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YouTube is Taking Down Gamer Videos - What Does This Mean to You?

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YouTube is cracking down on people publishing video game related content to YouTube and many content creators who make their livelihood doing so aren’t getting paid as a result. Here is a breakdown of what is happening, why it’s happening, and what this means for content creators on YouTube.

What is Happening


Several content creators, specifically gaming videos, are being denied monetization of their YouTube videos.

The people who are being affected by this are YouTube Partners, content creators who make money from YouTube. These users make money by allowing advertisements playing before and in their videos.

These gaming videos are being denied monetization because the video content is triggering YouTube’s Content ID system. The Content ID system is a content claiming program that can detect if a video matches copyright holder’s content, including music, movies, television, and video games.

This system was first implemented back when YouTube was bought by Google. Because Google is Google, they have to protect the corporation from getting sued by companies for owning a platform where people are uploading copyrighted material. To fix this problem YouTube came up with the Content ID system.

Why This is Happening 


Most of the gaming videos on YouTube are commentary based. In order to provide commentary for a video game, you have to show game footage. Because you have to upload video game footage, the content matches Content ID, which when triggered, then puts the video under review and unable to be monetized until the uploader can prove they have proper permission to monetize the videos.

Twitter comment from Capcom-Unity, an online video gaming organization
Twitter comment from Diablo, an online video gaming organization

A majority of the popular gaming channels have protection under their respective MCN, Multi-Channel Networks. These are affiliate YouTube networks that help manage and promote select YouTube channels. Previously a benefit of joining a MCN was the ability to have instant monetization on YouTube videos. However, with a recent update to YouTube’s Content ID system, their policies have expanded to affect MCN as well.

A YouTube spokesman released the following statement.

“We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of MCN. This has resulted in new copyright claims for some users, based on policies set by the relevant content owners. As ever, channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid.”

This is a way for YouTube to further protect itself legally. If YouTube is going to pay content creators for their content, it needs to be content that does not violate their terms of service.

What This Means for Content Creators on YouTube


When uploading content to YouTube, it is important to know that YouTube has its own rules to abide by. Some things that fall under the legal ground of fair use, might not fall under YouTube’s guidelines. YouTube is a business and has to protect itself.

The first roll out of any service is going to have its bugs. Content ID is an algorithmic system that does what it’s programmed to do: identify content. It is also important to note YouTube’s Content ID system is the one making these claims not the copyright holders themselves. 

Several video game companies have responded to the disputes through Twitter. Many in the gaming community believe that because of this issue YouTube no longer cares about video game content, which is far from the truth. 

PewDiePie, the #1 YouTuber with over 17 million Subscribers, is a gaming channel and YouTube is very glad that his content is on their platform. If its users are making money, so is YouTube.

Through the YouTube Partnership program, there is 60/40 split of earnings between YouTube and the content creators; with YouTube receiving the majority of the earnings. In fact, it is because of the growing gaming community that YouTube is putting these rules in place. The Content ID update is not only to protect YouTube and the copyright holders, but the users from permanent deletion of monetization of their channel

What We Can Do

As video producers, we have to pay attention to copyright rules for several reasons - we need to protect our own footage from being used and claimed by anyone who discovers a use for it without our permission, especially if they are making money on an intellectual property that belongs to us, and we aren't reaping the rewards. In this same vein, we need to also consciously protect other creatives by not using thier work in our own without permission.

There are methods that we can use the works of others, through creative commons and fair use, it's just important for us to know what is right, so that we aren't also the ones wronged.

In the case of these gamers, they have permission from the gaming companies to use the footage, but the copyright search engines "see" or "hear" video or audio being used elsewhere, and think more than one use is without ownership or permission, unless you contest the takedown. In the long haul, it's supposed to protect and benefit us all, but as these video producers who used music creation software for their videos, it's sometimes a pain to prove ownership or permission rights.

Ricky Anderson II has been making online videos since 2006. He is a writer, comedian, and video editor residing in Fort Worth,TX

Ricky
Anderson II
December 16th, 2013