These games include music in them, or a soundtrack, whatever you prefer to call it. Well, most of these videos (about 70%) have been flagged for copyright claims by YouTubes copyright infringement finder (which probably produces about 90% of false positives), and hey, every Lets Player has probably had one claim on his/hers account do to this tool. The one reason we still put up with this is because we can "Dispute" these claims, and usually they would go through. Now because I'm writing this article (or something) you can probably tell that this is not the case for me.
Basically, only recently I've noticed that most of my GTA Lets Plays got marked for Copyright claims. It's worth mentioning that I noticed it, because the International Olympic Committee decided to take down my newly uploaded "Biathlon Rush" video (which is also a Lets Play of a game) because it looked like footage from a real biathlon event or something? I mean, the game doesn't even look that realistic. Or maybe it was the audio of a generic event announcer (which it actually pointed to), but anyway, we'll see how that dispute works out later.
Back to the point. I've always disputed these claims as "Fair Use", because that's essentially what it is. Every claimed video had a song from the game, in the game, playing in the radio or during cutscene or whatever, while other sounds (car engine, gun shots etc.) were present, and my voice was covering it up. The songs were licensed by Rockstar games, and the only one who should be able to claim copyright is Rockstar games (or Take Two (the publisher)) themselves, in which case it would still be wrong and douchy but atleast they would have a better case. This is just ridiculous. The fact that I disputed these claims and they rejected the disputes makes me wonder, do they even check them, or are they just automated to reject everything because "WE MUST PROTECT OUR PROPERTY BY MAKING SURE IT'S NOT BEING USED SOMEWHERE WITHOUT OUR AGREEMENT (IN WHICH WE GET PAID A LOT) AND THUS MAKING SURE THAT SOMEONE DOESN'T EVEN HEAR A PART OF THE SONG AND LIKES IT AND DECIDES TO PURCHASE IT, THUS GIVING US MONEY, BECAUSE THAT'S WRONG."? I really think this is how these corporations think, they just have no fucking sense of reality, no dignity, and they're so obsessed with money and protection of their property that they don't realize that what they are doing is hurting them more than anything. But hey, they don't care about "the little guy", the regular person that doesn't mean any harm to them, the person that might even give them money for their product they didn't even fucking make. They only care about piracy and stopping it, and whatever gets hit in the process it doesn't matter to them because piracy is bad and were not making enough billions. It's like invading a whole country to eliminate a man... it's like dropping an atom bomb on a city because they destroyed your base...hmm, now I see where their mentality comes from.
Anyway, by the end of 2013 I should know if my appeals have gone through fine, or not. My account is currently in "bad standing" due to this, therefore I cannot upload videos longer than 15 minutes (while most of my videos are more than 20 minutes long) from now on. If I get another "red light" it's pretty clear that I will just have to shut down my show on YouTube and maybe move it somewhere else, or even abandon it all together. I didn't even have these kinds of problems when I used to do music reviews.
So far only UMG and Sony Music Entertainment rejected my disputes.
Here's my appeal message to them:
There is no direct broadcast of the song. The song is part of the game, and serves a purpose as any other sound in the game. Rockstar Games have paid license fees to include the song in the game. The song is also not clear, it is covered by my voice and in game sounds. Inclusion of this song in the video wasn't volunteer, as it was built in the game and I had no control of it other than removing that part from the video which would damage this video. Furthermore, I am not making any money from this video, all videos on my channel are not monetized, and there are no plans to monetize them in the future. This is a small channel, which very few people follow, but this is my hobby, and by putting these unfair copyright claims on my or any other peoples similar videos you are restricting our production and essentially annoying us and our viewers/fans. In result you're putting people off from your productions and putting yourself in a negative light to the point where people start to see you as what someone would call "Copyright Nazis". I have done nothing wrong, and your rejections of my disputes only serves to show your ignorance on this question. I hope you can understand my point of view and correct this.
Here's my YouTube channel: