Nintendo recently decided to start claiming ad revenue on user-created YouTube videos featuring their games. Unlike some other entertainment companies Nintendo has decided not to block any videos featuring their content, however any ads that will appear on these videos will now be claimed by Nintendo, and the YouTube content creator will no longer receive any revenue from these videos.
Nintendo has issued the following statement regarding the matter: “As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a Youtube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the Youtube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on Youtube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”
What does “a certain length” mean? It appears Nintendo is directly going after the Let’s Plays, but does Nintendo have the right to claim Nintendo game reviews as well? Or old retro Nintendo games that may have their copyrights expired? There are many Let’s Players on YouTube that make a living providing and sharing their content with others. Nintendo could be the first of many game developers and publishers that could follow suit with claiming Let’s Play videos, or even potentially any video game content. If that is the case, this could turn out bad for many people in the YouTube gaming community.