Nintendo Attempts To Bottle The Leak Genie With Copyright Strikes

from the smash-the-leaks dept

A cursory review of our posts on Nintendo will reveal a company all too willing to wield intellectual property purely as a way to combat anything it doesn’t like. The gaming giant jealously protects its IP, sure, but it also deploys its lawyers for such purposes as scaring the shit out of ROM sites, silencing YouTubers, shutting down fan-games from its biggest fans, and holding its consoles hostage unless customers agree to updated EULAs. Outside of Nintendo, many groups have tried to use copyright laws and the DMCA to combat leaks about content, or the content itself. This is rarely a good idea, what with the opportunity to use such leaks as free promotional material being an option instead.

Well, as you may have heard, Nintendo suffered its own high-profile leak recently, with the forthcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finding its way onto the internet before the game has even been released. As you would expect, Nintendo got its lawyers busy firing off DMCA notices for all kinds of sites that were hosting the actual game that leaked. It also, however, decided to issue copyright strikes on YouTubers who showed any of the games content.

The YouTuber named Crunchii has been uploading new remixes from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to his channel over the past few days, which has drawn the ire of Nintendo. Crunchii’s channel has been hit with copyright strikes from Nintendo of America, which has caused him to be locked out of his account and will result in its termination over the next few weeks.

There is also a YouTuber named Dystifyzer, who also posted songs from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s soundtrack. He too has been hit with numerous copyright strikes from Nintendo and is expecting his YouTube channel to be gone by next week.

This is stupid on so, so many levels. First, combating leaks with copyright notices rarely works at all, never mind well. Once the bell has been rung on the internet, it’s nearly impossible to fully unring it. On top of that, going after YouTubers that are simply showing off the leaked product really only makes a ton of sense if you don’t have a ton of confidence in the quality of that product. If you believe the product is awesome, you should want it shown off, even prior to release. Hell, maybe especially just prior to release, as a way to hype the game even further and push more sales.

It’s worth noting both that pretty much everyone showing off this leaked content was expecting Nintendo to freak out over it, and that the leaked content itself isn’t terribly compelling.

The sad thing is that the leaked content from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hasn’t been all that exciting – it’s mostly new music tracks and some new facets of the World of Light mode. There haven’t been any secret unannounced characters hiding in the code of the game that Sakurai was hoping to spring on the fans.

The reason why the World of Light mode doesn’t have as many cutscenes as the Subspace Emissary mode is due to how disappointed Sakurai was when all of the lovingly crafted FMV sequences were quickly uploaded to the Internet. The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate leak proves that he was right to reveal everything beforehand, as any secrets would have been spoiled just two weeks before the game was released.

Making it all the more head-scratching that Nintendo is going to these lengths to combat the showing of the leaked content. But, hey, Nintendo is gonna Nintendo, I suppose.

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Companies: nintendo, youtube

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Comments on “Nintendo Attempts To Bottle The Leak Genie With Copyright Strikes”

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20 Comments
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Allow me to help.

There is also a YouTuber named Dystifyzer

A YouTube user who went by the username “Dystifyzer”…

who also posted songs from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s soundtrack.

¬posted songs from Smash Ultimate

He too has been hit with numerous copyright strikes from Nintendo and is expecting his YouTube channel to be gone by next week.

…and got his figurative shit pushed in so hard by Nintendo that he will no longer be a user on YouTube.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Why does anyone, other than Nintendo itself, post anything about Nintendo games? It’s just a headache, an invitation to a slap. They want to promote their material? Let them pay a pro Ad Agency to promote it. Give them nothing promotional free, ever again.

Want to spend your time promoting something? Promote one of their competitors.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because the people involved aren’t mere paid shills, they’re fans. They post about what they care about. Which may include Nintendo games. Many people have been looking forward to the game for a long time, and they’re often posting to share their excitement first.

That’s the reason why trying block these things fail so hard. They’re not shutting down ad agencies taking orders from the highest bidders, or people taking part in an organised campaign. They’re attacking their own fans who are posting to share their experiences with other fans.

SmashBroFan says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually many streamers do avoid making Nintendo streams. The number of Nintendo game streamers now is much lower then it was on both Twitch and Youtube I think.

But with so many fans and such large venues, it is difficult to tell since the remaining volume of streams is still high.

Some streamers do live streams but do not record them for later views because of Nintendo and the music copyright issues.

So it goes…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Same with every kind of gaming situation, really. There are people who hate what EA do, for example, and avoid their games entirely. There’s some who only buy them when GoG puts them out uninfected with DRM. There’s some who avoid particular titles when specific bad news comes out.

But, it’s rare that they have something on the scale of Star Wars Battlefront 2 backlash to actually change their behaviour. That’s because they a huge amount of the IP people love, and people will still follow and report on their new games even when they hate what the company does.

Same here, only Nintendo actually have a track record of not only generating their own IP rather than buying it, but making a high quality product virtually every time. You’re not going to get fans reporting on the new title because they’re justifiably excited about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

The average nintendo company manager is 50 years old at least .
They don,t understand youtube or social media or the idea that fans want to share media .They shut down
their ridiculous youtube revenue sharing program .maybe because no sane person would sign a contract
saying half their revenue goe,s to nintendo, all videos
must be reviewed by nintendo before they go live.
All other game companys allow game play to be shown by anyone on youtube.
its free promotion for the game by people who
have 1000,s or even millions of fans .
There is nothing stopping nintendo showing hd videos
of their games on their own youtube channel.
Nintendo ignore fair use law in america ,
they,ll strike a video that shows a few seconds of a game trailer .
Most people just do not bother posting nintendo game
videos as it,s not worth the trouble .
Minecraft and many small games became big hits mostly because of videos posted on youtube .

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

It would be nice if the fan sites & YouTubers all released announcements saying they would no longer cover Nintendo IP. The odds of the corporation killing the sites & accounts is much to high if you happen to say something or show something Nintendo gets upset about.

Nintendo needs fans & instead of just accepting their heavy handed actions, fans should stand up and remind them without fan sites & YouTube their sales will suffer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Fair use

This is stupid on so, so many levels.

You didn’t mention fair use at all, which people are now required to consider before sending takedown notices. Negative effect on the market? No. Amount used? Little. Purpose of the use? Quite possibly a non-profit review. Nature of the work? "The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use…"

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Fair use

You didn’t mention fair use at all, which people are now required to consider before sending takedown notices.

"In select countries…"

And even in those countries, there is never any significant punishment for failing to consider fair use, de facto making that requirement worth slightly less than the paper it’s printed on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Fair use

"In select countries…"

Some large corporations do have private agreements with Youtube and don’t have to use the DMCA. Not being based on law, fair use doesn’t apply. Or if they use non-DMCA laws in other countries. But the story said specifically that these were DMCA takedowns. The DMCA is an American law, and all notices under it must comply with American law.

Anonymous Coward says:

I know Nintendo is a bag of dried assholes but…

going after YouTubers that are simply showing off the leaked product really only makes a ton of sense if you don’t have a ton of confidence in the quality of that product. If you believe the product is awesome, you should want it shown off, even prior to release.

If the product isn’t released yet it’s no stretch to imagine that they want to control the release of that product up to and including any advertising/fanfare for that release. I’d want the same in their shoes. The product was leaked, not released.

If the product is already on the market then going after youtubers and fans is a fairly stupid thing to do. That’s just not the case here. The youtubers making videos of the game before it’s released are obviously using a copy of the leaked version to do so.

It’s kinda hard to blame Nintendo for this one. Not to worry, there are many other things available to blame Nintendo for.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“If the product isn’t released yet it’s no stretch to imagine that they want to control”

They can want whatever they want, but the reality is that once it was leaked and went public, they lost control. No number of takedowns and lawsuits will change that, and it doesn’t matter how the leak happened.

They should be prepared to deal with these sorts of things in ways that don’t simply draw attention to the leak (and create further demand for the leaked content).

That’s just the reality of dealing with a fixed release date, especially one for a highly in demand title. Sometimes, the people who you’ve convinced to really, really want your product will find a way to access it before the day you allow them to pay for it. Right or wrong, that’s how it works.

“It’s kinda hard to blame Nintendo for this one.”

Not really. There’s plenty of other ways they could have dealt with the situation, most of them far more positive.

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