36

GCGaming said:

@mumof2kids82 "not many people watch these videos."
Let's just look at some numbers, shall we?
Chuggaaconroy: 583,040 subscribers, 515,642,746 video views
NintendoCapriSun: 256,260 subscribers, 185,427,971 video views
ProtonJon: 134,976 subscribers, 39,356,978 video views
Even if you assume that EVERY subscriber of chugga's is also subscribed to NCS and Jon, You're still left with half a million people watching every video he made between just these three LPers.

WaLzgiStaff

#39

WaLzgi said:

@Bulby: Because Nintendo allowed the videos to happen. They can legally shut down the videos entirely if they wished to. But they didn't and instead don't want anyone profiting from their IPs. I guess this argument is the whole "Big bad company vs. innocent small group". This is still their original work, not the LPers. The LPer is not entitled to any money made from these videos.

HugoSmits

#40

HugoSmits said:

@theblackdragon it's not just playthroughs but also preview and reviews! Basically everything on youtube that has Nintendo content is subject to this (according to the Nintendo statement at least).

@LzQuacker I don't really get the 'Besides, they are providing a service for Nintendo directly rather than for their own benefit' part.

HugoSmits

#41

HugoSmits said:

@LzQuacker LPers are not entitled to any money.. but websites are ? why ?
Also there's a thing called 'derivative work'. I think (especially for the players that earn money with this) we state that their actual gameplay adds something to the expierence (I'm watching their video because they are good, and they enable me to learn how to play the game better).

In fact it would be really interesting to see any claims of copyright vs derivative work on this subject. Since most videos add gameplay, banners/graphics, and voice over. I wonder if you could successfully claim a LP is derivative work rather than copyright infringement.

Dinosaurs

#42

Dinosaurs said:

@Hugo I don't think it's as much of a standard as its YouTubes own policy on using copyrighted material. NL does not operate I'm sure outside of their agreements. Many Lets Play videos are in contrast to what the site outlines is appropriate regardless even of what Nintendo decides. So I think their actions here have been very favourable to content producers if they aren't going to strictly enforce youtube policy as they might have done.

aaronsullivan

#43

aaronsullivan said:

People don't make these movies to make money. And if they do, they are making money because of the millions or billions spent over the decades by Nintendo to build their brand, not just their efforts.

This is more than fair. Nintendo is taking a supportive approach, IMO, as it could just be issuing cease and desist orders.

Midnight3DS

#44

Midnight3DS said:

How much work someone puts into their project is absolutely irrelevant. Pirates could claim to put a lot of work in their hobby, too. I could put alot of work into scripted commentary along with an uploaded, copyrighted film. Somehow, that entitles me?

Bulbousaur

#45

Bulbousaur said:

@LzQuacker That's where I don't understand the whole reason why Nintendo is even doing this. Nintendo and YouTube simply haven't cared about LPs for years now. I even saw Nintendo make a Tweet promoting TheRunawayGuys a few months ago, and Nintendo UK even made an official LP channel for Xenoblade when it first came out here. If videos have no negative affects Nintendo, why have they decided to claim on the videos now? All Nintendo is doing is pissing people off and creating bad stigma.

HugoSmits

#47

HugoSmits said:

@Pixelroy Just because Youtube can legally put something like this in their policy doesn’t automatically make them right (nobody is debuting the fact that Nintendo/Youtube has the right to do this, but rather if it’s a appropriate move on their part to do so).

Also it would be interesting to see how far copyright goes according to derivative work (you could state that the actual gameplay from a LP adds to the experience as well as a voice over and video-editing graphics).

WaLzgiStaff

#48

WaLzgi said:

@HugoSmits Nintendo Life may also have a different terms of services which Nintendo agreed to.

@Bulby: As to why they are doing this I don't know. It seems that any action a big company does makes people mad anyway, so this doesn't make any difference imo. Why are people mad anyway? How does this affect you?

3Daniel

#49

3Daniel said:

Anything that shuts up pewdiepie is ok by me.

Jk.

Nintendo is well within their right to do this and I don't fault them for doing so.

WaLzgiStaff

#50

WaLzgi said:

@HugoSmits: Unfortunately if they use any logo, character, or music in the video, then they are violating the copyright rule.

Midnight3DS

#51

Midnight3DS said:

@HugoSmits

Wait... the right to create a derivative work belongs exclusively to the original copyright holder, unless they give their blessing to another party to create a derivative work.

Dinosaurs

#52

Dinosaurs said:

@Hugo all I'm saying is that its difficult to compare media that operates in accordance to what it's issued and licensed and media that doesn't when it comes to making profit. I just don't think that comparison is the right one for this issue.

Bulbousaur

#54

Bulbousaur said:

@LzQuacker Its not affecting me that much or at all, but to the small portion of the 583,085 chuggaaconroy subscribers which are fanboys, this is going to make them think twice about buying a Nintendo game. Is it childish and stupid? Yes, but it is still a possibility.

I just don't see any reason why they are doing this. From the stuff I mentioned in my last post, which makes it seems like they are supporting LPs and basically never claiming on any fan video ever to my knowledge, to making it so Lpers can't make money, it seems they are just doing a big 180.

HugoSmits

#55

HugoSmits said:

@LzQuaker Nintendo doesn’t have to agree to anything in order for NintendoLife or any other medium to write about them. That’s just freedom of speech and such.

Probably that’s why people are upset. In this discussion we talk about mainly LP, but this also counts for reviews and previews (basically anything that features content from Nintendo for a ‘length’ of time).

If journalist and other professionals cannot do their job (because they cannot earn anything) that seriously hurts the freedom of speech.

WaLzgiStaff

#57

WaLzgi said:

@HugoSmits: But if Nintendo takes down the advertising from websites, then they can't maintain themselves. These websites do more services with Nintendo than LP videos. Think of it as a partnership.

Second, the Game Genie was a derivative work. However, using copyrighted material (logos, characters, etc.) for profit without permission is still illegal and not derivative work.

TrueWiiMaster

#58

TrueWiiMaster said:

Of course Nintendo's completely allowed to do it, and they probably should be allowed, but I don't think they should capitalize on that right. Like this guy said, a lot of people watch an LP, get excited, and buy the game. I know I've bought numerous games simply because I saw them on Youtube, and thought they looked fun. With this policy, I might not see a game that I otherwise would have seen, and bought.

WaLzgiStaff

#59

WaLzgi said:

@TrueWiiMaster Except many LP videos are made without profit. Nothing will really change. Besides, as I said before, if they are true fanatics, then they will keep making the videos.

WaLzgiStaff

#60

WaLzgi said:

Also, as a teacher myself, I can say that enforcing rules is a good way to prevent people from becoming out-of-hand with this kind of stuff. We usually can't wait and sit around for something to happen.

TheAdrock

#62

TheAdrock said:

I made the same point in the earlier thread this morning. He's right. Nintendo has the right to do it, but they would be better served to leave it alone.

Dinosaurs

#63

Dinosaurs said:

I don't know that in the long term Nintendo is better served by leaving alone the control over advertising on a site as big as youTube where it's property is concerned.

No it's not a win for fan culture but doesn't good economics dictate that whoever controls the ads wins all the money? I'm no expert but that's what the world tells me by looking at it:S

Squid

#64

Squid said:

@Ryno: Hey come on, man. No need to be rude about people who make or even those who watch LP's. I like watching people play video games, because it's almost like a way to share the experience I had with the game. I mean, I don't know it's hard to explain why people like to watch or make Lets Plays but you don't need to insult those of us who do.

Savino

#65

Savino said:

Wow!!! I am a fat useless piece of flesh and I will make money playing videogames and posting online!

Come on!!!! Get a job for Mario Sake!!!!

banacheck

#66

banacheck said:

I think some of you think all LP do is just uploads gameplay vids, when in actually fact some of them like i said before are invited by the developers to take footage of the game. And get given a few copies of the game so some of the viewers can win them on there youtube channels, they did this with Crysis3 and other AAA games. if they thought it was piracy i very much doubt they would do this fo r some of the youtube channels.

Midnight3DS

#69

Midnight3DS said:

@HugoSmits

We could knock some beers back and both scratch our heads over legalese. No lawyer here either. But I do read the US copyright office site for fun :D

Right within this document, it's stated that Nintendo was claiming the game genie was a derivative work, which stands to reason it would have been a copyright violation. The judge didn't see it as a derivative work, but as some skipping pages of a book, whatever. If I'm missing something, please let me know. But yeah, this all seems a bit different from an LP case.

"Smith compared usage of the Game Genie to "skipping portions of a book" or fast-forwarding through a purchased movie; thus the altered game content did not constitute the creation of a derivative work as Nintendo had argued"

DarkLloyd

#70

DarkLloyd said:

Well this could make said youtuber not claim to make money off particular videos in this case nintendo ip games so they end up getting nothing along with them. :P

Midnight3DS

#72

Midnight3DS said:

@NintendoPro64

Against my better judgement I checked the link for 2 seconds, but I'm not interested in this mcsupergamer's opinion. I personally prefer people's own thoughts here on the matter.

NintendoPro64

#73

NintendoPro64 said:

@Midnight3DS
I'll have you know that I completely agree with the guy. But seriously. You replied to me without watching the video but almost did against your "better judgement"? Sheesh... People here can be so mean-spirited. :|

XCWarrior

#74

XCWarrior said:

@skjia This is a great point. Nintendo is trying to market.

This is really silly as a whole. I don't watch these things, besides once or twice when I to stuck in a game. There is no real money in it. Making a big deal over virtually nothing.

rayword45

#76

rayword45 said:

If this was any other company, most of you wouldn't say a damn word.

This is a terrible move and a pimp hand to the face of many who made their games more appealing. How the flying love could this be harmful in the least? Watching a game get played with commentary is not even close to the same as playing it yourself (which is why I don't watch LPs).

ikki5

#77

ikki5 said:

@Peach64

if this move annoyed pretty hardcore fans, then I would not consider those people hardcore fans. A Hardcore fan would want Nintendo to defend their products and if they got some money from it, then that's great, more money for them to potentially create more of what we love

WaLzgiStaff

#78

WaLzgi said:

@rayword45 You may not realize this, but sometimes actions have to be taken before something becomes harmful. Just because it seems harmless doesn't mean it is.

Jaz007

#80

Jaz007 said:

@LzQuacker Nobody promises indes, or contract workers money either when they take up a job like that. Some of these guys are like comedians when they play and do a lot of work on their videos. Some them do more than LPs too, stuff related to games and stuff unrelated to games, doing youtube videos can be a legitimite job for some.

devilwaffle

#82

devilwaffle said:

I just thought I'd ask, if you don't make or watch LPs and game reviews, then why are you commenting here, and why do you care? It's not like any of this applies to your life, anyways.

theblackdragonAdmin

#83

theblackdragon said:

some of you guys keep likening the Lets Play thing to a job, how these people make a living and they should be allowed to continue to do so because Nintendo has done none of the work that went into making the videos, it's free advertising for Nintendo and whatev'... but say I decide to spend the time and effort to type out an entire book I purchased IRL the other day in order to present it to people watching my blog from halfway across the world and get them interested by discussing it as we all read together, maybe even make a bit of money to compensate myself for the time I spent and perhaps purchase an ergonomic keyboard to help me type faster for the next book. even though my intentions are 'good' and any ad revenue was going right back into what i was doing to entertain others, i didn't ask permission to base my own living off of someone else's hard work. I would have no legal leg to stand on should the book publisher or the writer happen across my blog and C&D me. Same for if I were to have spent all my time and effort ripping music from my CDs and then using them in my music-discussing podcast to comment upon them, should the legal copyright holder(s) stumble across my humble podcast they would have absolutely every right to stop me in my tracks.

Nintendo is doing these people a favor by not taking away their ability to create LP videos and host them on YouTube entirely, and if they want to put forth some original content that doesn't rely on extensive video of Nintendo's own games in order to keep making that ad revenue themselves, great! they're obviously still welcome to do so. i'm sure some of them have talent enough to continue making a living even if they decide to avoid Nintendo's intellectual property as a subject from here on out.

The bottom line is that no matter how much of your own time and effort you're putting into something, you can't really cry foul when the other entity involved stands up and puts their foot down. It had to happen eventually. they have to start protecting their intellectual property rights or else they're going to lose them due to precedents being set.

WaLzgiStaff

#84

WaLzgi said:

@Jaz007 You keep missing one of my points entirely. If it's original work, then it's ok, but this is not original work. They are profiting from another's IP, which is illegal.

See dragon's post above

And finally, as to Nintendo's reasoning behind this: they wanted to do this. Why are you all mad? This is something they had the right to do, so they did it. Why should there be a further explanation? If you are angered by this, then contact Nintendo yourselves. Let them explain. Also, why do you all care if you are not an LP maker? The videos will not disappear because Nintendo is allowing them to continue. If the LPer decides to end them, then that is the LPer's decision, not Nintendo's.

rayword45

#85

rayword45 said:

@LzQuacker When does it start to get harmful? I'd say it already has unrelated.

Watching a game is free promotion. Any idiot with a guide could easily pirate the Wii/DS games he is watching being played. That's not going to promote it.

If we were talking about something like Dolphin videos, I'd say it's fair by a TINY BIT. At this stage, bullcrap.

Midnight3DS

#86

Midnight3DS said:

When it comes to the internet, there seems to be a wild west mentality. Anything goes. Laws don't apply, etc.. Late 90's was the peak, with Napster and all that. Ah... what a great time. Anyway, things have been clamped down on a bit more since then. I still get a kick out of seeing people put a message in the youtube description, 'No copyright infringement intended'. Because, you see, that is a magic shield that protects from any and all accusations.

WaLzgiStaff

#87

WaLzgi said:

@rayword45 Why? Why does it have to be harmful for them to stop it?

Why did the cat meme creators push to litigate Warner Bros? It did no harm to them, right?

rayword45

#89

rayword45 said:

@LzQuacker And I don't agree with either.

However, with keyboard cat, all there is to it is a video.

Watching a video isn't even remotely close to playing a game.

As a Non-brony, look at how Hasbro treats all the fan videos. They don't think "LAWSUIT!", they treat it as free publicity.

When they upload full episodes, I assume they're taken down. That's more equivalent to an ISO uploading however.

WaLzgiStaff

#90

WaLzgi said:

And Nintendo has no intention of taking these videos down. Your point? Just because one company doesn't pursue action doesn't mean they all shouldn't. As I said earlier, Nintendo doesn't need an explanation. This is a simple case of overreaction.

grenworthshero

#91

grenworthshero said:

Holy crap I am really surprised at the amount of people defending Nintendo here. This is fanboyism at its worst. No, LPers are not stealing content from Nintendo and marketing it as their own, and yes, LPs do sell video games. I often watch LPs rather than reviews just to see how the game plays and what the LPer thinks of it. Do you have any idea how much work goes into creating a Let's Play video? It's ten times more difficult than "coming up with something on your own", and it takes an incredible amount of dedication.
That's just like sampling in music. Are you saying artists shouldn't make money off of their work just because they worked off of another person's song? Or even covers, and that's a lot easier to pull off than making an LP.

Midnight3DS

#92

Midnight3DS said:

Just picking one out here....

"Are you saying artists shouldn't make money off of their work just because they worked off of another person's song?"

Yes, unless they have permission/pay royalties.

WaLzgiStaff

#93

WaLzgi said:

@grensworthhero: Like i said many times before: if you profit using someone else's work, it's illegal. No, they are not "stealing" but they are still borrowing content without permission and making money from that. This has nothing to do with how much work is involved in the process.

From what I understand, many LPers just do the videos because they love the games, not to gain money from it. And how exactly is it harder than making your own videos?

And covers are still copyright infringement (if you don't have permission) because you are using someone else's lyrics.

HeatBombastic

#94

HeatBombastic said:

"Holy Cow! You're defending Nintendo?? You're a fanboy. Nintendo is now Scrooge Mcduck. Chuggaconroy is superior than all of us!"

Just a little satire is all.

grenworthshero

#95

grenworthshero said:

It's much harder than making your own videos because you have to put in the time to play the game, and that can be difficult enough if it's a long RPG but that's actually the easiest part. It takes twice as long to find the recording equipment and set it up correctly, then you have to render the video and put it in the right format, possibly come up with a script or an outline and record the audio and sync it up correctly, edit the video, and upload it. Unless you're doing some seriously professional stuff, to make your own blogs all you have to do is have a camera and press record. Then upload it. Done.
And no, it's not illegal, it's legal under the laws of fair use same as parody, HOWEVER, making money off of these videos without permission is sort of in a grey area, legally. Just as you said, musical covers are illegal without permission. But sampling is not; depending on how much of the original you use, it's another grey area. There's an awful lot of work that goes into making a Let's Play that makes it the property of the LPer, but the only point that matters is that it's based on already-copyrighted material. In short, Nintendo is not necessarily in the wrong legally, but it's still seriously not good for their image. Although, this is nothing new. Nintendo often likes to stick it to perfectly well-meaning, dedicated fans just out of principle.

HeatBombastic

#96

HeatBombastic said:

@grenworthshero "This is fanboyism at its worst."

How can LP's be 10x harder than original content? Yes, playing a game takes time, but so does original content creation. Look at freddiew. His videos are original (yes, parodies included), and let's guess how hard that is.

We aren't freddiew, but surely we can also put as much hard work and quality into vids that aren't lp's.

AltDotNerd

#97

AltDotNerd said:

Nintendo gives New Super Luigi U DLC for free, they give us 50% off SMB2 if we bought SMW, they gave refunds for people who bought Super Metroid and let them keep the game! Suddenly when they feel they deserve something for content they own "Ooooh! They're so evil!"

Midnight3DS

#98

Midnight3DS said:

Two things. You sample anything from copyrighted material, sell it without permission, and can be proven, you're in a losing case. I like to compose music. It's a hobby. I like to occasionaly rip vinyl from my usb turntable, chop stuff in Edison every which way, and make a new melody out of it. Copyrighted material. I would never sell it.

Secondly, fair use is thrown around alot, but many people don't seem to understand what it means. They'll even slap that excuse in their description box of a copyrighted movie they've uploaded, and claim educational purposes. I don't know exacts of fair use, but I do know there are far more limitations to it, and people falsely claim it.

grenworthshero

#99

grenworthshero said:

Have you ever tried making a LP? obviously, you can make an original video that takes much more effort, but I'm talking about a video of similar content. If you just wanted to talk about a game or something like that, it's A LOT easier than taking the effort to do an LP. And yes, people throw around "fair use" all the time, but in this case it's actually true. I know because some of my videos are ad-supported and I read up on this stuff. (no, I'm not just butthurt because I'm a LP-er. I mostly just do unboxings.) I never said you can sell anything without permission. The people who do these LPs are not supposed to be making money off of them but I also agree that it's a bad move for Nintendo to be pursuing legal action against some fans who are essentially giving them free publicity. That's one reason Star Wars is still so amazingly popular; because they fan community is VERY vocal and George Lucas let them have their way. Even when he sold to Disney he made them guarantee it would stay that way.
"Nintendo gives New Super Luigi U DLC for free, they give us 50% off SMB2 if we bought SMW, they gave refunds for people who bought Super Metroid and let them keep the game!"
That's not being nice, that's getting people to come back and buy more. That's like saying McDonald's really cares about the customer because they have a dollar menu.

Midnight3DS

#100

Midnight3DS said:

I mean this in the nicest way, but fair use can be clear as mud with hidden variables and who knows what. But even if we've got it all figured out, it has no standing here. Clearly not with Nintendo.

Peachy

#101

Peachy said:

If Nintendo was trying to get LPs removed, I could understand the anger. I don't really understand why some LPers feel entitled to earn money off of LPs.

If one wants to be entitled to do whatever the heck they want with a video game, they should make their own.

DefHalan

#105

DefHalan said:

@HugoSmits
It is the same idea if I took screen shots of a movie to make a comic strip series to make money off of. I am not giving the viewer the same experience but I am using assets that are copyrighted for profit. Under Fair use Nintendo Life is able to use some assets from Nintendo Products to critic Video Games. Many Let's Plays do not critic games but just make fun of them or to guide players through the game. I don't have a problem with what Nintendo is doing because they aren't even removing the videos, which they have the right to do.

Transparent_lfe

#106

Transparent_lfe said:

This is just genius thinking from Nintendo. Think about it, they back out of E3 somewhat, they are saying they want to show more off in different ways, they do their nintendo directs to do this and if someone goes to youtube and watches how to get all red blocks for a nintendo lego game an add pops up saying...."In two weeks Nintendo direct.".in a flashy way of course...i dont see a problem

solcross

#107

solcross said:

Sorry, I'm still failing to see the issue. Right off the bat, he calls it silly for them to want to make money because LPers are using Nintendo's characters in their videos. Nintendo's characters.

I can see if they were reviewers and they were reviewing products for their website, but they're not. At least, not unless me watching a child playing Super Mario World counts as a review, but that is absolutely reaching for justification.

My advice to them would be to adapt to the situation and find new ways to earn what little income they were already earning, and maybe do additional videos/segments on the side that don't feature characters and properties that do not belong to them. If they really have that many viewers, it shouldn't be an issue and could boost your success if you come up with something particularly entertaining.

WaxxyOne

#108

WaxxyOne said:

Yeah, bad move Nintendo. LP videos are free advertising, and discouraging people from making them just means lost money in the long run.

DefHalan

#109

DefHalan said:

@WaxxyOne
I think they encouraging people to make them by saying we aren't going to take your video down if you make one. It is almost like a promise that Nintendo won't mess with your creativity. They are only asking that if you make money off of the videos shouldn't Nintendo for creating the game the video is displaying?

WaxxyOne

#110

WaxxyOne said:

@DefHalan
No. Nintendo made their money when the LPer played their game, and they will make much more when people who see their game in action decide to buy it because it looks fun. Taking money away from people who are giving you free marketing is completely counter-productive.

DefHalan

#111

DefHalan said:

@WaxxtOne
How many LPers are "promoting" Nintendo. Nintendo is not doing that well in the eyes of many uneducated gamers. This move could stop the people that are bashing on Nintendo Products just because they are Nintendo. If people are demanding Nintendo Games in Let's Pays then LPers will do them, Supply and Demand. Why should these people get to use any product however they wish without permission of the Content Owners/Creators and make money off of those product's contents? Nintendo isn't stopping people from making money off Let's Plays, Nintendo is wanting their share (which in some caes will be all the profits) for providing the content the Let's Play is about. What is wrong about that?

datamonkey

#112

datamonkey said:

I totally agree with this guys comments over this issue.

While Nintendo are the best in the business at making games, many of their business decisions are terrible. They often don't seem to "get it"...

Lostog

#113

Lostog said:

@LzQuacker oh, so you're a teacher. well, it's not like there's only one way to teach. enforcing rules is typical of behaviourism, the most primitive and ineffective way of teaching (not sure if that's the word, i made i literal transation from my language)
that said i'm not saying you shouldn't ever enforce rules, but if you want someone to learn something, giving them a goal is enough. if you make a rule, it should be to enhance the creativity of the student, not to limit it. "you can't do this just because" doesn't work; "try to reach this without doing that" is another thing. nothing is going to work if teacher and student have radically different goals to fulfill.
more communication is the answer, not just random rules. sharing goals is what matters. for instance, i wouldn't be surprised if the next step from nintendo will somehow soften the blow.
I just hate "STOP"s without dialogue. it's easy to say "well what you were doing was stupid so stop" if you can't understand the action to begin with, and don't find trying worthwile.
that said this long comment wasn't fully directed at you, it's just the teacher thing that tipped me off (i'm not, but probably will be at some point, so i care about the subject)

Drawdler

#114

Drawdler said:

I have to agree with #12 @Peach64. All of my thoughts about this were summed up in the second sentence of that comment so I didn't even bother reading below that. It isn't going to have an effect on me personally since I never do Let's Plays, but it's a shame since I was considering starting on it and the revenue would all have gone to better equipment.

HugoSmits

#115

HugoSmits said:

@DefHalan Screenshots from a movie made into a comic aren’t really the same, since (except for when used as fan fiction) they don’t really add anything.

I own NSMB2 for the 3DS. I played through a specific level. I know how it looks and plays. Yet I still search for LP for that specific level because I cannot find a star-coin, need better strategy or want to know secrets.

So I’m not searching for random gameplay footage. I’m searching for a specific player with a specific skill level. In that case, the gameplay adds something to the footage.

Much like how I would read a walkthrough or FAQ in the 90s. It’s just easier to show the platform/spot instead of describing it.

In fact, since I already know how the game looks/plays, the actual footage is less important to me than the gameplay added by the creator of the movie!

banacheck

#116

banacheck said:

I didn't know Nintendo made games like Mass Effect, NFS, Batman AA etc, and for some reason i thought Nintendo where publishers & a console manufacture. If anything the revenue should go back to the developers, the guys who spend years making these games, and not because Nintendo wants free marketing while making moneys. It does not effect me in the slightest, but i'm interested to see what these youtubes do with all of there views.

No-longer-postin

#117

No-longer-postin said:

I've never even heard of Let's Play until yesterday.
This guy is making Money off of Someone else's hard work? Boo-Freaking-Hoo.
Get up off your couch and go make a real living...

devilwaffle

#118

devilwaffle said:

Well, This whole deal is really going to hurt me. I was working on making my first Let's Plays myself for fun, money doesn't really matter, but I did have plans to make and use that money to get a better capture card, mic, and editing software, to improve my videos. But now I can't do that, unless I make most of my videos on third party titles, which I don't own too much of, and I wouldn't do anyways, because I know I'd have more fun playing through my favorite Nintendo games...

Tornado

#119

Tornado said:

I'm a professor who studies social media. Understanding this kind of issue is my job.

And I must say: Bithell nailed it.

Put simply, any company--especially a media/entertainment company--wants an active Internet community discussing their product.

Running out and doing something to squelch that community is a completely backwards move. It tells me Nintendo doesn't understand much about marketing in the year 2013.

And yes, it is a cost-benefit analysis--if that fan community is producing a sequel to your game without permission, squelch 'em. But this has to be such a small amount of cash... yeah. Nintendo just looks desperate--and disrespectful of its gamers, in a day when they can't afford to be.

Znerd

#120

Znerd said:

As a lets player myself this really does not affect me that much since money was never the plan in my lets plays to begin with but i have to say that if i do get copyright for my Videos than i will have to say more Cause all my letsplays are Nintendo games so if a loved nintendo fan has to be lose the rights to help promote their favorite videogame company than we have a problem. my channel subtitle is called the ultimate nintendo land so thats gonna hurt for my nintendo based channel it is gonna be their loss. they been had the right but for someone who isnt geting paid for their videos iam just glad that my videos get to stay up but i would like to get paid. oh for any LPers on this site send me i message on youtube and maybe we can find a way to talk about this situation

AceTrainerAndy

#121

AceTrainerAndy said:

I don't see the pros of this decision. All I see is cons. For example, if they "take" my videos I will never buy their products ever again, and I will ask my subscribers to boycott them. I want to prove to them that this will actually make them lose money. So many people make a living off of this and they go and do this. Sometimes I feel like Nintendo wants to go out of business and become somebody's b*tch like Sega. If I was going to give a recommendation of how to go out of business and make it look like an accident then I would do exactly what Nintendo is doing. You piss off your customers then you put out a console without any games.

DefHalan

#122

DefHalan said:

@HugoSmits
The fact remains that LPers sre using content that is copyrighted to make money which is illegal. There is no getting around that. Rather than shutting down LPers, Nintendo is trying to make money (just like when Disney paid Nintendo to used Bowser in Wreak it Ralph)

Onett

#123

Onett said:

@LzQuacker It sounds to me like you have more of a personal problem with Let's Players. Your argument deteriorated to 'they simply don't need it.' That is an opinion that I don't agree with. I believe that any kind of publicity is good publicity, no matter how big or small.

Secondly, the reason why many of the bigger youtubers are upset is because this ad revenue claim discourages them to invest time in the creation of a video when they could play something non-nintendo and make adsense money. Sure, smaller youtubers can make videos without feeling the hurt because they never had the audience to generate profit in the first place. As a result the likelihood of a great Nintendo product reaching the eyes and ears of a wider audience is decreased. You'd be a fool to believe that Let's Plays have no profound impact on sales.

Face it, the decision makes them look desperate. Let's plays are a much stronger form of advertisement that costs them nothing to make outside of developing the game.

Does Nintendo need let's players? Maybe?
Does this hurt Nintendo? Probably.
Are youtubers making a big deal? Probably.

HugoSmits

#124

HugoSmits said:

@DefHalan It’s not illegal to do so at all. If tomorrow something happens to Coca Cola, CNN or any other news station is more than free to discuss Coca Cola in their program. They don’t need a license or anything else from Coca Cola for that.

Same goes for game magazines, websites, etc they are all totally free to report and write about Nintendo. Without a license or consent from Nintendo.

The example you use is off. Disney isn’t trying to be newsworthy or informative. It is also not adding anything to Bowser to claim that it is derivative work.

Midnight3DS

#125

Midnight3DS said:

@AceTrainerAndy

Nintendo didn't 'piss' me off. And, the whining about it is rather nauseating, considering I know people that have been laid off from their jobs of 20, 30 years employment. Actually employed to earn a living. So, the sympathy is very hard to find here.

bonesy91

#126

bonesy91 said:

Nintendo owns the games they deserve to make money off their content... Why can't people see this lol. Common since really has become lost to the world

Geonjaha

#127

Geonjaha said:

Oh my god. The comments on this article...
Anyone who thinks this is a good move on Nintendo's part - watch the video.

Too long didn't watch: 24:45.

dap005

#128

dap005 said:

In Japan there is a popular Let's Play show called GameCentreGX (it's brilliant by the way) that's been around for a decade and has even had Iwata on as a special guest (the video was posted on NL before but it's now taken down unfortunately). It's essentially a series of shows where a comedian plays retro games and complains about how difficult they are. The production company obviously makes money off this or else they won't be able to continue running the show.

I honestly don't think they've obtained the rights to for all the IPs they were displaying on the show. Does that mean Nintendo should start taking revenue from them because Nintendo IPs/games are heavily featured in the episodes? Why should it be different for Youtube LPers? Some of which are actually delivering entertaining content. It's a difficult debate definitely but I thought bring up that comparison was important.

DefHalan

#130

DefHalan said:

@Geonjaha
I don't think anyone is saying this is a good idea.

@HugoSmith
New reporters and reviewers are allowed to use a minimum amount of content to express their point under Fair Use. LPers are not reporting news (although they may talk about recent news, they are not reporting it), they are not reviewing the game (although they may give their opinion about the game it is not a review), what LPers are doing is using copyrighted material to create entertainment and making money off of it, which is illegal unless they are given permission to use those assets. Nintendo has a right to make money off of their created assets that they have copyrighted.

Geonjaha

#131

Geonjaha said:

@DefHalan - You'd expect not, but looking at the comments on this article there's a surprising amount of people defending Nintendo without understanding the situation. (Well it's actually not all that surprising unfortunately.)

DefHalan

#132

DefHalan said:

@Geonjaha
Well I am defending Nintendo because they have every right to do this or worst to take down those Videos. I don't think it is a smart idea for Nintendo to do this but they are well within their rights, plus they are still letting people do them. Nintendo isn't stopping them or removing their videos.

Tornado

#133

Tornado said:

Well, yes, of course Nintendo has a right. But I'm reminded of a quote from the Federation President in Star Trek VI:

"Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean we must do that thing."

Nintendo gets much more by leaving these people alone than they do by going after them.

Geonjaha

#134

Geonjaha said:

@DefHalan - Whether or not they can do it was never in question. Whether or not they should isn't really even much of a question either (Spoiler: the answer is no, they shouldn't).

DefHalan

#135

DefHalan said:

@Geonjaha
I don't think it was a smart move but people are getting upset over a company wanting to make money off of the company's copyrighted material by making money off of these Let's Plays.

Poketendo

#136

Poketendo said:

exactly! I always look up a game on the internet before I even consider to buy it. It would be stupid if they took that huge and free marketing place away!

ramstrong

#137

ramstrong said:

@grenworthshero Do you have any idea how much work goes into creating a Let's Play video? It's ten times more difficult than "coming up with something on your own", and it takes an incredible amount of dedication.
That's just like sampling in music. Are you saying artists shouldn't make money off of their work just because they worked off of another person's song?

You just said that all these LPers are idiotic losers who would rather work 10 times as hard getting sued for nothing, as opposed to coming up with original IP. :p

Yes, artists shouldn't get paid working off another's song. The music industry is so pirate aggressive, they'll even invade your mansion in another country without a proper court order.

Old TV shows such as "WKRP in Cincinnati" will never be released because they have to pay royalties for each and every song played in the show, even if they're just background music and a few seconds long. Terrible.

@HugoSmits

As TBD said. It's the difference between "fair use" and "copyright violation." I'm not a lawyer, so I won't tell you anything. However, if you look at news casts or maybe even comedy shows, you'll see that either they simply talk, show a picture for illustration, or show a few seconds video clip illustrating the point. That's fair use.

You never see a bunch of people commenting on other people's lousy movies and claim that it's all their money. Well, not strictly true. There was a show like that, I forget the name, but the producers actually paid licensing fees on such projects.

If you have licensing, then you're a distributor and you're fine. If you don't have licensing, then you're a pirate and not fine.

I don't see how Nintendo is shutting these videos down. They simply say fan made cannot ever make money. This is the same exact stance that George Lucas is taking with Star Wars. I don't see anything wrong with that, do you?

EDIT: The show is Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3k.

New_Age_Retro_Hippie

#138

New_Age_Retro_Hippie said:

...

Okay, I just want to address one thing.

If a person does a video where they read the contents of a non-public domain book online, it's not fair use because you have factually eliminated the need for anyone to experience it themselves. If a person does this with a non-public domain film, it's the same thing. The film can be watched on YouTube and fully understood. Someone uploads a song, and you now needn't purchase that song.

Stop comparing an interactive experience to non-interactive experiences. How about this: a video of a kid playing with LEGOs. I doubt anyone would say that they are committing copyright infringement. Because by watching the video, you are not getting even nearly the maximum experience that there is to get from LEGOs. Playing with LEGOs is an interactive experience, and unless you go out of your way or build based on instructions, two people are not going to come up with the same designs for their LEGO constructions.

GC-161

#139

GC-161 said:

@WiiWareWave I was making a comparison between how software pirates claim that they actually help Nintendo sell consoles & how LP'ers claim showing footage of their games does the same. Both feel that Nintendo should not try prevent them from monetizing illegally from their IP's, based on how they "help" said company sell hardware.

New_Age_Retro_Hippie

#141

New_Age_Retro_Hippie said:

Except, and I don't see why this needs to be explained, you aren't experiencing the product to even a reasonable extent by watching someone else's experience with it.

Care to explain why people aren't violating copyright when they record themselves building things using LEGOs? Or if someone records themselves driving their new car, why buy that car? You know how fast it can go, you know how well it can turn, and knowing is the same as doing, right?

The fact of the matter is that to play a game and to watch a game are two different things. Your argument, GC-161, would carry much, much more weight if it wasn't for the fact that there exists NO evidence that LPs hurt sales. In this very article, we have evidence to the contrary. Don't be jealous that people make money doing something that they enjoy. Is anyone going to skip buying Mario Party because they already experienced raucous fun second-handedly?

Dreadjaws

#142

Dreadjaws said:

@LzQuacker

I absolutely disagree with your comment that claims Nintendo doesn't need these videos for advertising. They more than definitely need them, considering how bad at advertising they've become lately. Haven't you noticed how many people don't even know the Wii U is a different console than the Wii instead of an accessory?

@GC-161
An LP is very, VERY different from piracy, for several reasons. For instance, unlike what you claim, what makes LP interesting is definitely the commentary. If people want to see game footage, they'll look for game footage, not for LPs.

Furthermore, a game is an interactive experience, very different from a video or a song. It's different for everyone. Watching footage from a game is not going to satisfy a person who wants to play it. If you think watching a game being played is the same as playing it then you know absolutely nothing about gaming and I don't know what you're doing in this place.

People watch videos of a game being played to see if the gameplay interests them. They watch LPs to see what that particular player does or say. But if they want to play a game, they'll play the game. Watching the video is not going to replace playing the game. But if the game interests them after watching the video, they're definitely going to play it. The idea that a person will watch a Let's Play INSTEAD of playing the game is, at best, really dumb.

Yeah, Nintendo might have the legal upper-hand here, but what they intend to do is a terrible idea.

ramstrong

#143

ramstrong said:

@New_Age_Retro_Hippie Stop comparing an interactive experience to non-interactive experiences.

That is an extremely valid point. I'm glad you brought that up. You are correct in that games have gameplay, and that's different from copyright issues. I'm not a lawyer, yet I'm confident in saying that gameplay is not copyright, but patent. Furthermore, even if the company patented the gameplay, you can still show the gameplay in video, since by its nature, gameplay must be experienced to be fully utilized.

Game arts, however, falls into copyright, trademarks, and all those patents issues I have no qualification to comment. When you do LP, do you remove audio? Remove graphics and replace them with generic blocks? Red block for Mario, Pink for Peach, etc? No? Copyright violation!

I'm surprised that neither NL nor Hugo Smits speaks from their respective IP lawyer perspective. Do you not consult IP lawyer before incorporating? What if these issues come up? What would your IP lawyer advise?

(2)Your argument, GC-161, would carry much, much more weight if it wasn't for the fact that there exists NO evidence that LPs hurt sales.

The general consensus is that less LPs means less games sold. Furthermore, there is assumption that no revenue on LP means less LPs. I don't disagree with that, which means I agree that no revenue on LPs means less games sold.

But let's not be myopic here. Letting personal LPs receive revenue means any merchandizing opportunities will be severely reduced or eliminated entirely. Why pay licensing fees if you don't have to? If your company does not derive income from licensing/merchandizing, then I can see how LPs can only help you. But if your merchandizing income is rather substanstial, then I can see how you'd feel protecting merchandizing income is more important than maximizing game sales.

I believe Nintendo does a lot of licensing deals, so yeah, they'd protect that. They also realize that LPs help their sales, which is why they don't ban them outright, but merely removing the income stream. Does that make sense?

ramstrong

#144

ramstrong said:

@Dreadjaws An LP is very, VERY different from piracy, for several reasons. For instance, unlike what you claim, what makes LP interesting is definitely the commentary. If people want to see game footage, they'll look for game footage, not for LPs.

Ever heard of RiffTrax? They sell funny commentaries of popular movies, except, they don't sell the movies, just the commentaries. That way, they sell their own IP, taking advantage of existing IP, but not violating any copyright!

Dreadjaws

#145

Dreadjaws said:

@ramstrong

Yeah, and I see by your comments you love to pretend playing games and watching movies are the same thing. They are not. Not remotely enough to justify such a thing. Furthermore, you don't seem to know much about copyright laws. According to you, game reviews wouldn't even be possible because they don't remove audio or graphics.

"The general consensus is that less LPs means less games sold."

The general consensus is that people who use toothpaste are secretly vampires. See? I can pull information out of my butt too. I have no idea if you made that up or someone else did and you believed him, but not only it isn't true, it's the exact opposite of true: LPs help sell games. Heck, this very article holds evidence of that.

The problem here is that the people at Nintendo who made that decision seem as out of touch with reality as you are. Games are NOT THE SAME as movies or music. They are interactive and they play out differently for each person, even those games with very few decisions. If I watch a movie, I've watched the movie and seen everything it has to offer. If I watch someone play a game, I still haven't played the game and no amount of LPs watched is going to change that.

I have no idea of the rules of the parallel universe you seem to live in, but in this one the fun of videogames comes from playing them, not from watching someone else play them. Oh, yes, there ARE people who have fun watching instead of playing. Those people, though, are not gamers and, as such, weren't going to buy games anyway. So, this decision Nintendo has made is set to destroy goodwill among consumers in order to mantain a market that doesn't exist.

As I said it before, Nintendo might have the legal right to do this, but no one is arguing that. What we're arguing is that is a ridiculously bad idea that can do nothing but harm both them and their customer base.

ramstrong

#147

ramstrong said:

@Dreadjaws The problem here is that the people at Nintendo who made that decision seem as out of touch with reality as you are. Games are NOT THE SAME as movies or music.

You need to calm down and really read what I wrote. Less LPs=Less Game sold. More LPs=more game sold. Gameplay=patent. Game assets=copyright. 2 different things. I, TBD, and other people have shown you the difference between reviews (fair use) and copyright violation (IP hijacking).

Your condescending attitude isn't helping you. We already know games aren't static art. I don't make things up. You do. If you want to live in a dream world, be my guest. Me? I'd consult IP lawyer before doing anything. Why? Because I don't know IP laws. And neither do you.

EDIT
Nintendo don't know what they're doing? I sooner believe you're the ignorant one. They have all their sales data, right?

thatoneguy4419

#148

thatoneguy4419 said:

Ok, lets set one thing straight. Making a game, and playing a game are two different things. So when LPers play games and post their videos on Youtube, it is their work. Sure, Nintendo makes the actual game, but the LPer adds his/her own elements, and play the game their own way (Commentary, way of playing game). That is completely theirs, so Nintendo doesn't really have a right to just take their cash. Some people actually put a lot of work into their videos, and to have their hard earned money taken away is just morally wrong. And don't give me any of that "their fans are all they need" junk, because some of them rely on that money, and I'm pretty sure Nintendo doesn't need it as much as they do. Sure, nobody promised them the money like LZ said up there, but still, it is technically the LPer's money as they earned it, but as someone else said before, "just because they can do it doesn't make it right".

ramstrong

#149

ramstrong said:

@3dsFanatic4419 @3dsFanatic4419 Sure, Nintendo makes the actual game, but the LPer adds his/her own elements, and play the game their own way (Commentary, way of playing game).

TBD already explained this. I added the statement that yes, your comments are yours and you're free to sell your comments for profit, but you have no right to bundle it with somebody else's property. I mentioned RiffTrax. They don't sell other's property. They only sell theirs: their commentaries.

"Just because you can, doesn't make it right?" Ummm, is that statement directed to LPers, Nintendo, or just to people who disagreed with you?

Dreadjaws

#151

Dreadjaws said:

@ramstrong
Fair enough, I read that one thing wrong. So? It still comes to the fact that you people are trying to make this problem about something is not. No one here is arguing if Nintendo has or not the legal right about this. You keep insisting on that as if that was the thing people are discussing, and it's not. Stop trying to veer the conversation into the only direction you can follow.

What's being argued here is if this is a GOOD IDEA, and it's not. And no, while I'm usually a Nintendo defender, I certainly believe they dropped the ball on this one and they don't know what they're doing (as I clearly said, not the entire company, just the ones responsible for this decision).

Why? Very simple. Whatever amount of money they can gain with that ad revenue is completely insignificant to them (specially considering that Youtube ad revenue is particularly low), yet it means a lot to LPers. They're clearly not doing this for money, they're doing it to enforce a rule that is detrimental to them. They're, AGAIN, making themselves look bad in the public's face and losing a quite obcious benefit in order to stop a crime that isn't happening.

It doesn't matter if they have the law on their side. EA also has the law on their side when they sell a barebones 1-2 hour game filled with draconian DRM at full price and then separately sell the rest of the game in dozens of 10-20 $ DLC, but no one likes them for it.

GC-161

#152

GC-161 said:

@Dreadjaws

"An LP is very, VERY different from piracy, for several reasons. For instance, unlike what you claim, what makes LP interesting is definitely the commentary. If people want to see game footage, they'll look for game footage, not for LPs.

Furthermore, a game is an interactive experience, very different from a video or a song. It's different for everyone. Watching footage from a game is not going to satisfy a person who wants to play it. If you think watching a game being played is the same as playing it then you know absolutely nothing about gaming and I don't know what you're doing in this place."

^^^^^^^ And you said all that thanks to your lack of reading comprehension. Congratulations on jumping to conclusions and assuming what I was talking about instead of, you know, reading what I actually said.

Here again is what I said:

"All these claims coming from LP'ers about how their videos "help sell Nintendo games" are as bogus as pro-piracy advocates who claim that software piracy helps sell consoles. There is absolutely nothing backing up what they claim in either case."

So I repeat, my point comparing software pirates and LP makers was in the sense that they both make wonky claims as to why Nintendo should look the other away and allow them to monetize IP's and copyrighted material that they do not own.

You get it now? SHEESH!.....

BTW, I had already explained that very same point to another user who like you, didn't read my earlier post but just assumed he knew what I was talking about.

Oh and let me use your own words on you: If you are not going to read post, "I don't know what you're doing in this place". ;)

Dreadjaws

#153

Dreadjaws said:

@GC-161

"So I repeat, my point comparing software pirates and LP makers was in the sense that they both make wonky claims as to why Nintendo should look the other away and allow them to monetize IP's and copyrighted material that they do not own."

I don't see how anything I said somehow proves I didn't understand this. Your point is weak and baseless (not to mention ridiculous), and nothing I said implies I didn't understand it, I just don't agree with it. I already explained why pirates and LPers are different. Your extremely generalizing and very selective sentence wording could also be used to explain why horses and toilets are the same: "Neither of them has wings and when you sit in one in front of other people you might be laughed at".

Point being, pirates download/copy a game without permission so they can play it without having to pay for it. LPers use a game THEY ALREADY PAID FOR in order to make videos/web pages that ENCOURAGE people to PURCHASE THOSE GAMES. Quite a different story. And the entire process takes time, effort and creativity. THAT'S what they are getting paid for with the ad revenue. Not for the pictures of the game as you love to claim, but for all the work they put into it.

thatoneguy4419

#154

thatoneguy4419 said:

@ramstrong Hmmm... yeah, you do raise a fair point. And that comment was directed toward Nintendo. But I don't know, I just kinda find it hard to come to terms with this, but i'll take it. Also, I hope I didn't cause any anger or conflict between us. If I did, sorry!

GC-161

#155

GC-161 said:

@Dreadjaws

LOL Ok, dude.... Calm down. Take a deep breath and take it easy with the all-caps. XD

Now, I proved without a doubt what my point actually was. There it is in black and white. I even quoted my first post. Any one can see that I was comparing how flawed the claims of LP'ers and Software pirates made in regards to how they believe that they should be given a pass by Nintendo.

See, both claim that Nintendo should not enforce their rights over their copyrighted material.

Because pirates say that piracy helps sell hardware. They say that if a console is hacked and its possible to play pirate software on it, then its entirely beneficial for hardware companies like Nintendo, because then more people would buy such an easily hacked console. So they tell Nintendo: "Don't sue me, bro! I'm actually helping you!"

And then we have LP'ers who claim that their witty commentary helps sell games. And they claim that no one will watch videos of an entire game (from beginning to end) on Youtube and skip buying the game. Instead, they'll buy the game. So they believe that they're actually beneficial for companies like Nintendo. Even if they have to do something very similar as pirates:

That is: to monetize and profit from copyrighted material.

And guess what? That is illegal. Its prohibited by Youtube itself. Their TOS is pretty clear about it too.

Here's how both monetize from that illegal activity:

1. Pirates rip or download copies of software and then monetize those games by way of creating illegal DVD's or CD'S (that they either sell online or on the streets) or by hosting the files at places that give them money each time someone downloads the files.

2. LP'ers make money from each time someone views their videos on Youtube.

So both are doing something illegal. And both are saying that Nintendo should look the other way since their activities are (in their eyes) beneficial to Nintendo. Nintendo disagrees.

But notice that while Nintendo takes to court pirates and puts them in jail, they only stop LP'ers from profiting from their copyrighted material. They can still keep making those videos! And yet, OMG N1NT3ND0 1Z 3V1L!!!!

That's basically the gist & the essence of what I said before. Nothing more than that.

But you said in your last post that in regards to my opinion you "just don't agree with it".

Well?.... Deal with it! ;)

Dreadjaws

#156

Dreadjaws said:

@GC-161
First of all "All caps"? I guess your tendency to exaggerate issues doesn't restrict to copyright laws.

Second, what LPers are doing is not illegal. At all. Stop pretending it is in order to further your already ridiculous agenda. I already explained why it's also an entirely different thing from piracy but you keep using faux logic in order to find common ground between the two. Clearly you're too stubborn to listen to reasons.

And I see the basic gist of what you said before. It's still false and ridiculous. I'm a Harry Potter fan but I don't believe in magic in real life: I don't think repeating something ridiculous a lot of times is going to make it become true.

Also, that "Deal with it" thing recently got someone fired for also being ridiculous against gamers. I'd watch myself in your place.

ramstrong

#157

ramstrong said:

@3dsFanatic4419 Hmmm... yeah, you do raise a fair point. And that comment was directed toward Nintendo.

When I asked that question toward Nintendo, the reply I got was "We wuz gonna dump those illegal vids, but boss sez dat ain't right." Or something like that. However, when I directed it toward LPers, the respond was "Nintendo sucks!" Just play the blame game. So, it is in my opinion that Nintendo did the right thing.

>But I don't know, I just kinda find it hard to come to terms with this, but i'll take it.

It is very annoying to have your income suddenly evaporates when the IP owner exercise their muscle. However, the solution is simple. I think somebody mentioned it somewhere in the middle. For hints: read the very first post.

INDIES LOVE EXPOSURES!

Simply change your focus from Nintendo-centric LP to Indie-centric LP. If you ask very nicely, I'm sure they'll be happy to grant you the rights to show your LP and get income from showing ads. After all, their merchandising/licensing income is zero. Since you have permission, no problem! Your subscribers will not suddenly leave you just because you stop showing Nintendo stuff. After all, they're there for your humor, right? Even if you need to show Nintendo games from time to time, you still can do it! They're not banning the video, just the income.

I'm not saying seeking good Indie games is easy, but that's why it's hard work. When you highlight great Indie game, the indie will thank you. Your subs will thank you. I will thank you. Win-win-win situation.

>Also, I hope I didn't cause any anger or conflict between us. If I did, sorry!

Nobody likes to repeat himself. But that's okay. This situation is rather upsetting. I understand that. Get it off your chest and move on.

At least, you're not the delusional person who keeps mistaking who said what and where. :)

GC-161

#158

GC-161 said:

@Dreadjaws

Look, keep your shirt on and read Youtube's recent OFFICIAL statement on this issue:

YouTube Creators

Shared publicly - May 13, 2013

We know we have a lot of partners who love and want to post videos relating to games, so we wanted to share some tips to help you monetize gaming content.

As always, you should ensure that you have all the necessary rights to commercially use all content in a video before you submit it for monetization. Video game content may be monetized depending on the commercial use rights granted to you by licenses of video game publishers. Here are some tips!

● Check the video game publisher’s license agreement (Terms of Use, EULA etc). Some publishers allow you to use all video game content for commercial use and state that in the license agreement.

● Get written permission. Some publishers may allow you to monetize videos containing their game content if you reach out and ask.

● Videos showing software user interface may only be monetized if you’ve signed a contract with the publisher or paid a licensing fee.

● If you do have the appropriate license, submit your documentation to YouTube in a timely manner. If you do not have the appropriate license from a video game publisher, your videos must contain minimal use of video game or software user interface and be as informative and educational as possible - commentary must follow the live action shown step by step.

● Use your video metadata wisely! Use relevant, accurate titles, tags and descriptions for your videos.

● Make sure your dialogue is family friendly, so fans of all ages can enjoy your video.

A final reminder: Simply buying or playing a video game does not grant you the copyright or permission to monetize. To earn revenue from videos from the game, you need commercial rights.

END OF STORY.

Youtube backs Nintendo not LP'ers in this case.

:)

For additional information about monetizing video game content, as well as what YouTube requires in the documentation you submit, please refer to the Help Center.

Dreadjaws

#159

Dreadjaws said:

@GC-161

So, I guess you have no plans on using logic here, ever. No matter how many emoticons you add, you're not going to suddenly start being right until you are capable of understanding basic concepts.

I'm not even going to point out the obvious reasons why Nintendo wouldn't simply ask for ad revenue if these things were illegal instead of shutting them down and/or suing (the same reasons, say, Disney doesn't go to bootleg DVD sellers on the street and ask them for the money of their sales instead of sending those people to jail), but I am going to point out what I've been saying all the time but people like you keep ignoring: IT DOESN'T MATTER if Nintendo has the legal rights or not, the thing that's being discussed here is if this is a good idea or not, and IT ISN'T.

But it's OK, go live in your fantasy world where laws are simple enough for people without the capability of logical reasoning to understand in one reading and leave me to be in the real world, where we don't have it so easy.

GC-161

#160

GC-161 said:

@Dreadjaws

"So, I guess you have no plans on using logic here"

^^^ Yeah, I'm sure that I am the one here having trouble being logical. Here's how logic works in the real world: Its logical to understand that if I start monetizing or profiting from IP's and copyrighted material that I do not own, I will either be sued, put in jail or prohibited from making any cash from that activity. No matter how I try to spin it. What is not logical? To expect to go on doing that without repercussions.

"IT DOESN'T MATTER if Nintendo has the legal rights or not"

^^^^ Yep. That's exactly the same logic software pirates use. Both software pirates and LP'ers feel that Nintendo should not enforce their rights over their IP's and copyrighted material. Congrats, you just proved my point.

"the thing that's being discussed here is if this is a good idea or not, and IT ISN'T"

^^^^ What is not a good idea, is for LP'ers to monetize or make a living using copyrighted material.

"But it's OK, go live in your fantasy world where laws are simple enough for people without the capability of logical reasoning to understand in one reading and leave me to be in the real world, where we don't have it so easy."

^^^ Yeah, I'm sure the one living in a "fantasy world". For starters, you're silly logic (I'm entitled to use ANY IP/Copyrighted material I want!) doesn't have a leg to stand on. In the real world, it turns out that LP'ers are not allowed to monetize videos using copyrighted material. Not on Youtube. I already posted their response on this very issue. That's the real world, bub. Try living in it. ;)

Dreadjaws

#161

Dreadjaws said:

@GC-161

Kid? Me? You're the one who thinks is smarter because he uses emoticons. Also, no, I didn't prove your point (specially since you so selectively quote me out of context, brilliant move there, genius, further specially since everyone can see my actual comment up there), and no, it's not the same logic pirates use. But I wouldn't expect you to know what logic means, since you're clearly unaware of what that is.

Let's take a look at your way of discussing: you start with faux logic, misconceptions and outright lies. Then you ignore absolutely every bit of actual information that contradicts your points. Then you put words in the mouth of your interlocutor that he never said nor implied. Then you proceed to insult him and finish your comment with a happy face as if that somehow proves your point.

Yeah, and I'm the kid here...

But I'll humor you one more time. Let's pretend for a moment you're not just a troll and you're actually as ignorant as you pretend to be instead of just a jerk who fails to understand everything he reads due to his monumental ego. If copyright infringement by LPers was such a huge problem why is Nintendo only enforcing it on Youtube? Why is only Nintendo who enforces it and no other companies whose games are featured in LPs? Why only now when LPs have existed for several years?

Maybe it's because LPs don't infringe copyright as much as you believe? Maybe because everyone else realize LPs are much more beneficial than ad revenue (what with LPs actually selling millions of games while ad revenue is just pennies)? Maybe because alienating your fanbase just because you can is a crappy idea? Oh, I don't know, clearly you're the expert in all subjects.

Here, let me see if I can do it too... :D Edit. Oh, I could! Now I have reached internet level 2, like you! So much joy!

GC-161

#162

GC-161 said:

@Dreadjaws

"you start with faux logic, misconceptions and outright lies."

^^^^^ Its called real world logic. Something you know nothing about. Misconceptions? Those are the ones that fill your head in regards to copyright laws and how they actually are applied on Youtube. And lies? LOL yeah I'm sure its a lie that you cannot monetize on Youtube using copyrighted material that you do not own.

"Let's pretend for a moment you're not just a troll and you're actually as ignorant as you pretend to be instead of just a jerk who fails to understand everything he reads due to his monumental ego."

^^^^^ I never went as far as that in term of insults ("kid" is the only one I used). So congrats. You reached a new low.

"If copyright infringement by LPers was such a huge problem why is Nintendo only enforcing it on Youtube?"

^^^^^ I dunno smartguy... maybe because 99.9% of them usually try to use Youtube's monetizing system and there's where you find most of LP'ers worth noticing?

"Why is only Nintendo who enforces it and no other companies whose games are featured in LPs?"

^^^^^ I dunno where you been but MS, SEGA and Sony have done that long before Nintendo. In fact, they've done something Nintendo has not done: Taking down videos.

I've had videos from Capcom being pulled down from my channel. And those were trailers promoting their games and I wasn't even making money of them either. And I didn't biatch about it. Because I knew the risks of using copyrighted material.

"Why only now when LPs have existed for several years?"

^^^^^ Because of VIACOM. They pressured Youtube about the whole copyright issue and have been fighting in court all these last years. Youtube won, but the court asked that company to take down copyrighted material. So Nintendo (as well as other companies) approached Youtube and registered their copyrighted material with them. This would normally mean that Youtube would then pull down any video using Nintendo's IP's or copyrighted material. But Nintendo made a deal with Youtube. Allowing those videos to remain up and running. With one detail: no one but Nintendo would be allowed to monetize them.

I just educated you on that. You're welcome.

"Here, let me see if I can do it too... :D Edit. Oh, I could! Now I have reached internet level 2, like you! So much joy!"

^^^^^ That's right. Now try to learn about Youtube's TOS and maybe you'll win a medal. :D

EDIT: I'm gonna repost what Youtube said on this issue, because you ignored it before:

YouTube Creators

Shared publicly - May 13, 2013

We know we have a lot of partners who love and want to post videos relating to games, so we wanted to share some tips to help you monetize gaming content.

As always, you should ensure that you have all the necessary rights to commercially use all content in a video before you submit it for monetization. Video game content may be monetized depending on the commercial use rights granted to you by licenses of video game publishers. Here are some tips!

● Check the video game publisher’s license agreement (Terms of Use, EULA etc). Some publishers allow you to use all video game content for commercial use and state that in the license agreement.

● Get written permission. Some publishers may allow you to monetize videos containing their game content if you reach out and ask.

● Videos showing software user interface may only be monetized if you’ve signed a contract with the publisher or paid a licensing fee.

● If you do have the appropriate license, submit your documentation to YouTube in a timely manner. If you do not have the appropriate license from a video game publisher, your videos must contain minimal use of video game or software user interface and be as informative and educational as possible - commentary must follow the live action shown step by step.

● Use your video metadata wisely! Use relevant, accurate titles, tags and descriptions for your videos.

● Make sure your dialogue is family friendly, so fans of all ages can enjoy your video.

A final reminder: Simply buying or playing a video game does not grant you the copyright or permission to monetize. To earn revenue from videos from the game, you need commercial rights.

Dreadjaws

#163

Dreadjaws said:

@GC-161
Just because you edited the word "stupid" and replaced it with "silly" it doesn't mean you didn't use it. You know administrators for the site can see the original comments, do you? Oh... you didn't... Funny how you so easily revealed yourself to be a coward who pretends not to have done something when that something doesn't suit his ill needs.

Thanks for making my points so easy to prove. All you had to do was own that. Admit it and say "Yeah, maybe that wasn't a smart thing to do". Instead you decided it would be best if you pretended you didn't do it. Ho, boy, you have achieved a new low in internet trolling.

Anyway, SEGA, yeah, what a great example of a company that makes great decisions. And Microsoft, of course, a company that everyone regards as the pinnacle of customer-caring, right? Oh, no, wait... my sources here tell me that SEGA's bad decisions actually caused them to having to stop making consoles and it looks like the only games they sell well these days are the older ones... And about Microsoft, can you believe it? It seems people hate them and the entire reason they thrive is third-party support. And apparently their reveal of their new console has been met with disdain all over the world.

Huh, who could say that... It's almost as if the people who make bad decisions are only the ones known for making bad decisions...

So, in any case, since you so easily demonstrated you are a terrible loser and clearly have no intention to use any bit of intelligence, I say goodbye to you. It has been fun to meet with someone so low in the scale of internet userdom. I'd say I'd use you as a fine example of what no one should strive to be, but I'll most likely forget all about you within a week. Farewell, unlogic master.

Edit: Also, you could have replaced the "you're" with "your" when you replaced "stupid" with "silly logic", but I guess no one is going to doubt you'd make the mistake of actually writing it like that.

theblackdragonAdmin

#164

theblackdragon said:

i can't believe you guys are still at one another's throats over this article. if y'all can't argue without making it personal, i'm going to hand out some temp-bans. Before any of you post again, I suggest you take a deep breath, calm down, and start being civil. I won't ask again.

Notspam

#165

Notspam said:

It's very sad to see so many people in these comments so willing to roll over for Nintendo's moneygrab and take it like a good little consumer. You can listen to music on youtube, you can watch movies on youtube, but you CAN'T play games on youtube. Nintendo has NO RIGHT to these LPers money and you're a pathetic person if you think Nintendo should get away with stealing LPer's money.

Objection

#166

Objection said:

RE: article.
See, I think he has a great point. Nintendo will make a few bucks off of the ad revenue, sure (seriously, though, just a few bucks, excepting the top 5 groups or so, LPers make next to nothing,) but people will stop covering their games to a degree that they're losing free publicity. And LPs CAN get people interested in a game enough to buy it. I know I've bought about a half dozen games I had no intention of until I saw someone LP it. I know that's not any sales guarantee, but something these companies should consier before they bring down the hammer.

P.S.: Yes, I'm pleased that Nintendo chose this action over just removing videos, but it's still not the decision I think is best for anyone/everyone (including Ninty) in the long run.

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