Another YouTuber specialising in creating covers and remixes of classic Nintendo hits has sworn off the practice going forward after Nintendo's lawyers called to request the removal of nine videos.
SynaMax, who has a total of 6.88K subscribers, posted a video on his channel addressing the issue (thanks, VGC), stating that a lawyer representing Nintendo called him on May 31st and asked him to take down nine videos related to Metroid Prime from the channel.
"I'm really disappointed in Nintendo that they would force me to take down these videos because they want compulsory licenses. I think it's important to point out that this only applies to music that's copyrighted by Nintendo; my research videos about the music from Metroid Prime as well as music done in the style of Kenji Yamamoto, those things are all okay because that's not copyrighted Nintendo music. However, a recreation cover, or just a cover in general or any sort of remix, that unfortunately cannot be done without compulsory licenses."
SynaMax goes on to say that he'd rather Nintendo had taken over the monetisation of his videos rather than remove them entirely, as had been done with a couple of other, unrelated content from his channel, due to the fact that he only does this work for fun and not for money.
"Why can't Nintendo go down this route? Why can't Nintendo do this like everyone else? Why does my recreation cover have to be removed when the song it's based off of has never seen any sort of official soundtrack release? It's obvious that there's a strong market demand for Nintendo to release this music outside of the game it was written for. Nintendo can easily capitalise on this market, but they refuse to do so. This whole situation has left a really bad taste in my mouth and once I'm finished editing these Metroid videos that are currently in the pipeline - there's only just a couple left - I'm done."
It's certainly not the first case of a YouTuber being forced to remove their Nintendo-related content after strikes from the company itself. Most recently, DeoxysPrime revealed that it had received over 500 copyright complaints from Nintendo, forcing the removal of a significant chunk of content.
What do you make of this latest move from Nintendo regarding its music? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[source youtube.com, via videogameschronicle.com]
... For a fan recreation of existing music?
I assume as in from scratch?
That's absolutely ridiculous. So stupid
Man, this is just infuriating. Absolutely nothing surprising but it still makes me mad
Unbelievably silly. It’s a fan showing their love of the original work by creating essentially fan art.
Nintendo is the alcoholic father that think's his kid's macaroni-art gift is rubbish. Go to AA Nintendo.
If it was just direct uploads of Nintendos own music, fair enough.
But covers and remixes? Cmon Nintendo. Pretty sure we all get they want to protect their IPs and whatnot, but they seriously need to get with the times. Stuff like this isn't even gonna hurt their IPs. In fact, it may do the opposite and get people interested. This is ridiculous.
Nintendo is 100% in the right. Licenses may be purchased through companies that specialize in licensing covers. Everyone should go the legitimate way when covering music.
Edit: There’s a company called Soundrop that specializes in licensing music from publishers, including Nintendo, for covers and remixes - and they’re not the only company that does this.
I've always been fairly neutral regarding Nintendo's approach to music and takedowns, but this is just unfair. Fan covers and tributes are morally their own unique form of art, if not appreciation.
I understand there's still an issue with legality, sure, but it's absurd to outright send a cease and desist notice in the context of a few isolated YouTube videos, and like the fine chap said, Nintendo could easily just claim revenue and have it benefit themselves in the process. This sucks!
Nintendo try not to screw over your fans challenge (IMPOSSIBLE)
Unfortunately, the license holders of these musics get to control what you do with them.
You know that a lot of video game covers you find on Bandcamp HAVE to get the license from the license holder to produce and distribute that music?
Nintendo's stance here unfortunately is to exercise their license to control the music in such a way that people cannot access or cherish it, which I abhor, but it's within their right.
BotW2 is the only Nintendo game I’m waiting for. And as the release date for that gets pushed back, and more of these takedown things happen, the less and less I’m likely to purchase the game and next time round abandon the company completely. I know they aren’t going to miss my cash in the grand scheme of things, but I’m already feeling iffy about supporting this sort of behaviour.
@Wilforce Except you can't license Nintendo's music,
... Nor do you need to for basically any other company. Other companies on YouTube will just give the ad revenue to the license holder without the creators needing to make special requests.
While I disagree with Nintendo with them taking down uploads of their music as they don't offer any other form on a subscription platform but I understand why they have to do it.
This on the other hand is really taking the piss.
Se they should
Man, I love Nintendo's franchises, but the company has really been flippin' stupid for a while now. What kind of bull move is this.
And for what? Does Nintendo lose anything by letting someone make what is essentially fanart featuring compositions they own? Since they don’t sell the soundtracks themselves, the answer is clearly no. Sure, they have the right to do this, but it accomplishes absolutely nothing positive. All this does is create bad press for Nintendo. Sometimes their foolishness truly baffles me.
Nintendo are just never not at it these days.
People like your music, why not give them somewhere to listen to it?
And then, taking down fan creations, I just don't get it.
Is it normal for their lawyers to be calling people like this? I’ve never heard of them doing this before.
Nintendo your practically nuking your fan base.
Fans may give sega a hard time but at least they allow fan creations you on the other hand are practically saying “the only way to show us love is buy our games” what a joke.
Remember Nintendo fans, Nintendo hates you and there’s no reason to stick up for them.
What's the actual reason for them doing this? I really don't get it. We all know why they should be allowing people to create fan art, but I can't come up with any sensible reason for them to actively prevent it? Are they planning on releasing all the music themselves or something? Really feel like I'm missing something blindingly obvious here.
I don't know if this lawyer is actually from Nintendo, not sure I believe that, but let's say they are.
The videos were taken down due to monetization, not due to using the copyrighted material for fan remix use. Otherwise, dozens of famous musicians who have made Metroid remixes for decades would have had their stuff taken down as well. It's also due to the laws regarding whether a soundtrack has been released/sold to the public separately. Dread's has not yet. This Youtuber is clearly ignorant of the laws and not how to skirt around them.
Also, if this guy really was just making the videos for fun and not money, why monetize them? He dug his own grave here.
Vote with your wallet boys, every game you buy fills the lawyer’s belly with vending machine Twinkie bars !! Nintendo wouldn’t pay that out of pocket.
I’m genuinely never purchasing a Nintendo product again until this stops, they’re overstepping fair use at this point and I wish this yt accepted the court hearing to call out what fair use is.
I don’t think there has ever been a time where somebody listened to a fan remix of a song and so they decided not to buy the game. These songs existing have to effect on Nintendo besides some minor possible positive gains from having people being more involved in the franchise. I feel like this is also weird because lots of people make Nintendo remixes, but they’re not widely nuking everything. I don’t think there’s a single reason why they should remove the videos
@Araquanid I don’t think that nintendos lawyers get payed based on the sales of their games.
@OnlyItsMeReid They were monetized.
This company is just vile
Nintendo gonna Nintendo. Not all that surprising sadly.
deep breath in
OK Nintendo. I can understand why you want to take down videos of people taking the music from your games and posting them online (even if I don't agree with it in the slightest). But taking down multiple COVERS of your songs from a small Youtube channel?! Please **** off.
@Fizza Covers that the YTer had monetized. That's the difference.
@Kilroy doesn’t mean you have to remove the videos, but I don’t even see why they care that some guy makes a few bucks monetizing his covers
Yet again this is another case of Nintendo being out of touch with the modern world and proving they are anti consumer and anti fan base.
This isn't piracy, it isn't costing Nintendo any loss, it doesn't harm them. Infact it's likely making them money as it makes people think of the games again.
They seem to keep acting like its the early days of the Internet where they dont quite understand it so "Internet is new a bad, so scary". Its pathetic!
This happens all the time and people are still doing it.
Make something original and you won't have copyright problems.
Do I agree with Nintendo? No.
Do they have every right to do this? Yes.
@Kilroy So? Nintendo wasnt losing money.
Its not like its something they sell and they lost money on it.
It harmed them in absolutely no way. Infact it cost them money in lawyers fees to remove something that caused them zero harm.
infact is may help them.
So Nintendo is now saying "We dont care if its free advertising for us. F**k you for doing something you like"
Why should I care hacking Nintendo games?
Why should I care making money outta covering their songs?
Oh what? fan enjoy celebrating how good our music is, oh how cool is that! NOW DIE
@Kilroy every product in the modern world is a cover of the first invention. I can’t judge you on what toilet paper brand you use but you surely would know there is more than 1 brand because they didn’t just invent it and sue every other cover/remix of it.
Every car is just a remix of the first one.
Nintendo was given an inch and the court is letting them scare people with a mile when fair use should defend him here.
@Araquanid Worst analogy I've ever read. You can be inspired by something and make it your own or you can take something and essentially edit it to make it sound a little different. The latter can be a copyright violation.
Bands have been covering music for years. I know of several local bands that cover game music. I believe Nintendo is overstepping here big time.
@earthinheritor I'm not saying I agree with Nintendo. I was moreso pointing out how the YTer was ignorant and stupidly thought what he was doing was okay by law. Just because you don't agree with laws, despite how unpopular they are doesn't mean you should be able to break them.
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if I was Nintendo I would introduce at the June Direct "Nintendo Radio" which is an app added to the NSO Expansion Pack.
Music streams and on demand Nintendo Music. Would be cheap or free for them and create more value for the service.
Stories like this give me greater belief that trashing my Switch was the right decision. Stop giving this overly-litigious company your money.
@Kilroy so you use bounty, got it.
No he’s not being ignorant, it literally is stated in fair use reviews and parodies are not subjected to copyright.
He got hit for reviews, and covers are basically parodies.
Nintendo just pushed their boundaries of fan art and parodies and this yter took the fear factor of their lawyers being too good to contest. There needs to be a line in the sand, monetizing reuploads sure, everything else from fan games to fan music just is a good reason to lose their fan base.
Just one out of a million examples of why intellectual property rights (as they currently exist) are a terrible idea. Nintendo isn't the only one doing a lot of nonsense like this. And in some instances (such as the medical field) people are literally dying because copyrights, trademarks, and patents have been abused to a senseless and immoral extent.
@BloodNinja If you trashed your Switch, why are you still on this site?
@BloodNinja did you get a Steam Deck to replace it?
Also, I'm with you. Nintendo are so arrogant and abusive towards the customer that I'm hoping their next console will flop so much it'll make the Wii U look like a smash hit.
Nintendo being terrible. What else is new? And what do they care? We can't be any more vocal with these issues than we are and they still wont listen. I really hate them for stuff like this.
Everytime I read one of these it becomes harder and harder to stay a Nintendo fan. I can understand why they did this and I'm no expert, I never claimed to be one, in fact nobody here is an expert on copyright despite what they think they may know as it's a very complicated subject but couldn't they come to a compromise? perhaps lay down some rules on what you can and can't do with the music? Idk just my 2 cents on it.
@ThomastheTankEngine Honestly, the Steam Deck looks a little too breakable, so I'm just sticking to PC gaming. I really hate that Nintendo is so heavy-handed with it's copyright protection. I get that they are legally protected to do so...doesn't make it right or ethical for them to use their billions of dollars to bully individuals, though. Fines would have been plenty of punishment for these people.
Thank you for replying in kind. Sometimes I feel like this place is becoming a Nintendo echo chamber.
@Araquanid Yes, he is ignorant. Look at all the widely known remixes out there that have existed for decades without monetization, following the law that an OST has to be released first.
Dude even contradicted himself saying he did it for fun, yet monetized the videos. But alas, I'm done arguing in circles. Later.
I'm so sick of this ...and the people defending it. It's not a fandom at this point for some, it's a cult, and it has been for quite some time IMO ...unless you're a stockholder, I guess. I'm well aware of the law and copyright and all that jazz, but why, oh why, do you care so darn much about the copyright of a billion dollar company that doesn't give a single microscopic darn about you? Even when they start taking down COVERS of their wonderful songs, which is the literal definition of transformative, you still defend them.
Of course, I know Nintendo is just one of countless other corporations being worshipped, but if people start taking those first tiny steps out of their bubbles, the world would be so much better. There are so many other, much more serious issues we're facing today, which I won't mention in the comment section of a gaming website ...but why not start defending things that actually matter?
Of course, huge disclaimer, just my opinion, do whatever you want with your own life and whatever makes you happy ...I just want more peace and understanding of other perspectives.
@sketchturner I enjoy reading the articles, especially from Kate Grey and Damien McFarren. I enjoy chatting with the user-base, since this site is for the most part, non-toxic in that regard. The site does non-Nintendo related articles all the time, too, as I'm sure you've noticed. I like watching out for stuff like console mods and the emulation hand-helds, for example.
Has Nintendo striked people that do fanart with a cease or desist? I'm actually curious about it, because that's the only thing that's missing from them.
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@Vix I love this comment so much. Well said!
I still love this site by the way, I just had to vent a bit. Sorry, Ollie. Great article.
@Vix exactly cult is the best word to describe this fanbase! The level of slavish fawning goes far beyond fanboying, it's straight up a cult!
Ever seen the YouTube video "Sacrifices to the Church of Nintendo"? Lots of great information.
@BloodNinja Thanks, man. I have a feeling some will not, though.
@ThomastheTankEngine Haven't seen that, but will check it out. Thanks.
@Vix Yeah, there's a strong sense of corporate loyalty from some of the user-base, here. Be well!
@BloodNinja you’re fine I don’t waste money on Nintendo anymore anyways, nintendolife is just the only place that really post news even if most of it is literal who cares stuff.
Beats relying on /v/ for news that’s for sure... and I have to admit I needed to think about if that is true or not.
A big, fat 😂 to the comments here! There are so many comments about how Nintendo sucks and basically does everything wrong, that I often wonder: Why do these people even bother with Nintendo?
I’m pretty sure derivative works that require a lot of effort to create are an exception under copyright law. Of course you’ve got to spend a lot of money in court to prove that so the big corporations with expensive lawyers win by default.
You don't need to look far to see parody is 100% covered by fair use, and people doing so profit from it regularly on an international/global scale.
One of the more famous parody artists being Weird Al Yankovic, who has repeatedly stressed and reinforced in interviews that they are under zero legal obligations to license or receive permission from artists being parodied. They are a unique case in the parody world, as they voluntarily seek out permissions beforehand and share profits with the original artists regardless.
As it turns out, those parodies usually include a full recreation/cover of the songs in question.
If the only thing separating a "cover" from a "parody" is adding random obnoxious elements to the source material to cause them to be treated differently in a legal sense, it stands to reason this person just needs to throw in some nonsensical kazoos noises or haphazardly patch in some lyrics about how terrible he thinks Nintendo is or something, and the songs will suddenly be "okay". And that sounds ridiculous.
@Araquanid Almost everything released on the Switch gets released on Steam, too! Like the recent Ninja Turtles game So reading a Nintendo site is still helpful for a PC gamer, like me!
And thank you for commenting back! I appreciate it! <3
@BloodNinja it really does. I love a lot of Nintendo's games, but that's just it. Nintendo games. Not the corporation. I respect the game developers but it feels a lot of those defending this make assumptions that the people making these dumb decisions have this weird assumption about how it works.
Like do they think Sakamoto made this decision or something? Do they think Aonuma wanted Ocarina of Time to be locked behind a $50 yearly paywall? Some of the arguments are so bad I have to wonder if they place the game developers in charge of these decisions.
No, most of the people making these decisions are corporate parasites who have never created a game or piece of software. They just exist as leeches to siphon as much money from a gullible fanbase as possible. Furukawa wouldn't piss on any of these Nintendrones if they were on fire.
@ThomastheTankEngine A lot of truth is spoken in your comment. The problem, is that some people dislike confronting the truth, especially about games they love.
Hell, I thought it was Miyamoto that keeps sending the lawyers out? (joking)
When will people learn!!
@MichaelP I can't speak for the others, but I stopped bothering with Nintendo, actually. Don't judge a book by it's cover
@dew12333 The real question is: when will Nintendo learn?
It's Nintendo's property and they should have EVERY right to say, what they want to happen with it and what not. Same goes for everyone who's created something. If Nintendo doesn't want their creations to be recreated and shared in any way, that should be accepted. And I'm pretty sure, if you don't share it with the world, you can recreate their work in what ever way you want.
@iLikeUrAttitude due to the copyright law it is not Nintendo that need to learn. But I guess when they feel there is enough value in it they may change there mind.
@MichaelP I often think that too.
why can't Nintendo let us listen to her franchise soundtrack on Spotify or create a service that allow use to listen to her franchise soundtrack?
A message to ALL talented people:
If you want to get your talent out there, do NOT steal other people's stuff. Even if it's a multi billion dollar company.
Be creative and create your own music / fiction / game / art / etc. And if you're good, people will come and enjoy your creations.
these complaints must be made in japanese so they can get the memo
@ThomastheTankEngine Nintendo views their staff like a monopoly, they control them and their content even if it’s not their work.
See Sakura admitting he has no control whatsoever in the smash roster it’s all Nintendo decisions based on marketing. It’s his game but Nintendo gets the final say.
my YouTube channel is almost purely remixes, mostly from Nintendo game music. my channel is not monetised though.. if Nintendo want to take it down, they will lose my respect
Ugh... Nintendo, come on... Starting to give a bad taste.
@Araquanid Nintendo is publishing the games. So they have the last say what goes into the games. That's how publishers work. And not just Nintendo, that is how ANY publisher works. They use their money to produce, distribute and fund your projects. So, they say what goes in the project.
@sanderev no music or art exists outside of the influence of others art. its paying homage, with varying degrees of the original work apparent.
even the music Nintendo creates for its games can be accused of plagiarism if you look at the obvious influences that can be heard in them. there's nothing new under the sun!
What'cha got there, Timmy? A drawing of Mario? Did you draw that?! Good for you!
(Tears it to shreds)
Trust me, son. It's for your own protection.
I hate that Nintendo is doing this. It's giving them very bad PR, and Nintendo isn't losing anything over the covers.
@dew12333 Nintendo definitely isn't in the right this time (no surprise there). They're taking down covers of the song which fall under fair use into transformative content. This is just another case of the YT copyright being abused.
I suggest you actually read the article next time before copy and pasting the same "They're within their right" response.
@sanderev yeah nothing wrong with that’s, but saying it’s not worth blaming the individual devs for things out of their control like copyright or certain decisions.
This makes me wonder how people can sell so much Nintendo crap on Etsy and not get the dreaded Nintendo lawyers siced on them.
@MetalMan or eBay for reselling Nintendo licenses , pretty soon Nintendo is going to go that far lol.
@sketchturner Just add him to block and ignore. All he ever does is spew nonsense.
@sanderev Are you serious? As someone who is an artist, let me lay this out for you: Literally nobody's creativity or artistic talent or creation happens or develops in a vacuum. Literally everybody's work comes from some kind of inspiration off somebody else and their work.
Why else do they have you try to do things like Master Studies in art school or classes. Why do you think the vast majority of professional artists say to use references? It's for the exact reason I stated above.
Not to mention, developing anything completely original is impossible. If you've come up with an idea, chances are someone else has too. The best anyone can do is take something that already exists and tweak it to try to make something new. This literally extends to all forms of art.
Trash take, dude.
@MetalMan they don't own Etsy, yet! I bought a Zelda & Loftwing amiibo card from there, just to save on speed and money. This time, I'm waiting for a custom plush of Animal Crossing's Phoebe from Ukraine. This is why Build-A-Bear don't make villagers; too high-demand! And if Nintendo wanted to stop this individual rights business, they'd buy out Etsy, and force us to support lesser game companies, like Capcom, and SEGA. I mean, I should support SEGA, and buy the soundtrack for Shadow the Hedgehog, just to stick it to Nintendo. Besides, Shadow really loved it when Crush 40 performed "I Am (All of Me)," and I'm inclined to agree with him! SEGA does what Nintendon't!
@MichaelP Nintendo is not and will not be immune to criticism no matter how much you throw a tantrum.
So fan made creations are not safe either.
Fans make this out of love, Nintendo on the other side is sitting there with a baseball bat waiting to make minced meat out of them for creating any type of fan projects, projects made out of love for the creations Nintendo makes.
“But please keep buying out games!” will Nintendo say after the beatup….
Love our stuff they said
Beat you up for doing so, yet expect you to still do it.
Lovely, this really hurts me as a Nintendo fan.
@iLikeUrAttitude Why even bother stating that what Nintendo's doing is legal? Is anyone arguing it's not?
Are these fans even able to understand that legality and morality are separate?
And watch, Nintendo will go after downloads.khinsider.net for hosting Nintendo music in general! That what SEGA did for most of the music they are selling.
@ThomastheTankEngine it's not enough to distinguish legality from morality, it's also important to distinguish morality from catering to egocentric whims and bias. Especially since fanship is naturally more about the latter than the former.
@ThomastheTankEngine It's like talking to bots sometimes, half of the replies here could be automated.
@nhSnork why should I praise a company that spits in the face of the consumer at every turn and is on a warpath against game ownership?
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Nintendo only likes fans that give them money. They r no Phil Spencer. That guy would have loved these covers. He would probably even asked to buy them 😅
@MegaVel91 I agree. There are limitations you can take this inspiration and take it into creating original works. For example, I love A Song of Ice and Fire, but I cannot write a book that takes place in that universe and make a profit off it without the explicit permission and licence of George R.R. Martin and other rights holders. That has been the dubious place fanfiction has existed. It mostly gets traded in small circles or very small print runs to only be sold at conventions. In the modern era, fanfiction gets an eye-roll and a handwave, but some authors go after it HARD. Fanfiction is illegal under current US copyright law.
As far as music covers go you have to pay royalties to the original rights holders. I just did a quick search and found this https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/posting-cover-songs-on-youtube-what-you-need-to-know so anyone saying cover songs are protected under fair use... they're not. A licence fee is required to post or distribute cover songs. A lot of artists don't care so it's a nonissue, but some take extreme offence to it. It all comes down to the artist or publisher in question. So, anyone saying what Nintendo is doing is legally wrong... it's not; just distasteful.
As for my personal feelings on this... while Nintendo has the legal right... it feels iky and I'm not a huge fan of their decision here.
There is nothing to criticize here. Share your recreation of someone elses work with your friends and family and not with the whole world. The End.
@Fulkaffe so true.
Nintendo- locks an increasing amount of legacy systems and games behind a paywall, ala Adobe.
Xbox- only have to buy the game once, current console has both physical and digital backwards compatibility back to the OG Xbox. No game is locked behind a subscription. GamePass is an option.
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I won't buy another Nintendo product once my NSW dies.
@MegaVel91 ofcourse there is a difference between "inspiration" and "plagiarism" or "copyright".
Nin- "we don't want free advertisement or lively fan communities and will show such blatant contempt towards our fans that it's a wonder why they still buy our hardware" -tendo
@Wexter My issue with trash takes like that guy's is they basically boil down to "If you wanna put yourself out there, you can't draw what you like, you can only draw your things~!"
Having been drawing for a the vast majority of my life. Making "your things" isn't as simple as "Take the pen and go". There's a lot of time, thinking, developing ideas, and iteration that goes into that. Some people just want to do fanart. Some want to make works inspired by other works because they love that work and want to do their own spin on it, or directly make their own version of something out of sheer passion.
See in example: Literally every indie Metroidvania that has been released in the past several years, games like 20XX and 30XX (Based on Mega Man X specifically) and fan-games like AM2R. This is the point that so many people, including those on here, ignore or miss, and then proceed to either put down or demonize people for it.
They can waggle the finger about the legality of such all they want, it doesn't change why people do things like fan-works: love and passion for something they enjoy.
@Vix to answer your question on why do I defend Nintendo. Because that have made many games, consoles etc that have provided me with loads of fun experiences over many years. I also like their family friendly nature they have and how they do things there way.
You seem to want me to support any tom, Dick and Harry that wants to rub off their back. It’s the action of putting their stuff online which is the issue, they make the thing as a fan, but when they put it online (or distribute) then that is for a totally different reason.
And to finish, what is posting comments slating Nintendo fans on a Nintendo fan site.
@sanderev Your rebuttal isn't the winning zinger you think it is. People are allowed to display their talent via fanworks. End of story.
Just because they base their work on that of someone else doesn't detract from it. Your take is wholesale ridiculous.
Love seeing these types of things to see the vast of fake angry people being mad cause they feel they should be able to use anyone's stuff cause of passion
It's a cover Nintendo, people have been making them for ages. You need to calm down, and besides it's meant to be a compliment that you inspire people.
What a dumb and nonsensical comparison. 🤨
@MegaVel91 That's cool! I love fanart, fangames can be cool and I shred at the gym to every Doom & DMC cover I can get my hands on! Anyone talented enough to do it I commend you!
Just want to remind people, that while this is something that we find annoying people have to go through the proper legal avenues. Like getting the rights to the song, book and IP in question to do their work completely 100% legally! Or be prepared to share your work in small dedicated circles or have it DMCA'ed when it blows up. Just, how things roll with most publishers and distributors.
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@MichaelP then it fits someone like you to a T
I just learned, what Nintendo does here is the same as killing people. 🤷♂️
I’ve been a die hard Nintendo fan since my grandma got my NES in October of 1987. Even before that, I’d play their arcade games, and owned a tabletop Donkey Kong. That said, top to bottom, I really don’t like Nintendo in 2022. It pains me, but they reek of a greedy corporation that doesn’t care about it’s consumers. It really feels like they turned to the Dark Side at some point. Their games are even missing that Magic lately. I’m a long way from ending my relationship with them, but I’d be lying if I said I approve of their general practices as of late. 😞
Oh I guess now they are going after music covers. Thought it was just other fan works like fan games. Wonder when they will start going after fan art too...
@ThomastheTankEngine that's for you to decide since nobody else is talking praises here to begin with. Unless you also happen to be locked in the dual system where not bashing Nintendo can only equal the other extreme.😅
@MichaelP exactly. The recurrence of these incidents makes you wonder more and more - does it HAVE to be YouTube? Even beyond family and friend circles, the internet historically has plenty of room for discretion. But all the reported stuff has to show up on a platform where C&Ds seem like Tuesday by now! Reminds me of an MLP fighting game that Hasbro once slammed to the similarly rabid outcry of the respective fandom (and whose core idea - with the help of MLPFiM's original creator, no less! - eventually evolved into what we know as Them's Fightin' Herds). With all respect to the devs, what was the difference between their work and many other projects that have survived the corporate lawyer hammer? I dunno, maybe that time they got ahead of themselves and publicly submitted the game straight to EVO?🙄😅
Ironically, that YT-centric mentality seems to leak over to the projects' target audiences as well. Be it fanworks or uploaded content from an original work, a lot of fans these days seem to think that being stricken off YouTube means erasure from the face of the planet. Torrents and other kinds of P2P sharing? "What sorcery art thou speaking of?"
I'm not defending this because this is Nintendo screwing over people to make sure that Nintendo...doesn't actually get anything from this anyway. It's ****ing dumb, and a waste of everyone's time. But I at least see understand why this is a potential issue if its specifically trying to recreate the music. Which is not the same as when people do 8-bit covers of modern video game songs, since that is factually a different song. Unlike other music, this is entirely based on the music itself, there's no singer to inherently make it different on any level. And nowadays music copyright is the worst and most overly likely to lead to lawsuits for similar sounding music anyway, so intentionally recreating the SAME SONG and saying as such is unsurprisingly gonna be an issue.
But its still ****ing dumb and Nintendo gains actually nothing from this. If I ran a business, I'd be focused on doing things that are actively positive for said business. This is not.
@nhSnork no I guess not, but why even bother defending Nintendo? As we can see, they only ever respond with extreme contempt.
Its unfair but at this stage what do you expect? Nintendo make it clear where they stand on these matters like it or not.
@ThomastheTankEngine thanks for your comment, but my opinion is mine and yours is yours. Stop trolling for an argument.
@iLikeUrAttitude I read that he said that Nintendo only took down the ones that infringed on copyright. Me repeating my dislike is this kind of thing is no different to you doing the opposite.
@SwitchplayerJohn That's not a bad idea, I like it. Maybe expand it for online use, or putting up soundtracks for sale too?
Articles like this, is why I was happy about the dude (in the other recent article, about piracy), being able to have his freedom. Also, why I don’t care about people successfully pirating some games. The majority won’t buy them, anyway. Countless times, we’ve heard about a crackdown on people pirating their games. But, they operated while Nintendo was making record profits. People can’t even make tributes to Nintendo. 🙄
It almost seems like Nintendo want to erase some of their content from existence.
This is so stupid. Stupid and sad. People do covers all the time. I do them. I upload them. They're fun to do. But if it's Nintendo music i wouldn't be allowed to do it just because they say so? I'm really wondering if they can just request that on a per song (or per artist rather) kind of base when in general it is legal to do covers. Even earn money off of them.
@Araquanid no. You got it totally wrong. Covers are not and have never been 'basically parodies'
@ThomastheTankEngine because remaining level-headed, not expecting an entertainment industry corporation's world to revolve around you and not pretending that their actions have much impact on most audiences' lives beyond aforesaid entertainment doesn't necessarily equal "defense" either.
I, too, can grumble about FWPs related to the topic, like a YouTube playlist of English-subbed Ciel no Surge playthrough getting pre-emptively removed in the light of the game's re-release on Switch (only for the latter to still be stuck in Japan at the moment of writing), but... I'm still aware that they're FWPs on my end. My welfare isn't affected, my entertainment options aren't exhausted, and I don't feel disrespected because "respect" is the dead last thing I consciously seek from such entities. I don't worship them at the expense of my personal interest, and that's exactly why I also expect nothing of the sort from them.
@StefanN making money from cover songs without permission? that has never been true in the music industry. Some might close an eye but the truth is you need permission if you want to monetise your cover song
@StefanN As an artist, you should know that while yes cover songs are legal; to distribute them you need a licence from the publisher or artist. That and you have to pay royalty fees to the publisher/artist. If you're not doing that... that's a lawsuit waiting to happen if you happen to upset a lawsuit-happy artist.
Now, YouTube does try to do a lot of this work for people. But, if YouTube does not have a monetization agreement with the publisher they will remove the song in question (which seems to be the case here) if the publisher sends a DMCA claim or contacts YouTuber directly. Or you can get a licence through the rights holders or through a 3rd party that contacts these rights holders and gets a licence for you. But, you WILL be required to pay royalties!
The more NL paints a misleading picture about copyright law the more I root for Nintendo. However, in this specific case, I think Nintendo is in the wrong and should just demonetize instead of remove.
THAT SAID, this creator should distinguish between original covers and remixes because there is a very big difference — especially legally; just ask Vanilla Ice. And if NL wants me to take these articles more seriously (or seriously at all), they should seek to investigate and clarify that distinction themselves.
Could Nintendo at least say what they ARE OK with? A written list would go a long way for making things clearing on what they approve and disapprove of. (After that, THEN we can nudge them to the 21st century.)
@Chocobo_Shepherd for those curious what you mean, I found a helpful YouTube video by someone who owns a label who explains it very well: https://youtu.be/Lm2Mz-EQ7qc
@NatiaAdamo good luck with that. Most music labels are more stuck in the 20th century than you think. Most, will just take your revenue or slap a DMCA claim on you if you even sneeze a cover or remix on the internet without their explicit permission. Music is one of the most lawsuit-happy industries in the world.
@iLikeUrAttitude cover songs have never been classed as 'fair use'. The big artists have to get permission and/or pay fees so they can make money from their own cover version.
@Wexter oh wow thank you for the lengthy explanation! Yeah i realized I remember it now that you said it. And also that i don't know much about the legalities at all so thank you!
@GameOtaku this should hopefully help clear things up - https://www.openmicuk.co.uk/advice/do-you-need-a-licence-to-do-cover-songs/ The venue has already paid the fee for other artists to perform cover songs. It isn't free.
Here's what I'll say about this (sorry for the long-winded):
Being a Nintendo fan has long felt like being in an abusive relationship where [STRICTLY METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING] it's like getting the ***** beat out of you all the time, but you still don't leave because the sex is just too good. By that, I mean, I am simply appalled by their litigious, draconian, seemingly arbitrary blatantly anti-consumer practices and decisions. But I can't quite bring myself to do the one thing that might possibly inspire a change from them, and hit them in the pocketbook by walking away from them, and their products. Neither of the following sentiments are exaggerated even one iota: as a content and culture and experience creator....I LOVE them! Best in the entire industry in my opinion! But as a corporate business entity....I HATE them! Full stop!
In the past, with the Switch being my #1 system, I really felt even more trapped than I do now that the Steam Deck has supplanted it as my top machine, and so maybe soon I'll feel sufficiently emboldened to take some kind of action. Either way, even if (as a now secondary, or possibly even tertiary system for me, possibly also now behind the XBSX), I never completely abandon the Switch, the balance between love and hate has shifted from a bitter stalemate to one where the negative feelings and indignation and disgust finally have the liberty to begin to dominate. So, maybe I won't hard drop N. Instead, maybe I'll just let them do a slow fade. And then, when it comes time to possibly buy whatever Nintendo does next....maybe I just won't do it. That's probably a long ways down the road, though, so we'll see. But I do have a hard time envisioning my outlook towards them sweetening, rather than only continuing to sour in the time between.
Lastly, for years, I posted [as a repeater] my VGM podcast on YouTube, but stopped a few years ago as I watched my numbers migrate from there to the podcast feed (a corresponding and nearly equal lowering on the one and raising on the other). I had planned to return Nerd Noise Radio as a music-only mixtape service to YouTube starting next year to celebrate the 10yr anniversary of its existence. But with Nintendo only getting more and more brazen and draconian as time goes on, it is more and more uncertain (and maybe now even somewhat "unlikely") that I will do that. My show is big enough that I feel justified continuing to make it (sorta middle of the pack by the far more modest standards of VGM podcasts), but small enough that it should stay off most radars. However, Nintendo seems uniquely focused on YouTube in particular, and so why should I risk putting a spotlight on myself like this?
I guess we'll see. But either way, this is ***** that content creators like myself have to even be making these kinds of mental calculus just because the house of Mario are going to be such dicks! Yeah, the needle is definitely moving further from green to red on them the more time passes and with each new headline.
Here's to hoping that they don't manage to completely ruin a good thing!
No they not only play at venues but their songs are available on cds and other digital storefronts including iTunes. Of course they do give credit and say the songs are property of the original rights holders.
@GameOtaku then they are likely currently 'under the radar' - the song rights owners either don't know or aren't yet choosing to do anything about it.
Even if you give credit, you can't really distribute cover songs (especially for money) without permission. I don't know what it takes to release a song on iTunes though and whether there are other fees involved.
Removed - inappropriate
This is 100% complete and total bulls**t. Remixes and covers almost certainly fall under fair use, educations purposes, or parody law. I am relatively certain, if a case like this were to go to court, Nintendo would likely lose...and I think Nintendo know it, but they throw their weight around like this to scare people into not f'ing with them.
@GeneJacket You're wrong. They're not.
"Additionally, there is a common misconception among cover song creators that merely cite “the Fair Use Doctrine” and believe that it provides protection against copyright infringement. This is not true as the Fair Use Doctrine does not apply to cover songs, as it is only applicable to a work created to comment, criticize, or parody an existing track. (17 U.S.C. § 107)"
Does it suck Nintendo is doing this? Yes! Are they within their rights? Also yes! In this case, they are even more in their rights because while he used his own samples he was recreating the songs, not covering them. Aka this can "replace" the original work in the eyes of the creators and IP owners and such fails all three parts of Fair Use.
If he was making videos showing the process of creating these songs then he could qualify. This video is an example of this : https://youtu.be/jvIzIAgRWV0 and so is this one https://youtu.be/IUMeeU1TgSI . These videos qualify as fair use as they are meant to show the creative and technical process of creating music/covers.
I'm one of the few people who agreed with Lars Ulrich years ago that Napster was wrong in allowing people to steal music. I'm one of the few who thinks Nintendo is well within their rights and are protecting themselves. The soundtracks are very important to Nintendo, I'm guessing the theme parks need themes to justify their existence and at over a billion bucks of investment Nintendo needs the memorable and popular themes, characters, music to make the theme parks work. If you could listen to someone on Youtube do an amazing cover then why go to Nintendo World? What if a YouTuber make videos on how to reproduce the menu at the Super Mario Cafe? Doesn't leave much for the customer to see if everything is on the internet for free other than the mario kart ride.
Not buying this. Either this guy fell for a prank or he’s stirring up *****
@Sam_TSM Soundrop is a music licensing company that will coordinate the entire process of licensing covers for online marketplaces and streaming. They have experience working with Nintendo.
@Fulkaffe I doubt Phil is that nice, there's been a Halo soundtrack legal battle going on for years. They are sticking it to the original composer bad
@sirmrguitardude this is maybe the most hilarious justification for anything i've ever read and i'm halfway convinced you're taking the piss, if this was the case absolutely nobody would be going to disney world for the last (X) years given the ten thousand versions of "It's A Small World" and its ilk both online and in simple pastiche in film, same with the food there
absolutely nobody is going to a theme park just to hear the music, and anyone could tell you experiencing a thing is different from looking at its composite parts (which is literally what the park is marketed around: being an experience)
@Wexter Another thing about fair use is you are allowed to broadcast a few seconds of copyright material. I have a BA in music industry and actually studied this. Nobody seems to believe me or care though
@somebread What if the ball park doesn't have anything else there, like no game happening? Nintendo World is a mario kart ride and a cafe.
@sirmrguitardude You don't even need a BA to know this. About 20 minutes of internet sleuthing on law pages and even a quick wiki read can clear up why this guy got in trouble with Nintendo. I don't agree with Nintendo's decision, but I'm not going to claim this was fair use when it fails every test of fair use.
Though I suck at reading sarcasm lol
he's quoted in the article saying he wasnt monetized.
@sirmrguitardude again, i'm willing to bet most people going to nintendo world are doing it for the experience of seeing mario's world in real life in some fashion, the muzak is by far not the largest part of that (and is generally somewhat drowned out at theme parks to begin with)--its not exactly a substitute to just listen to it at home
also, there's the whole "power band" thing that's both an attraction (in very loose terms) and incentivizes walking around the park
What the heck? He made those covers. They aren't the originals. This took hard work. I really don't understand.
@arnoldfranklin He lacked the licence to create these recreations of Nintendo's work. I can manually type out all of A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones and recreate the entire book in Google Docs does not mean George R.R. Marin is not going to sue my ass if I share it online. Does not matter how long it took me to type a Game of Thornes, I don't have the licence to do it and distribute it.
But! If I break down the process of how George's writing works and why certain passages are effective then I'd be covered by Fair Use.
The same applies to cover songs, especially ones that try to recreate the original work as close as possible.
is there a good way to telegraph clearly the massive bad publicity that Nintendo is generating through these actions? Like a petition we can all sign, a metaphorical kickstarter we can support, something? because ill sign it. This one is just too far.
@somebread So you think the music has no effect on the customers' enjoyment? You think it has no value or something? Yeah the lame looking wrist band game that looks terrible, I think you find ?blocks and look for nintendo characters hiding in the back grounds. It's all based on the nostalgia, they have a mario movie coming, they changed there plan majorly. I wonder if the Switch will have half a billion dollars invested into it across its entire lifespan. I honestly don't know but I think the theme parks are their biggest investment
@Wexter you're totally correct, it isn't parody, it isn't fair use. I do concur also with the sentiment that this is all ***** and it's high time YouTube and other steaming platforms stepped up and automatically diverted accrued monetization to the license holder through agents. We're talkin $0.091 per 5 minute track or $0.0175/minute if it's longer. That's a one time mechanical license. I'm willing to bet ALL of these takedowns for monetized YouTubers have easily earned enough to come up with that dough, and YouTube could fricken automate it!
Here's an excerpt from there:
A mechanical license is a type of compulsory license, which means it is available to anyone willing to pay the established statutory royalty rate. The statutory royalty rate is determined by the Copyright Royalty Board. The current rate for a mechanical license is “9.1¢ [per track] for recordings of [a song] 5 minutes or less, and 1.75¢ per minute or fraction thereof for those [songs] over 5 minutes” per recording. This compulsory license can be obtained directly through the music publisher of the work or through a third party authorized agent, such as the Harry Fox Agency.
I don't believe copyright holders get the right to PREVENT mechanical licensing grants. The thought Nintendo somehow can prevent a cover by choosing against issuing such a license is false:
Remember that anyone can cover a song without permission as long as the proper license is obtained. A mechanical license is required for selling songs online or in physical format. When releasing a cover on streaming platforms, let a digital aggregator take care of the legal matters.
Should a performer do it live, however, they need a synch license which the copyright holder CAN deny and issuing those is not as easy as they require usually talking directly to them rather than going through an agent.
"If you could listen to someone on Youtube do an amazing cover then why go to Nintendo World?"
@-wc- And if you could learn how to cook the food at the cafe from a youtube video you have even less reason to
@-wc- Yeah they are only more successful than ever
@pelo88 God, I love you! Wish Nintendolife could pin this comment! SO GOOD!
ok, good. youre not serious. whew! 😅
"well now that i cant hear covers nintendo music on youtube, i guess ill have to TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY to a theme park in Japan! because somehow those things are related! LUL"
Good one, dude 👍
@-wc- yeah I am serious. What else is there to do at the theme park other than a single ride? Buy merchandise haha that's it
please stop, youre killing me 😅😅😅
@Wexter lol blush
so we know that Nintendo likes to be aggressively protective of their IP and they have every legal right to do this
But in this specific example, I'm wondering if the reason Nintendo went after him is because he was making accurate recreations of the original song? Is it because his final product is not transformative enough that it triggered the takedown? Or should we start expecting Nintendo to go after every cover artist now?
It's like the difference between me doing a Zelda fan art vs trying to paint an accurate replica of Nintendo's official concept art. Both are technically the same kind of fan creations, but the latter is not unique enough.
@jeresun the answer you seek is just a few posts up from yours. Also, cover songs aren't transformative works (assuming you're thinking about fair use)
(or just Ctrl+F and type Wexter and read through the posts) Pelo88 had a great one roughly 10 posts before yours.
@jsty3105 thanks, so that makes this news story not that big a deal then. I've done some Nintendo covers and even though they don't publish their music in the US, I've still been able to apply for cover licensing through Soundrop, and in the grand scheme of things, the licensing cost is pretty insignificant.
Seems like, "The only accepted way to show love for us is to buy our games. You will only enjoy our content in the specific way that we have outlined for you."
Removed - flaming/arguing
i have no sympathy for a company that won't even bother to publish the music in question. theres something sick about nintendo's behavior. new from nintendo: less art in the world. and for what? sales of their non existant official OSTs? subscribers to their non existant music streaming service? nintendo world ticket sales? (lol)
legally allowed or not, it makes them look terrible and as though they have a chip on their shoulder towards their most devoted fans. i guarantee you nintendo has made hundreds or probably thousands of dollars off this guy directly, and thousands more from the free publicity for their brand from his hard work. why should he support them at all now? and again, for what?
@jeresun Something this news maker possibly felt was less important than making the news as the next 'victim' 😏 If he paid the license fee, this story would look slightly different.
Although, I won't rule out a kotaku headline that reads something like,"Nintendo forced me to get a license for my cover songs or they'll be taken down".
@-wc- yknow, he could have just paid the license fee from the money he made from monetising the cover songs? Then the songs could still remain up?
I also think it'll be REALLY hard to prove that even only one person bought a Nintendo game as a direct result of watching one of his cover songs
Removed - flaming/arguing
@jeresun you really think they analyse all the covers? It would be so much cheaper to not listen and rely on the algorithms that music companies have been using for years now. Do you think an employee actually seeks it out and not algorithms?
@Matl Nintendo OWNS the copyright. If he wanted to use the copyright to make money, he pays the license fee like everyone else has to.
Those are the terms.
@-wc- It's Nintendo's art. They get to chose who recreates it.
@jsty3105 It's almost as if Nintendo is saying, follow these simple rules, and everything is fine. And it would be.
@sirmrguitardude Everyone else who wants to use music in a corporate setting pays a licensing fee. Why does this guy think he can use something for free that others have to pay for?
“Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should..” - Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park, 1993
@TheJujuman that's actually the point I've been making since my first comment about Napster
@sirmrguitardude i'm just saying that, outside of stingy dads in disney channel original movies, nobody has ever sat down, pulled up the music from a theme park on youtube, maybe made some tacky theme park food, and gone "Well, time to cancel my $5000 trip. This is basically the real thing," because "if you could listen to a cover on youtube why go to Nintendo World" is absurd
I’d love to hear straight from Nintendo a legitimate reason why they do this. Not from some internet armchair “genius” it makes zero sense. This type of behavior creates the piracy demand and following this behavior I hope Nintendo absolutely boils when they even think of someone downloading a rom.
um Led Zeppelin made a career out of it wdym?
An absolute dinosaur of a company
Geez that’s a lot of whining.
About 15 years ago I had a yt channel with 29k subs. I posted short gameplay videos of old retro games ( think 10 min was the limit for YouTube). I had great contacts in that account and much fun sharing the love for these games until I posted a few Zelda vids. Three strikes in row and the channel was removed and my account blocked. Never got it back. I gave up on YouTube because of that. Imagine how different my life could've been if Nintendo didn't screw me that hard.
@Punisher67 because they want him to license the music? That's basic in the music industry.
@BASEDSAKRI I'm unclear - led zep made a career out of what?
@Sam_TSM agree with that statement
Save your Nintendo YouTube remixes while you can
I wish NintendoLife would at some point manage to clearly differentiate between what this guy did (covers) and what the other guy did (upload the originals). It makes all the difference.
Ok topic, that’s a bit more concerning / surprising. Usually cover versions that contain no samples from the original are considered fair practice. Even legal, if it’s a straight cover version with no changes made.
He should, however, not have tried to monetize them. What was he thinking? That’s asking for trouble.
@NintendoWife I'm afraid that's untrue. Cover songs aren't and have never been fair use. Parodies are. Covers aren't.
It's legal to create them but you need a license to distribute them. You also need a license if you're playing cover songs in like a pub or venue but that's usually already paid for by the pub / venue.
Covers have never been fair use. No idea where people have got that from. Played in bands around the UK for years and had PRS (not the guitar company unfortunately) turn up a good few times and grill us to see if we'd played any covers and if our stuff was original.
I wouldn't mind someone covering my stuff for no profit/fun but if someone tried to coin in on it I'd be plenty annoyed. Playing music is hard enough, creating stuff is far harder imho. The YouTuber doing a poor me approach to try and garner sympathy is purely a cynical angle to take as he can no longer profit from other people's work. It's just playing to a David vs Goliath narrative and too many people fall for it.
I need to rephrase that (I’m not a native English speaker), “fair use” is the wrong term then. What I meant was: You can cover songs without permission if you don’t change them substantially. You’re allowed to play them publicly and even release them, too. Since you’re not using the original recording, you’re not violating the rights of the record company. However you don’t earn any of the copyright to the composition and lyrics, they stay with the original writers entirely. So when you release a cover, say, on Spotify, you need to link it to the registered original, thus directing all publishing income to the original writers. Same when you perform them live, you need to fill out a form that names the song and writers, and the promoter needs to pay certain fees to the writers or their publisher. That’s why, IMO, this YouTuber’s cardinal mistake was to try and monetize his cover version videos.
@NintendoWife Sorry, that's still not right. You can't play them publicly without a license nor can you release them without one (well, technically, you can like what this YouTuber did - but it doesn't mean a license fee isn't needed). Why do you think that there's an entire cottage industry around helping artists get licenses (like this site https://support.distrokid.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013648953-Can-I-Upload-Cover-Songs)?
Like you said, when you perform live, the promoter pays license fees (This is the part I don't particularly like because I feel it's a crapshoot whether the proper license holder gets the money - it all goes into a central pool which is then redisrtibuted).
Man Nintendough are some high tier asses.
@NintendoWife Ah okay. I totally agree with the last sentence and you're bang on there.
Music copyright is a bit different than you say. I grew up in a world where you'd buy music on physical media and you'd see this on EVERY CD/Tape etc:
© & ℗ Your name/band name, year. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved. Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this recording prohibited.
Kinda gets ingrained on you
@SteamEngenius Why? Needing to license music for cover songs is basic stuff.
Some get away with it but it's still basic stuff. There's a bunch of YouTube videos and other articles about it like this one
@jsty3105 No, that example doesn’t contradict what I said. Distrokid merely does some paperwork for you, they don’t negotiate an individual license with the original holders. How would they be able to do that for a flat fee of 12$? If they had to approach the record company and publisher to negotiate a licence, the fees would vary wildly and not be 12$. More in the thousands to ten thousands range. It would also take months and they could never guarantee a successful outcome.
And like they say: Never try to grab part of the publishing rights. There may, in your view, be a case where you contributed enough to warrant a new entry with split writing shares BUT that’s definitely something you need to negotiate with the original publisher (and since your cover version was unsolicited they usually won’t like it and instead veto your release).
@NintendoWife It does though. Because the copyright holder owns the lyrics and the music in general. You can play it in your own home, or record it without any legal issues. It comes into a problem when you distribute or perform the song live without a licence. This also includes sampling see Queen and David Bowie v.. Vanilla Ice.
What Vanilla Ice ended up doing was buying the song Under Pressure from Brian May because he was being sued for his sample of it in Ice Ice Baby (which would be far closer to qualifying for fair use than a cover). And that was for a simple chord progression https://exclaim.ca/music/article/apparently_vanilla_ice_owns_the_rights_to_under_pressure
Music copyright is very complicated and yes Cover Songs are not covered under fair use or fair dealings. It never has. Even if you say you don't own the song and give proper credit, you're still violating copyright law if you do not own a licence. What these companies do is by keeping fees low they can get a lot of people to pay into their program then they can get licences for these songs from the publisher or artists. Some publishers don't ask for a fee, some do, it is a crapshoot. But, the point is it is better to use these companies to do all the legalities for you. Do your CYAs because while a good number of artists don't care if you cover their work without a licence, enough do care where you will get into a lot of trouble without it.
After reading these comments I think Ollie Reynolds should have made it more clear in the article that the issue around the licence is more than Nintendo just being Nintendo. How covers are not covered (heh) under fair use and that artists on YouTube have to have the correct licence to do covers online and without it, situations like this can happen. It probably is more balanced, but probably gets fewer clicks with people like me not coming in here and explaining it.
@Wexter Sorry, but we all are mixing up many different things. If you were talking about copyright, why would you bring up a case of unauthorized sampling? And while doing so, why did you refer to it being a "simple chord progression"? Those are all unrelated, separate issues.
To make things more complicated, copyright differs internationally - in Germany, where I am, it is a natural right that you gain simply by the act of creation and that you cannot sell. In the US it is a right you need to claim first, and that you can also transfer / sell. As in your example of Vanilla Ice, which would not have been possible in Europe. Same as Michael Jackson owning the Beatles catalog at some point.
Too much for this space! But afaik the general practice is: You release / play your cover version and leave the original copyright intact (= let them make all the publishing money), and in most cases there will be no objections because everybody wins. You are however right that the original publisher always has leverage to ban your version - they could easily argue that your adaptation differs to a degree that you'd need a permission. So to be on the safe side yes, you'd probably approach their publisher.
And back to this case: Mr. Youtuber did not bother acknowledging Nintendo's copyright at all, instead he tried to monetize the cover versions like they were his originals. Didn't work out, big surprise!
@NintendoWife I'm going under what is in the US and Canada. Things can get murkier when you take things internationally where yes, a simple credit will work. It all depends, but since I believe he is based in the US he has to follow US rulings. Long story short, the guy should have gotten his licences in order before doing covers online. A rookie mistake.
@Wexter Well I didn't say things are simpler or "murkier" over here. And the general handling of cover versions is, I believe, identical. User jsty3105 brought up the page of a leading digital distributor that offers taking care of properly registering cover versions for a low flat administrative fee. In my understanding that can only work because there is a clause for cover versions not needing an individual permit unless they are significantly altered. Which is of course a problematic definition because what "significantly altered" exactly means depends on how good your lawyers are.
GEMA (the German equivalent to ASCAP) writes on their website:
Q: Does copyright apply in the case of cover versions?
A: Yes, for a cover song, the necessary rights must be acquired. In most cases this is done via us, GEMA. A cover version is a new recording of a musical work, possibly also with different instruments. If the lyrics or the composition are arranged, however, it is possible that further rights have to be acquired e.g. directly from the creator or its music publisher.
Maybe interesting to try and find the according quote from ASCAP!
Metroid Database plans on hosting his music on their site so his hard work won't be for nothing.
"...due to the fact that he only does this work for fun and not for money."
does this imply that he didnt make money from these videos, or am i misunderstanding?
This is just sad and disappointing. As the guy says, Nintendo needs to give us a place to listen to or download the music officially, but even then, there's no reason to be pulling down covers of songs.
@-wc- Honestly, it's really hard to tell thanks to YouTube changing their policy to allow ads on any video. It's reasonable to trust his word saying that he's happy not to make any money from the videos BUT, he also said 'he would have had no issue with Nintendo simply issuing a copyright claim on the videos and taking over monetisation for them'
and that strongly implies that they were monetised. He also has a patreon - I'm now entering pure guesswork territory but if he's mostly known for Metroid Prime covers then it stands to reason that most people are donating based on those covers, which by extension means that he's making money from Nintendo cover songs. It's a bit of a reach admittedly.
@FoxyDude - if he paid/pays the license (like how several other cover artists do), the songs would remain up.
ah, i see what you are saying. the article creates a bit of confusion, here.
in any case, nintendo has shown no interest, year over year, of releasing this music themselves, in my country (U.S.) anyway. ive been downloading OSTs and burning them on cdrs, listening to their stuff on zxtune and youtube, overclocked remixes, etc etc, since i was a kid, and will continue to do so as long as they refuse to even make the music available commercially, at all, ever.
actions like this make them look confused, mean spirited, and like they hate their fans. and, they are easy to hate back. theyve made it that way, its completely on them. legally right or not, they look ridiculous, incompetant, and vindictive.
@-wc- I think the key information missing here (and Synamax hasn't given any details about it) is - How much was the fee for the compulsory licenses for his covers?
We also know that we have a very different story if he paid the license fee because all the covers would still be up on YouTube
i agree, and id like to have that information as well.
i agree, this story would be different if he had gotten the license, but the overall story would be unchanged: nintendo controls their IP with an iron fist, while withholding same IP from their fans (and refusing their money.) again, no sympathy for a company whose messageing is that confused, their interests that conflicted. thank goodness there are people willing to distribute without a license or permission these classic works. (and may nintendo's legal team never discover zxtune and joshw's archive lol) ... (seriously everyone, get zxtune on your phone. nintendo could easily do something similar and charge for subscriptions, but they wont.)
Next thing Nintendo is gonna pursue will be all your Pokemon and Zelda avatars. Be prepared.
Nintendo is such a petty corporation. Like an old-fashioned parent who keeps their grown kids overly sheltered from the dangers of life.
For one good thing they bring to the table, all else is generally pathetic.
Jesus Christ. Yes, okay, I get that the letter of the law allows them to do this and they're exercising their rights and all that monotonous legal goodness, but context is important.
No other gaming company behaves this pedantically. Honestly, what juicy profits is this guy stealing from them by having monetised videos of covers? Again, I get that they're working within their technical remit, it's just really disappointing and sad to see them being this incredibly anal about things like this. This isn't even on par with crushing mods and fan projects, this is just petty and sad and small. Hope they're pumping their fists over in Japan. Well done guys, mission accomplished.
Did it only target Metroid Prime tracks? That's kinda sus.
@Maximumbeans Getting a license when you're distributing cover songs on YouTube is basic stuff in the music industry. Some companies / artists might overlook some things - Nintendo didn't. Also, notably, Smooth McGroove has hundreds of thousands to millions more views than Synamax does (Even though Synamax is very talented as well) and has Nintendo cover songs in his channel with millions of views and they aren't taken down by Nintendo.
Smooth McGroove does the 'right' thing by sorting out licensing etc - "As most YouTube artists rely on ad revenue for a living, do you have concerns about the way Content ID claims are being handled? What impact has this had?
Content ID concerns everyone that does music or gaming on YouTube. I happen to do both, so I definitely have concerns about this. It's made me seek out licensing and other protections for my work, which I've had success with so far."
Here's an example of other companies / artists that didn't overlook things on another platform
Basically, don't pay license fees = risk getting your cover taken down.
@devlind - No. It specifically targeted his cover songs (because he monetised them and did it without a license). His other Metroid Prime-related videos are still up.
I really think that if fans want meaningful change, then the best approach would be to make an effort to change the copyright laws. That means making an effort to pressure the people in Congress to pass legislation that would rewrite the existing laws
@Bloops I wish everyone replying "well actually, Nintendo has the LITERAL legal right to do this" would step back a moment and look at the bigger picture. It's not about whether Nintendo has a literal right to do this, it's about asking why this is worth so much to them, when it isn't to so many other companies, other companies who rightly realize that this kind of fan passion is a good thing, a true flattery to the content they produce.
@Moonborne unfortunately - music licensing is a beast.
Fan passion is one thing but it's pretty basic stuff that you need a license to distribute cover songs on YouTube
This isn't just a Nintendo thing. It's a music industry thing. I don't like it either as I personally feel cover songs from budding artists should get more leeway.
@jsty3105 The music industry as a whole is horrible and it's multifaceted for sure, but then you look at how so many other big gaming companies DON'T do this, and how this tracks across so many other expressions of fandom: Fangames, Capcom and Sega are totally fine with them while Nintendo strikes them down, etc. It's enough of a specifically Nintendo behavior that it warrants being called out, and the fact that there are so many people instantly jumping to take a bullet to defend Nintendo like the Simpsons Apu meme absolutely sucks.
@Moonborne Not totally true - Both have famously taken down fangames. Sega have a much more relaxed attitude now but still reserve the right to take action, "We never give explicit permission to use our intellectual property. We reserve the right to take necessary actions when our properties are used inappropriately, maligned or distributed for profit."
Just a year or so ago, Capcom issued a takedown for Rockman EXE Phantom of Network Remake, SHNecro and taken down skin mods.
In the large majority of Nintendo's takedown cases, some form of profit was involved (particularly in the case where hundreds of fan games were taken down at once because the site was directly profiting from hosting the games due to the 'advertising banners displayed on the site and advertisements played while users wait for the games to load'.
Personally, I wish Nintendo took a more collaborative stance on a case-by-case basis with fangames instead of relying on the somewhat classical method of needing someone to pitch a business idea to them.
Another example of Nintendo actively working to take a poop on every person who loves their work.
@jsty3105 I find it funny that people think we're defending Nintendo by educating people that this common practice in the music industry. You need the correct licence to do a cover and this is known by aspiring and established musicians.
In my personal view, Nintendo needs to take a bit of the log out of their arse... but, it is what it is.
@Wexter I find it funny too - if only because I thought there was enough people who either hated or liked Nintendo that would have experience of these things.
Looking through the comments on YouTube, here, and Kotaku, it's clear how few people actually know stuff that's frankly basic for any musician.
Having said that, I know it more closely because I've done lots of prior research as someone who's wanted to record cover songs.
@Wexter thanks. if only NL would, y'know, research this stuff. ah but then they couldn't benefit from the misinformation anymore.
I really hope that somewhere down the line someone at Nintendo will finally say: "You know, guys, we heard all of you loud and clear. You love our music, just as well as our videogames. We're happy to announce that our music will be readily available on all popular streaming services!" Or their own platform using NSO or another subscription. They really need to pull their heads out of their ass there.
This is the epitome of stupidity. Games I understand, music, no that is beyond silly.
@YANDMAN sigh - Ctrl-F "Wexter" to get better context
@Chocobo_Shepherd I actually wish that the NL writer of this post would include some technical information to help readers who may be unfamiliar with some of the concepts/terms in the article.
For example, that cover songs on the likes of YouTube, Spotify, etc have needed licensing since forever. ESPECIALLY when said cover songs are being monetised.
Also, a "compulsory license" doesn't mean that the license itself is compulsory. It means the rights holder can't stop you from releasing your cover song if you get that license. Which is a pretty important distinction here. Looking at the costs involved from a few sites - it's seems very small for an artist like Synamax who is already earning money from both his music and his cover songs, including the ones that were earning money before they were taken down.
I don't understand why he doesn't just pay the license fees (and don't understand why he doesn't share whether it was a specific number that was quoted by Nintendo's lawyers).
@jsty3105 Pretty much this. Do you need a job? Maybe NL could hire you to finish their IP articles.
@Chocobo_Shepherd hah! Thanks - I've written some tech magazine cover articles on a freelance basis in the past and generally do a lot of writing so have some standards that I follow
What alot of people forget is IP is there for a reason just like Copyright is there for a reason. Pay to use the material and they have no issues. But profit or advertise your services and that's when the legal trouble starts. Alof of people need to read over what IP statues are as well as Copyright Law statues are before making dumb comments. Public posted like YouTube and the IP owner have a say in this since you never paid or got permission to use it.
@-wc- You might want to check out the videos he has that are still up, including the ones that have samples from Metroid games in them. Those videos play ads. Don't tell me they're not monetized.
Also, "SynaMax goes on to say that he'd rather Nintendo had taken over the monetisation of his videos". Key phrase here, "taken over the monetization". Seems pretty cut and dry that he was earning money from these videos.
yes, in the following comments with other users i/we worked that out. you are correct.
i was referring to this part of the article
"due to the fact that he only does this work for fun and not for money."
which comes just before and contradicts the part you quoted, but clearly money was being made. im a little upset at this article tbh, i feel like there is an angle being worked here, and i must admit i got caught up in it.
though, i am for copyright reform in general, and believe that cover songs and even otherwise not commercially available game OSTs and other music should be fair use IF there is no attempt to monetize and especially if the rights holder is withholding the content. but, thats a dream and we live in this world for now.
@-wc- 100% agree. I don't like what Nintendo did, don't morally agree with it, but can't blame them for following the laws that exist to protect their assets. Issue is they could profit from these things instead of becoming public enemies, like what they did to Milton Guasti (AM2R dev). Instead of sending a C&D only to watch the community take hold and continue development, they could've hired the guy like SEGA did with some devs. But the Ori devs did that instead, so it worked out for him anyway.
@Kilroy my reply now is off-topic but - assuming you're talking about Sega hiring for Sonic there's a slight correction that might be needed. The developer spent a great time of time and effort pitching to Sega in an effort to get hired by them.
I notice some believe that Sega plucked him from relative obscurity just because of his fangames but that's not quite true.
@-wc- The angle is even worse on some sites, particularly on seemingly copyright-hating Kotaku - though I think that might be due to residual frustration from when the post author wrote an article last year about how Metroid Dread was better on emulators than on the Switch and infamously had a line in the article saying, "Thank god for pirates, emulators, modders, and hackers".
@jsty3105 Don't think I'll ever say "thank god for pirates or hackers", but the other two are fine.
From what I understand, Dread running well on emulators right off the bat was nothing short of a miracle. I'm sure there's an easy explanation for it, but that was the reception I saw. But it's not like Dread runs poorly (95% of the time) on Switch, though.
@sirmrguitardude That's not the point you were making. Your point was that the copyright holder should be able to protect their work.
My point was that these people think they are different from people who do the right thing and pay for their license to use the works. It's the other side of the coin.
it's important to remember that it's rarely the game developers themselves who are responsible for these choices. Often, it's higher-ups in the company who are making decisions based on financial gain rather than the desires of the fanbase.
That being said, it's important to hold corporations accountable for their actions and to voice our concerns as consumers. By making our voices heard, we can push for change and help steer the industry in a direction that better aligns with our values and desires.
At the same time, it's also important to remember the hard work and dedication of the game developers who pour their hearts and souls into creating the games we love. They are often the unsung heroes behind the scenes https://vancedyoutube.org/ and it's important to give credit where credit is due.
Ultimately, while we may not always agree with the decisions made by a corporation, it's important to maintain a level of respect for those involved and to approach the situation with a critical but constructive mindset.
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