The questions comes on to the table because of recent events, if not from long ago, where game publishers would take down previewed content of their own products from public services such as Youtube.
To have a better understanding of this topic, recently a famous Youtube personality released a ‘let’s play’ video of the sort where he and his friends played a short session of a Nintendo game and released it on Youtube for his viewers to see, and later on he found out that his video got claimed by Nintendo. Source.
Nintendo has been doing this for some time now, for years, but a year or so ago they released a new program where Youtubers would get in partnership with Nintendo, one where they would take a good percentage from the revenue produced from the videos produced by the Youtuber that his Nintendo content in it, after the Youtube would take a cut from that.
As you would imagine, content creators on Youtube got angry with how Nintendo is handling this, and any company for that matter that’s not allowing them to produce videos with their product as the showcase of all this, and some of these Youtubers would just not cover their products any more, but let’s see what kind of arguments both sides are presenting.
Content creators on Youtube would say that they have the right to post video previews of games and give their opinions, by reviewing, previewing, criticize these games, and overall give their own take and personality over the content that’s being used. They also say that viewers would come to watch them as the entertainer and not the game, and that having these viewers see the content that’s being played by their favorite personality would add more positive sales and impressions to a publisher’s game, so why not let them cover their games? They say it’s a pretty dumb action to take.
Game producers from around the internet have voiced their opinion on this matter, for a few years now, but to have a recent opinion, one developer that goes by the name of David Scott Jaffe, video game director of popular products such as Twisted Metal, argued that game producers have ever bit of right to claim and/or remove content from public services like Youtube, saying that if game creators simply do not want their games to be previewed unless a partnership or deal of some sort is established beforehand, or simply just not having it cover using their content, then they can do that, saying that game producers down owe Youtubers the “right to use their content so you can make your videos.”, and he did say that it is a dumb action to take, throwing away free promotion to a massive audience.
In general, both sides agree that this is an absurd and not a smart move, but one side is angry and taking a stand, while the other is taking the side of the rights to do not have their products get promoted, whether if it’s in a deal or not.
My personal take on this is, yes I do agree that a game creator have the right to remove content from public services such as Youtube, but to what extent? Is it ok to produce a coverage of their content where no revenue is acquired by both sides? Do they have the right to remove previews of their product if it’s on a private website that’s popular? Even on Youtube, can someone at least show a few pictures to give some kind of visualized of the content covered when previewing or reviewing a game to give thoughts on the product? Where is the line drawn in this whole matter?