Nintendo monetizing fanmade videos on YouTube

Fans that produce "Let's Play" style videos of Nintendo content will no longer be able to earn any ad revenue. The publisher has issued a "content ID match claim" on content that features audio or video of a certain length from its games. Offending videos will not be taken down from YouTube, but instead will feature advertising that will go directly to Nintendo--not the uploader.

YouTube user Zack Scott wrote an open letter on Facebook saying that "filing claims against LPers is backwards" and that because of Nintendo's actions, he can no longer play their games. "I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers," he added.

Nintendo defended their actions in a statement to GameFront. "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," they said. "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."

Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone, wrote an editorial on Develop, criticizing the publisher for their stance. "Thomas Was Alone would not have been a hit without YouTube," he said. "Without the frequent infringement of my copyright, the astonishingly aggressive use of my intellectual property and oftentimes presumptuous use of work comprising years of my life, I wouldn't be sat right now, at home, taking a break from my work as a full time indie developer."