Skip to main content

YouTube Changed Its Copyright Policies, People Overreacted, Again

What? No. Put down the pitchforks, tar, and feathers. It's going to be fine.


It was already against YouTube policy for users to monetize videos that contain copyrighted content, but YouTube’s recent copyright changes have given copyright holders the ability to flag copyrighted material. Some problems with the new system have shown themselves, but it’s not as though YouTube is unaware that newly implemented systems need work.

The main reason YouTube is implementing such a change is to crack down on users who upload entire movies, songs, or TV episodes, which in turn directly harms the original creators by diminishing the value of their work. Why buy something that you can get for free on YouTube?

However, some users are afraid that this means that users who upload and comment on gameplay footage will be hit with copyright infringement and lose their revenue. That, in turn, would lead to less gameplay footage on YouTube, which would absolutely be bad for the video creators, the people who decide to play games based on them, and even the game companies, who would surely lose out on sales.

That’s also why it’s not going to be a problem. YouTube has provided companies with the tools to crack down on copyright, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to do it all over the place. In fact, Polygon has reported that Capcom has no idea why some users have gotten copyright notices on their content, because they didn’t, and wouldn’t, send them.

They understand that those users only help their products reach consumers, and they’re not the only ones. Game developer Deep Silver also told Polygon, “We’ve already been looking into what we can do for the past day since this first went down, and we’ll be getting together tomorrow first thing in the morning to try and unravel it some more to find ways to help.”

While there’s clearly something wrong with the system if users are getting undeserved flags, it’s not as if that’s what YouTube or the copyright holders want. It’s just a kink in the new system.

Take heart, YouTubers. The creators of the things you love to play and watch are aware that this new system has caused problems, and they’re already moving to do something about it. We can understand the initial concerns, but sit tight; the copyright holders don’t like what’s going down any more than you do, and things should go mostly back to normal soon.

That hasn’t stopped prominent YouTubers from creating videos about the situation. It also hasn’t stopped comments on Reddit and elsewhere about what’s going on. It’s going to be OK, guys. The parties involved aren’t blind to these issues and the free advertising you give them.

On the other hand, if a game company decides to crack down, it’s true that it would not only hurt the video creators but also the company’s sales. That should be a wakeup call for the copyright holder in itself, so it’s safe to assume that this situation will balance itself out, and everyone can keep playing video games on YouTube for money.

(via Polygon, image via amy.kay)

Meanwhile in related links

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.