Over the past week, video-sharing site YouTube has been striking down tons of videos that feature gameplay video or gaming music. Some content creators saw more than 80 of their videos flagged by the site’s Content ID bot that looks for copyrighted material in uploaded videos.
One of the major problems that YouTube uploaders have with this crackdown is that Content ID is flagging content for organizations that clearly don’t own the material they are claiming.
To illustrate that point, Braid developer Jonathan Blow revealed that Content ID flagged a video he uploaded of his upcoming game, The Witness.
Even months ago before this big change, YouTube sent me a violation notice saying my footage of The Witness was owned by Sony. Uhh, no…
— Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow) December 13, 2013
Blow is an independent developer and fully owns all of the rights to The Witness. He is publishing the game on the PlayStation 4, PC, and iOS, but The Witness is still his game.
“I disputed it,” Blow told GamesBeat. “I guess it was dismissed. I don’t know.”
On Twitter, the developer offered his thoughts on YouTube.
“I feel like Google [and] YouTube are just unprepared for the reality of how things are made in the current era and what relationships look like,” said Blow. “What they are doing only makes sense when most things are owned by a small number of corporations. Well, that’s the 1950s through ’80s. …”
When the Content ID system flags a video, it doesn’t remove the clip from YouTube. That only happens when a video and user gets the more severe “copyright strike.” In the case of a matched content, the revenue created for a YouTube video would no longer go to the original uploader. Instead, the company making the claim would collect a split of ad revenue that Google shares with partners.
For Blow, he also wants people to know that he approves of people making videos of The Witness on YouTube or broadcasting it to Twitch.
“I think it is totally fine for people to broadcast playthroughs of The Witness,” said Blow. “On this I am in agreement on this with almost everyone who makes video games — except, seemingly, Nintendo, and the only reason they would feel that way is if the higher-ups are extremely, corporately out-of-touch.”