Developers may be “waiving their rights” if they allow YouTubers to use game footage

Monday, 16 December 2013 12:56 GMT By Dave Owen

The controversy of YouTube clamping down on gameplay videos continues, and now a lawyer well-versed in copyright law has weighed in on the subject, claiming that if developers allow YouTubers to continue unchecked, it may prevent them from taking action in the future if their footage is used in a manner they don’t like.

“Posting video clips without the copyright owners’ permission is copyright infringement,” says Kim Walker, partner at Thomas Eggar law firm. “In allowing gamers to promote themselves with footage informally, and by announcing this to the press, developers may be waiving their right to take action for infringement against these or other You-tubers if the content is used in a way they don’t like, unless they have clearly reserved their rights. A licence agreement would be the best way of protecting both parties rather than leaving things on an informal basis, but there will likely be a cost to administer the scheme and so may not prove popular.”

This follows a spate of copyright claims seeing well-known YouTube personalities being forced to remove videos showing gameplay footage. Many developers have since spoken out to voice their support for the YouTube community and the use of their games.