Strange YouTube Copyright Issue

Recently, the video game website Kotaku uploaded a video to YouTube that featured some automatic Mario Maker levels that basically play themselves.

Soon after, they were sent a copyright notice for that same video. The claimant was Playboy.

It wasn’t Nintendo, but Hugh Hefner’s operation.

Playboy does not own Mario, nor did it create Mario Maker. It did not build the level on display in the uploaded video.  Yet the video was still flagged.

Specifically, what was being flagged was the level called “Don’t touch that controller!” by Wii U owner Alex, a level that begins around the 1:09 mark in this video:

The Cabal

Techdirt states that it has to do with YouTube’s “ContentID” system.

After speaking to Mike Rougeau – who is Playboy’s gaming editor – the writer for Kotaku found out that Playboy had actually uploaded a video of that very same level.

This must be the source of the copyright claim, according to Rougeau.

Automatic Mario Maker levels play out the exact same way for everyone that experiences them, and that segment of footage was identical for both Playboy and Kotaku – down to the very last frame. YouTube’s automated system seems to have flagged it for that reason.

Kotaku submitted a dispute and it got resolved, and the people at Playboy were also aware of what’s going on. “I spoke to our video department about it this morning and we were dismissing all claims as soon as we were notified of them,” Rougeau told Kotaku.

This problem could become an issue for bloggers as well as YouTube publishers.

Kotaku believes that the problem was YouTube’s automated system.

However, when a YouTube video gets flagged for copyright violations, the claimant has a whole 30 days to review your dispute, during which your video typically stays up while also making money for the claimant. Sometimes, the claimaint will even be able to block the video from being viewed entirely. Even if the dispute gets dismissed, it might mean waiting days if not an entire month for the motion to actually get through. In the meantime, any YouTuber who supports themselves with ads and just wanted to show off the level to their subscribers, or perhaps added some good commentary to the footage, will lose revenue (as well as gain an unnecessary headache.)


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