In 2013, the prevalence of Let's Play and walkthrough videos has grown exponentially. Thanks to affordable capture cards like the El Gato and the HD PVR, as well as the streaming functionality of the PS4 and Xbox One, gamers have been able to join in on the rapidly growing segment of the gaming industry.
However, as that industry has grown, so too has its public profile, which has resulted in a fair share of copyright claims. But, while copyright claims are part of the process, the recent influx of those claims from YouTube has suggested big changes are on the horizon.
As explained by YouTube earlier today, Content ID scanning has focused its efforts on MCNs, or Multi Channel Networks. Previously, those channels and their associated networks were outside of the purview of Google's Content ID scans, but not anymore. That means channels that exist under an umbrella banner, like Machinima for example, were hit with a considerable amount of copyright claims this week.
Additionally, YouTube has come out to defend their copyright claims saying, "We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of MCNs [Multi Channel Networks]. This has resulted in new copyright claims for some users, based on policies set by the relevant content owners."
But, as it turns out, these copyright claims might not be from the proper content holders. In fact, YouTube might trigger these claims automatically.
For example, several developers and publishers, like Deep Silver, Ubisoft, and Capcom have come forward to say they asked that no such action be taken against Let's Play-ers, even those whose videos are monetized. Rather, they encourage gameplay streaming as it brings much-needed attention to their games.
As a course of action, these developers urge users to dispute the claims in the hopes that the copyright claim won't be pursued further. Similarly, YouTube encourages users to do the same if they feel they have a legitimate request. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that the copyright claim stemmed from the video — it's entirely possible that the audio, particularly the music, triggered the claim. And on that front, developers unfortunately don't have an answer.
It appears that as the Let's Play community has grown, so too has its profile, prompting these recent copyright claims. What's worse is that the risk associated with ignoring the claims, or disputing them and failing, has the potential of affecting these users' livelihood. Hopefully, YouTube has a better solution than blanket copyright claims, or this issue is only heating up.
What do you make of the recent crackdown by YouTube on Let's Play videos? Do you think they should have a better process in placing for making copyright claims?