UPDATE: indies hit by Content ID on their own trailers, Twitter rage ensues

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 08:48 GMT By Dave Cook

YouTubers across the world are reporting a torrent of YouTube Content ID warnings landing in their inboxes in what is the start of a crackdown on monetised video game content. Get up-to-date reports on the matter here.

UPDATE 6: A host of indie developers have found Content ID claims in their inboxes now, from companies Indmusic and Tunecore, based on songs that they themselves have created.

Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell was first to hit out at Indmusic on Twitter:

Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail tweeted out a fair warning to his fellow indies:

VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh was also stung by Content ID claims on his own trailers:

The simple answer seems to stop working with Indmusic and Tunecore from now on, but the whole issue appears to be far from simple right now. Both companies have failed to comment on the matter, and we’re still waiting for Idol to get back to us on the initial run of content strikes. That’s been a week now.

Via CVG.

UPDATE 5: YouTuber GnomeWrecker has tweeted that despite the Content ID match issued removing his revenue streams, his contract with media company Maker/Polaris is now locked. The legally-binding contract suggests that even though Gnome’s revenue from YouTube has been hit, he still has to create content under his contract.

Despite being contract bound, Gnome added that Maker/Polaris didn’t have much to do with the creation of his content:

Regarding the issue The Escapist’s Jim Sterling confirmed Gnome’s predicament:

We’ve asked Gnome to further clarify his position at present. Via Splatteredhouse.

UPDATE 4: Oddworld Inhabitants and Just Add Water have posted a blog update on the YouTube Content ID issue. It reads, “We at Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc. would like to reassure YouTubers that we continue to give our explicit permission to anyone on the service to broadcast using Oddworld games, including Abe’s Oddysee, Abe’s Exoddus, Munch’s Oddysee, Stranger’s Wrath, and the upcoming New ‘n’ Tasty (and any updated, HD versions).This includes Let’s Plays, commercial trailers, and screen shots.

“In fact, nothing makes us happier than to see you guys enjoying our games, and it’s something we encourage wholeheartedly. So as we’ll continue to push our content through our own YouTube channel, we have no plans to issue copyright claims to others.If you are on the end of one of these new ContentID copyright flags as a result of showing Oddworld game footage, please contact us.

UPDATE 3: Valve has just stepped forward to give gamers its blessing, and to actively encourage YouTubers to make videos using its games.

It comes in a post published by the company, which reads, “We encourage our users to make videos using Valve game content, such as playthrough or instruction videos or SFM movies. We are fine with publishing these videos to your website or YouTube or similar video sharing services. We’re not fine with taking assets from our games (e.g. voice, music, items) and distributing those separately.

“Use of our content in videos must be non-commercial. By that we mean you can’t charge users to view or access your videos. You also can’t sell or license your videos to others for a payment of any kind.

“You are free to monetize your videos via the YouTube partner program and similar programs on other video sharing sites. Please don’t ask us to write YouTube and tell them its fine with us to post a particular video using Valve content. It’s not possible to respond to each such request. Point them to this page.

“Of course this policy applies only to Valve content. If you include someone else’s content in your video, such as music, you will have to get permission from the owner.”

UPDATE 2: YouTuber DPJ has published a video guide explaining possible ways to skirt around Content ID strikes. Watch it below:

UPDATE:

YouTuber Angry Joe has revealed that 62 of his videos have been flagged by the video service’s Content ID system. On the video he calls out those making the claims over music used in videos, footage and original content like his Tomb Raider interview. He also cites the Fair Use clauses found in US law and accuses YouTube of waiting until channels generated millions of views before using Content ID strikes to take money away from creators.

He argues that seeking permission for game review videos will see negative reviews rejected by publishers, and that the approval process will damage content creators, not to mention take away what is essentially free advertising for the game creators and publishers.

Joe adds that he cannot get in touch with YouTube and any channels he’s tried have resulted in no response. An official YouTube statement in the Content ID format reads, “We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of MCNs. This has resulted in new copyright claims for some users, based on policies set by the relevant content owners. As ever, channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid.”

So this means that yes, this is now an official policy at YouTube. It begs the question why Content ID match claims are coming from companies with no visible links from game publishers

ORIGINAL STORY:

The breaking news and reports are being compiled into a NeoGAF thread, which suggests many companies are now approaching content creators with Content ID claims.

Force Strategy Gaming has posted a discussion explaining what is going on among the video creation community.

They explain that there’s a YouTube monetisation review process going on in about a month, and that over the past week, many video creators have started receiving a vast amount of Content IDMatch claims on their footage, mostly from a company called ‘IDOL,’ a prominent music distribution firm.

Force Strategy feels that videos containing cut-scenes, trailers and game music are among the most common claims. He stresses that 10-seconds of a trailer is considered fair use, and that anything over that will increase the chances of a person receiving a claim. One way around claims is to become affiliated with an approved channel like Machinima.

However, VG247′s source – who runs a managed channel and serves over 6.7 million views a month – stresses that publishers are now coming forward to say that it isn’t them making the claims. Claims are, instead, coming from IDOL and are largely linked to music used in clips.

Our source told us, “YouTube flipped a switch 2 days ago and it seemingly matches any copyrighted footage (seems to be game audio) with their music library and then gives out content ID claims. IDOL is a company that distributes many individual music companies, which is why they’re linked to many of the claims.”

We’ve asked IDOL to comment.

Claims are coming thick and fast without warning. Just look at TheRadBrad’s email inbox:

Other video creators have taken to Twitter and voiced their displeasure:

Videos can be approved by submitting them to YouTube’s confirmation process early next year, clearing them for monetisation. However the review process can take between a few hours to days. The issue is that approved content will be late and therefore will not make its creator as much money. Some of those in pre-approved relationships are still getting claims, but nowhere near the same volume.

There now seems to be a misunderstandaing and confusion over the rules for YouTubers deemed ‘Affiliate’ and ‘Managed.’ Are they exempt? Will they have their content culled? What are the rules? The impending changes were outlined in this press release, but confusion lingers.

On the Content ID changes coming for Affiliates and Managed users in January, our source added, “Starting Janaury, ‘affiliate’ partners = videos will be put into monetization review as opposed to the instant monetization we’ve all had for years, which is basically bad news for gaming channels as it takes YouTube days to review and there’s still no guarantee they’ll approve the claim unless you have permission from the company to monetize their IP.

“Managed” partners = exempt from all content ID claims and protected by both Google and its network. Instant monetization remains, etc. YouTube has told networks make your partners managed or affiliate. If the partner is affiliate, they can get copyright strikes and content ID claims, etc., and the network won’t be affected and won’t be responsible.

“If the network’s “managed” partners receive a single copyright strike throughout their entire “managed” partners whether that be 50 or 100, they get fined, penalized. 3 total copyright strikes is bad news for the network so they’ll only make MASSIVE and very valuable partners “managed” as they now share the responsibility of a copyright strike with a “managed” partner.

“If you’re managed, you’re fine and can monetize anything you want. If you’re affiliate, your’re royally fucked and you might as well just quit YouTube.

“Summary: 99% of YouTube gaming channels will die soon.”

For those doing this as a full time job, it surely comes as a huge blow. Publishers seemed to be using home-grown videos as an increasing avenue for coverage, and while games like Battlefield 4 have received plenty of videos from people like jackfrags that are – essentially – free advertising – you’d expect them to be encouraged, not nuked in this fashion.

Publishers aligned against new wave of copyright claims

Deep Silver‘s Maurice Tan said on Twitter that the publisher is not issuing any Content ID claims, later reinforcing this stance with a longer statement placing the blame on Idol and Shock Entertainment, encouraging users to dispute the claims, and confirming it has raised the issue with YouTube.

“Deep Silver has no intention of preventing players, who like to create gaming content on YouTube using our games, from doing so. Nor do we seek to block any videos of the kind. This includes Let’s Play, Walkthrough, Review, or other edited or commentated videos that are monetized by a player. Whether your opinion of our games is positive or negative in your YouTube video, it is not our right as a games publisher to infringe on your basic right to voice your opinion freely using a public platform,” the company said.

“We will be monitoring the changes on YouTube and any other online medium that lets our fans share their common passion for games, and react and adapt to facilitate our communities wherever they are. You will not be alone in this, whatever changes may come. Within the games industry, including at our competitors, there are many who share this vision. Adapting to change may sometimes take time, so we hope that the gaming community will be patient with not just us, but others as well, as we collectively strive to resolve any issues that arise.”

Ubisoft also issued a statement urging anyone who receives a claim from Idol to step forward and ask to have them removed.

Bossa Studios of Surgeon Simulator fame, issued a statement saying it wants to reassure YouTubers that it gives its “express permission to anyone who wishes to create Let’s Play or gaming commentary videos using our games.”

“We love to see people playing our games, and will continue to be actively involved with our fans and YouTube community,” said the firm in a statement to VG247. “YouTubers’ passion for what they do not only inspires other fans to play, but also the Bossa team to make our games better. We’re always excited to see what fans can do with our games.”

Here are similar responses from Capcom, Naughty Dog and Codemasters.

YouTube’s response

Meanwhile, YouTube has issued a statement on the matter to Game Informer, stating anyone who is issued an infringement notice can file a dispute.

“Nothing illustrates the incredible growth and evolution of YouTube better than the enterprise class of businesses being built on the platform today,” a YouTube spokesperson stated. “As these networks grow, we’re making product and policy updates that will help them operate at scale. We are also rolling out tools that will provide more transparency for creators and networks alike. This is part of our commitment to ensure that all enterprise partners can continue to thrive and be successful on YouTube.

“We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of MCNs. This has resulted in new copyright claims for some users, based on policies set by the relevant content owners. As ever, channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid.”

Do you run a YouTube channel? Have you received strikes? If so, what’s your take on the matter?

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