There is no rest for the wicked and no peace of mind for those who rip Nintendo game music on YouTube, it seems. Nintendo is cracking down on channels that upload music from the Japanese company to YouTube, issuing hundreds of copyright claims and ultimately deleting entire channels.
According to VG24/7, Nintendo’s recent actions ended up hitting GilvaSunner’s 342,000-subscribers YouTube channel with hundreds of copyright claims. Another channel from a user named BrawlBRSTMs3x was simply deleted.
GilvaSunner’s tweet simply read “Game Over”, while a picture showing some of Nintendo’s copyright claims supported his affirmation. Some of the game music is from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Sunshine or The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. GilvaSunner is guessing that the claims are coming from Nintendo’s Japan HQ, judging by the times when they were submitted.
According to some fans, Nintendo’s copyright claim crusade started due to the desire to keep the OST from Fire Emblem: Three Houses safe from the hands of YouTube music rippers, but the plan quickly extended to include other Nintendo game music.
Game music uploads on YouTube are considered a sensitive topic, since it may be deemed illegal even if the user isn’t monetizing the track. While some developers don’t have any issues with it and welcome the additional promotion, others tend to see it as an activity that may hurt their business. Many YouTube users took advantage of this loophole to earn significant revenue from soundtracks that they didn’t own the rights to, but YouTube put a stop to these plans a few years ago with stricter monetization requirements.
This is a morally gray area where the ball is always on the side of the game music creator. Uploading game music without modifying it in the very least is an invitation to copyright strikes and having the YouTube channel terminated, while even adding a few bells and whistles may not be enough to escape the same fate. While there is a lot of debate around this topic, and sometimes it’s impossible to get your hands on older game music that isn’t available for purchase, that doesn’t mean that Nintendo and other companies don’t have the right to take action.
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