It’s just another day in the YouTube copyright flagging fiasco but the good news for gamers is that the majority of videogame developers and publishers are behind the content creators.
Valve is one of the latest companies to step up and clarify their policy on using footage taken from Valve products on YouTube. In a post on the their site they confirm that they support anyone who wants to create content. The statement reads as follows:
We encourage our users to make videos using Valve game content, such as playthrough or instruction videos or SFM movies. We are fine with publishing these videos to your website or YouTube or similar video sharing services. We’re not fine with taking assets from our games (e.g. voice, music, items) and distributing those separately.
Use of our content in videos must be non-commercial. By that we mean you can’t charge users to view or access your videos. You also can’t sell or license your videos to others for a payment of any kind.
You are free to monetize your videos via the YouTube partner program and similar programs on other video sharing sites. Please don’t ask us to write YouTube and tell them its fine with us to post a particular video using Valve content. It’s not possible to respond to each such request. Point them to this page.
Of course this policy applies only to Valve content. If you include someone else’s content in your video, such as music, you will have to get permission from the owner.
YouTube’s system of contesting copyright complaints is a nightmare and it’s not surprising Valve are simply asking people to “point them to this page”. Assuming anyone at YouTube actually bothers to take action or respond to help get claims removed.
So far the vast majority of companies are fine with video creators using their content as outlined in this list. It’s not surprising that Nintendo are being difficult, perhaps if they actually let people promo their games more their console sales wouldn’t be so crap.
There are still plenty of companies that are on the “Maybe” list such as EA, 2K and CD Projekt and its still not clear who is OK with what. It’s a copyright minefield at the moment with every developer/publisher having different methods of gaining permission. It’s just about enough to make you give up.