Nintendo Hates You: DMCA Takedowns Of Game Music Continue While Nintendo Offers No Legit Way To Listen

from the mine-mine-mine dept

Well, it's been a measurable amount of time, so we have yet another example of Nintendo doing the Nintendo, which is best described as depriving its fans of ways to celebrate their fandom via intellectual property enforcement while also offering no alternative route for said fans. Whether it's stripping some of the creative fun out of its Animal Kingdom game, nuking fan-made games of Nintendo properties like some kind of IP-version of Missile Command, or just generally being as IP protectionist as possible, it seems that Nintendo chooses restrictive enforcement over creative methods for granting fans permission to be fans at every turn.

You will recall that Nintendo is currently embroiled in a controversy, having first disallowed a Smash Bros. tournament that had to go remote over the use of a mod that made remote tournaments possible with the game, followed by rescinding the broadcast ability of a Splatoon 2 tournament almost certainly just because several teams chose team-names that were protests of its Smash tournament actions. The backlash over those actions have been fairly universal, which may explain why Nintendo is now retreating to older, more familiar methods for pissing people off: DMCAing music from its beloved games.

Now, they’ve come under fire yet again for taking down YouTube videos with music from Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, and Mario Kart Wii. It’s nothing new. Nintendo has been doing it for years, and they’re well within their rights to.  

GilvaSunner is a YouTuber known for uploading soundtracks from video games, mostly Nintendo. Understandably, he’s had many videos taken down over the years due to copyright claims. In 2019, he posted a tweet that said, “Game over.” It includes a screenshot with emails from YouTube telling him that some videos had been blocked due to copyright claims. However, he didn’t specifically mention it was Nintendo.

Now, more than a year later, he followed up on his initial tweet with an update. More videos have been taken down over copyright claims. He specifically mentioned it was Nintendo JP, although it cannot be seen in the screenshots.

He's not the only one, of course. Again, I will point out that Nintendo absolutely can do this. It's within their rights. But they don't have to. There are plenty of methods by which it could offer an inexpensive license for people to portray its game music if it wanted to. Or, given that this is copyright and not trademark law we're talking about, Nintendo could simply ignore all of this, as they selectively have throughout the years. The post goes on to note that reactions to these takedowns among Nintendo fans are mixed, which is understandable.

But it seems like fans are also finally beginning to ask the right questions.

Either way, the consensus is that this whole predicament has a simple solution. Nintendo needs to make the music from their game soundtracks more readily available and in a legal way.

“Please put your soundtracks on Spotify and/or other music streaming services,” said GilvaSunner. “Others have already seen the light, when will you?” It’s a sentiment that others share.

And thus we have the crux of how Nintendo does the Nintendo. The company patrols and controls its intellectual property with a fervor normally reserved for cult followers, but refuses to offer the legitimate -- and lucrative! -- methods for fans to enjoy that intellectual property.

Nintendo, whatever else I might want to say about the company, makes great products. And great art! Being restrictive on the IP side while also being restrictive over where that art is enjoyed is immensely frustrating, both to me and the real, true fans of the company's work.

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Filed Under: dmca, fan made games, mario kart wii, ocarina of time, streaming, super mario 64, takedowns, youtubers
Companies: nintendo, youtube


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 6:27pm

    If you won't, others will

    The fun part about not offering a legal method is that it pretty thoroughly shoots the 'this infringement is costing us money' argument in the back. If there isn't a legal or 'official' way to buy the music then someone else putting it up for people to enjoy isn't costing Nintendo a cent because there was never a potential sale in the first place, and if anything doing so might make them money as people hear something cool and decide to check out and potentially purchase the source game.

    If they could even just for a moment stop being such incredible control freaks and offer the music for streaming/sale themselves then they would undoubtedly enjoy a hefty extra cash flow, but until then they're going to be playing a never-ending game of whack-a-song as others step in to fill the gap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 9:06am

      Re: If you won't, others will

      If they could even just for a moment stop being such incredible control freaks

      That's the whole (corrupted) purpose of copyright. To allow absolute control over a work, society be damned. Why else would you demand copyright duration until the heat death of the universe? Control. Pure and simple.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you cannot stand the idea of someone else using your work in a way that you disagree with, keep it locked away inside your head and never let it out. Never publish it, nor disclose it. Get out of the media industry and find a different line of work. The world does not owe you indefinitely for the output of your head. If that is what you want for it, kindly keep it to yourself. The world doesn't need nor want it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: If you won't, others will

        The world does not owe you indefinitely for the output of your head.

        I've always wondered why regular people shouldn't be paid in the same way that creators are for work they did.

        A person creates a song 30 years earlier and gets money for it for the rest of their life. I helped redecorate someone's bedroom a few years ago, why shouldn't I get money in perpetuity for that? Why should that be any different?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: If you won't, others will

          I helped redecorate someone's bedroom a few years ago, why shouldn't I get money in perpetuity for that?

          You don't like that receiving royalties for redecorating someone's bedroom? Sounds like a great deal, if you ask me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 9:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If you won't, others will

            If creators can get paid for work they did decades ago, everyone else should too. :)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Samuel Abram (profile), 12 Dec 2020 @ 4:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If you won't, others will

              as a creative person, you'll find no argument from me on that one. That being said, at least copyright is expiring again...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 10 Dec 2020 @ 9:02pm

    Nintendo loves me this I know, for copyright tells me so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 9:15pm

    Nintendo UK asks on Twitter: "What's your favorite piece of music from the Legend of Zelda series?"

    Video cut showing so many of the youtube videos people linked in reply to that tweet have been taken down: https://twitter.com/i/status/1336747263167782913

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 10:11pm

      Re:

      I mean, straight up they should've just said "I'd tell you, Nintendo UK, but I don't want to get arrested for it."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 11 Dec 2020 @ 12:52am

    We should stop referring to copyright as a 'right'. Calling it a right conflates it with human rights, framing it as something to be defended and upheld at every opportunity.

    I suggest calling it something a bit more neutral.
    It's within Nintendo's privileges to takedown music.
    Nintendo does have dispensation to send DMCA notices in this instance.
    Nintendo is technically legally entitled to demand the removal of videos that use their content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 2:35pm

      Re:

      One suggestion I've heard is profitrights. Cuts right to the heart of the matter, I'd say.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re:

        © allows free software licenses and creative commons to exist. I support © reforms (such as reverting to an opt-in system from our opt-out system), but free and shareable licenses are a thing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 6:09am

    This is troubling.

    When Nintendo goes after their own game music, you know what that means? They could go after Zophar's Domain next, which archives video game music! This is really infuriating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 7:08am

      Re: This is troubling.

      Or they could go after Twitch streamers. It'd be stupid to do that, but when has that ever stopped Nintendo.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 9:10am

      Re: This is troubling.

      Zophar's Domain.

      That site is still around? checks

      Damn, I forgot about that one. It was a favorite of mine way back when.

      In other news, Nintendo is probably reminded of them now.....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 8:25am

    File sharing to the rescue. If they don't offer any official way to listen to the music then sharing is legitimate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 11:11am

    it's hard to repent when you're making bank

    Ninty's making $$ now. Let them have a couple more WiiU moments and then they'll be humbled, like Microsoft was with the Xbox One. At that point Ninty will either:

    • correctly respond to customer demand
      or
    • drive the company into the dirt under disconnected, stubborn [piss]managment

    Full disclosure, I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 in the '80s.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 11:34am

    No different to the way other members of the entertainment industry behave. Total disgrace! Have never understood why, when the originator refuses to do something, those who do and do it for fun, not profit, are stopped too. Can only be a control/jealousy thing. Pathetic!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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