So, sometimes when a YouTube user creates a video that features trademarked content, publishers will put ads in front of the video thus generating the company revenue. Unfortunately, this essentially takes ownership of the video away from the original creator, along with any rights to income generated by those ads.
Nintendo has been exercising this right over videos that contain gameplay footage. This has pissed off more than a few YouTubers, especially those who are known for their play through vids. The debate on whether or not this type of content count as derivative works and are thus protected under fair use has been going on for a while. Regardless, YouTube content creators who depended on the income generated by their own YouTube ads are now out of luck.
The community backlash has been significant, with several fans and video producers complaining about Nintnedo’s behavior. However, this is a double edged sword. On one hand Nintendo is taking income away from video producers, but on the other hand this is a far better outcome than simply taking down the videos altogether. Many fans are arguing that Nintendo should just live and let-live, as this content is only producing fan buzz about their products. If it were that simple, though, YouTube probably wouldn’t have allowed companies the ability to claim ownership over videos in the first place.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer