Nintendo Hates You: Company DMCAs Over 100 Videos Celebrating Nintendo Game Music

from the orchestrated-takedown dept

Our posts on famed gaming giant Nintendo will likely give you the impression that the company has a very strange distaste for its own fans. Your brain will probably try to convince you that this doesn’t make any sense, since Nintendo fans are what makes Nintendo money. Your brain is wrong. Nintendo has demonstrated over and over again that if forced to choose between maximum control over its intellectual property and allowing fans to do fan-things, it will choose control every single time.

YouTube in particular tends to find itself in Nintendo’s crosshairs, what with the site being the natural place for fans of Nintendo to share Nintendo-y things with other fans. It’s worth noting again that, on matters of copyright at least, there’s really no reason why Nintendo must issue takedowns for anything that even barely could be seen as infringing on its IP. Such is the case with the recent spate of takedowns the company issued against a YouTube channel which had the singular purpose of celebrating Nintendo game music.

“Game over,” the YouTube channel GilvaSunner, which has over 300,000 subscribers, wrote on Twitter yesterday. They also shared a screenshot of an email inbox displaying dozens of copyright claims against videos of music ranging from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s “Hyrule Field” to “Mega Man 2 Medley” from Super Smash Bros. 3DS.

This morning, GilvaSunner shared another bevy of copyright claims, this time against videos featuring music from Fire Emblem: Awakening. “115 videos in total blocked so far,” GilvaSunner wrote. “They started manually with the most viewed content on the channel, and are now going through the playlists one by one I guess.”

Here’s where the lack of sense in these protectionist actions really shines through. Nintendo makes money by having dedicated fans purchase Nintendo consoles and games for its systems. Fans become dedicated through their love of a game and the nostalgia they might have for a particular property. The soundtracks of games can play a huge part in that, of course. In other words, YouTube posts of Nintendo music, while technically infringing, mostly function to supercharge the fandom of Nintendo properties.

Which is why so many gaming companies do nothing to impede this expression of fandom. And Nintendo doesn’t have to either. It can, certainly, and it has, but it doesn’t have to. It only does so because the company appears to view protectionism as some kind of default setting.

Why? Because, while fans love Nintendo, Nintendo doesn’t share that same love for its fans.

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Companies: nintendo

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Comments on “Nintendo Hates You: Company DMCAs Over 100 Videos Celebrating Nintendo Game Music”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Most of this music isn’t even available commercially’

Yup, and that’s where this kind of thing goes from "protecting your IP" to "attacking consumers". If you’re not offering something for sale, then you are by definition not losing money when someone infringes. It may affect some strategy that your company has, but you lose the "lost sale" argument if that sale is not possible. The main likely outcome of this sort of thing is pissing off would-be customers who would be happy to pay money or use some official streaming option if it were available, but now have no access to the things they want to listen to because neither is available.

It’s another case of them having the right to do something, but it not being a good idea to exercise that right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s another case of them having the right to do something, but it not being a good idea to exercise that right.

One should then lobby to revoke said "right".

No-one is losing anything by making available some copyrighted work that isn’t for sale. Not even the original artist. This is a case where the law needs to reflect that fact. If a rights holder isn’t selling a work, they should have no ability to make a claim against others doing so in court. The whole point of copyright is to make works available to the general public. The public has no justification for restricting itself otherwise. When copyright is used to prevent the general public from having access to a work, the general public has no reason to support the copyright on the work in question nor should they.

As a side note, remember this is also the company that bans you from their store outright if you’re caught cheating in a game. Blames / punishes their fans for their poor choices in game design. Looks at online reviews of their games as "costing them money." Etc. If anything about the company’s behavior in this article is a surprise to you, you’ve not been paying attention.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The whole point of copyright is to make works available to the general public.

Yes, but it’s supposed to do that by making sure they go into the public domain at the end of the copyright term. The problem is not that copyright holders can prevent others from distributing their copyrighted works even if they don’t want to do so themselves. The problem is that copyright terms are so obscenely long. In any reasonable copyright system, many of these games would be public domain already, and then Nintendo couldn’t do anything about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

i think nintendo is run by 50 year old people who do not understand
social media or youtube,
so its attitude is we own all our ip ,
they do not understand the concept of sharing content and fandom
Theres no other gaming company that sends out so much dmca, notices on youtube .
They are about 10 years behind other companys in regard to recognising
youtube video,s are free ads for the games you sell .

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The vast majority of Nintendo customers aren’t even aware of stories like this. People who pay attention to things like news about copyright takedown notices are a pretty tiny minority of Nintendo’s customer base.

Of course, the sort of person who dedicates a channel to Nintendo music, or seeks out channels dedicated to Nintendo music, is probably a particularly dedicated type of Nintendo fan, and likely a much more profitable individual customer than average. But Nintendo’s got enough volume that it doesn’t seem to worry about whether it’s alienating that sort of fan.

Anonymous Coward says:

Factual error: the copyright claim nintendo issued via Content ID is a takedown, but not a DMCA takedown. DMCA takedowns require provisions for counter-notification. The YouTube system is intended to bypass these via the Content ID system, since it boxes players into a "no, it’s not infringing because of [preselected statement]", as well as other preselected statements that are automatically rejected by YouTube.

TwiztidJuggla420 (profile) says:

The last Nintendo console I bought was N64. That is the last time Nintendo had a product that caught my interest. I bought it second-hand from a friend because that was back when I was still in middle school. I still have my N64 and every Nintendo console released previous to it packed away in a box somewhere. I have no interest in supporting Nintendo and their anti-consumer practices. Besides it’s just easier to download the ROMS these days. Download literally every NES, SNES, N64 game in one compressed file and play them at will without the need to change cartridges. Also I don’t have to worry about those old NES cartridges going bad or blowing or cleaning them. I still occasionally load up Super Spike Volleyball for NES on my nVidia Shield TV and play a few matches for nostalgia. I like the music in that game as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, the gaming industry for the most part hates their customer

Not to knit pick but the gaming industry has a pretty unhealthy dislike of their customer base. The jessica price saga isn’t a one off, she is the norm behind closed doors. That is unless said gamers exclusively agree with everything the game devs do. The epic store controversy also does a decent job of painting a hostile relationship.

Anonymous Coward says:

When was the last time anyone played Fire Emblem Awakening? Three Houses is the in-thing now. The 3DS is on the last legs of its last cycle. So much of its last legs, YouTube compatibility is retiring and you can’t get most physical copies of the latest 3DS games like Yo-Kai Watch 3.

It’s par for the course behavior for Nintendo, but it still boggles the mind that someone in their offices literally thought "Now that someone can listen to soundtracks from a game they used to play nobody will ever play the actual game again!"

Anonymous Coward says:

IT would make more sense to use a content id and maybe take 10 per cent of ad revenue ,
than take down all the video,s made by fans of nintendo .
i understand some nintendo games have music soundtrack released on cd,
but most games do not have a full soundtrack released .The reason
99 per cent of devs do not issue content id claims on game play video,s is they know game video,s are free ads and promotion .people watch streamers play a game and go out and buy it if they like it.
Minecraft is the no 2 game for teens after fortnite because it was featured
in 1000,s of video,s on youtube and twitch.

missingxtension (profile) says:

typical Japanese company

That is actually quite normal in Japanese culture,
It’s been the main problem with anime and manga.
They mainly want to sell hard to find dvd collections of badly dubbed content. In series like Samurai Champloo, Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Beboop and a lot of older anime the fan subs are way better than offcial release. The fan subs even provide additional context where it is necessary. Considering that a lot of those products weren’t even available in most countries at the time of the fansub.
I learned my lesson, I only mess with Honda.

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