YouTube responds to Content ID crackdown on game videos

Gaming Culture Screenshot - YouTube copyright

YouTube has issued an official statement regarding the crackdown on videos flagged by the site's Content ID system.

For those who aren't as up-to-date with YouTube and its advertising policy, Content ID is an automatic system that tracks use of copyrighted material. YouTube's official description of the system explains, "Copyright holders use Content ID to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube. Every video uploaded to YouTube is scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by content owners. When Content ID identifies a match between your video and a file in this database, it applies the policy chosen by the content owner."

In recent days, thousands of copyright infringement notices have been sent to video producers that create game walkthroughs and Let's Plays, videos featuring a host talking over game footage. Large Multi Channel Networks, like Machinima, have been hardest hit by the latest crackdown and YouTube has offered an official response.

"We recently enabled Content ID scanning on channels identified as affiliates of MCNs [Multi Channel Networks]," a YouTube spokesperson said. "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," the spokesperson added.

It's worth noting that Let's Plays, while containing copyrighted game footage, are often less about the game and more about the host(s). But the fact that they contain some sort of game footage has seemed to flag many of them. A number of game companies, including Ubisoft, Capcom, Blizzard and Deep Silver, have urged video producers to contest claims if flagged, as they have confirmed they have made no copyright claims.

Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley, and his wife.
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