We’re now ten days into ContentID-Gate, which arose after YouTube controversially decided to begin allowing copyright claims on videos that were previously shielded by the protection of multi-channel networks.
In case you haven’t been compulsively refreshing TetraNinja’s Twitter account, here are the latest updates: There’s still a lot to sort out, YouTube probably won’t make any changes to its system, and, most recently, game developers and YouTubers are working together to ensure no fraudulent claims arise.
Developer Lars Doucet, known for creating the Defender’s Quest seres of tower defense games, has spearheaded the construction of an important utility. Doucet has launched a wiki page called ‘Who Lets Play‘ that reminds creators which developers allow monetized Let’s Play content based on their games. While this won’t solve the core issue of CotnentID’s inaccuracies, it will at least allow creators to figure out which claims against their videos are legitimate and which ones come from copyright trolls.
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The next step is for Let’s Play-friendly developers to identify themselves using the #WhoLetsPlay hashtag. Of course, Doucet admitted there is a legal grey area regarding in-game music, one for which his wiki doesn’t fully account. “Right now, there’s an issue with music,” he told Gamespot. “Many developers, small and large, license music non-exclusively. This means the musician owns the music, but gives the developers some rights (namely to use it in their game). This means that *technically* it’s not legally clear-cut (again, I’m not a lawyer) that the developer has the right to grant permission for fans to make monetized videos that include the music.”
As I’ve repeatedly stated throughout this ignominious saga, there’s no reason why game developers wouldn’t want Let’s Play videos for their games. It’s free publicity that reaches millions of consumers. Developers would be wise to join Doucet in championing Let’s Play videos, unless (as with companies like Warner Bros.) they’re not interested in free money.