A lot of YouTubers are reporting wide-spread copyright infringements on videos that include video game material, according to several news outlets including Polygon.
To some, this comes as little surprise after the TotalBiscuit saga where John Bain (better known as the Cynical Brit) had a video removed by WildGameStudios who are responsible for Day One: Garry’s Incident. (They have since apologized and removed their claim.) However, this practice of using the copyright system against YouTubers to remove videos is becoming worrying more prevalent.
It appears that in the last week, YouTube has started scanning Let’s Play and Review channels for so-called “copyright” material and issuing warnings or infringements on accounts. Channels as large as TheRadBrad and Machinima are having their inboxes flooded with warning notices.
My YouTube channel is incredibly small (24 subscribes, heeeeeeeyoooooo!) and I’ve had copyright notices sent to my account, but not since August when my last Let’s Play went live. As a small channel and an unknown reviewer, the complex copyright laws which exist in the US (where YouTube and company owner Google operate) scare the Hell out of me. Even the laws here in Australia tend to work against anyone wanting to use material under “Fair Use”.
Some publishers are notorious for issuing warnings against YouTubers for even mentioning their material in games, but others like Blizzard and Capcom are telling users to challenge any infringement notices.
The issue is sticky. Copyright laws vary from country to country and no-one understands why YouTube are suddenly on the warpath for potentially infringing material. YouTubers are responding appropriately, though: