Nintendo’s Copyright Claims Against Content Creators Cause Backlash

Nintendo's Copyright Claims Against Content Creators Cause Backlash

Nintendo’s recent aggressive stance on copyright claims and strikes against YouTube content creators is causing uproar within the gaming community. The recent trailer for the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has whipped fans into a frenzy, but the hype has been met with an increase in the number of rogue copyright claims issued by Nintendo against content creators on YouTube. One creator, Eric “PointCrow” Morino, has responded by pleading with Nintendo to leave his channel alone.

In a video addressed to Nintendo, Morino stated: “Please remove these strikes and claims or at least start a dialogue with us so we can all move forward with the excitement I’m sure you would love to see about your future games.” This plea comes after the Switch manufacturer apparently doubled down on issuing copyright claims and strikes against Morino’s channel, increasing the total number to 28, including ones against older videos that had nothing to do with Breath of the Wild, like one about Wii Sports.

Morino, who has been making videos featuring challenge runs and other modded content for years, was targeted by Nintendo on April 6th after he uploaded footage of a Breath of the Wild multiplayer mod he commissioned and released to the public. This was the first time Nintendo signaled it took any issue with Morino’s content. However, instead of reversing its decision, Nintendo has proceeded to issue copyright claims against more than 20 additional videos spanning Morino’s entire content-making career. While most of them included the word “mod” in the title, at least one contained just vanilla gameplay with commentary.

Morino accuses Nintendo of flouting its content creator guidelines to target him and defends his modded Breath of the Wild runs, which have collectively garnered tens of millions of views and helped maintain excitement around a game that’s now six years old. “To be clear, I have never encouraged piracy of Nintendo’s games,” he said. “The mods I’ve commissioned are not being sold, and all of the code is custom, meaning they are free of Nintendo’s assets.”

The move by Nintendo has caused concern within the content creator community as many are gearing up for a massive influx of interest from fans and viewers ahead of the release of Tears of the Kingdom next month. Morino is now wary of making content for the game at all, lest the arbitrary copyright claims continue. He believes that Nintendo’s decision to take down challenge and gameplay videos alongside modded content could apply heavily to their upcoming release of Tears of the Kingdom.

Morino initially planned to appeal the copyright claims, defending his videos on fair use grounds. However, he now says those legal efforts could cost millions and jeopardize the future of his over 1.6 million subscriber YouTube channel. It’s a frustrating situation for Morino and other content creators who are passionate about creating content for fans of Nintendo’s games. Unless the issue is resolved, there may be a significant reduction in the number of videos featuring Nintendo’s intellectual property on YouTube, much to the disappointment of fans.

Nintendo’s heavy-handed approach to copyright claims has been a point of contention in the gaming industry for years, with many content creators feeling unfairly targeted by the company’s policies. Morino’s case is just the latest example of this, and it highlights the need for clearer guidelines and more transparent communication between Nintendo and content creators.

The impact of Nintendo’s copyright claims on the games industry is significant. Content creators play a vital role in promoting games and building excitement around upcoming releases, and many gamers rely on their content to make purchasing decisions. If creators are discouraged from making videos about Nintendo games due to fear of copyright claims, it could have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.

Moreover, the recent surge in copyright claims against Morino and other content creators comes at a time when the games industry is already facing significant challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted game development and supply chains, leading to delays and shortages. The industry is also grappling with issues related to worker exploitation, crunch, and toxic workplace culture.

Nintendo’s approach to copyright claims is just one of many issues that the games industry needs to address in order to ensure a more sustainable and equitable future. As gamers, developers, and content creators, we need to work together to create a more transparent and ethical industry that values creativity, innovation, and fair compensation for all those involved.



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