Gamers Beware - YouTube Takedowns on "Let's Play" Videos

Guest Post by Gaming Lawyer Zachary Strebeck

Gamers beware - YouTube will take you down for "Let's Play" videos.  A flurry of activity occurred in early December as YouTube users posting “Let’s Play” videos, which generally feature recorded gameplay with running commentary by the user, were hit with Content ID takedown claims resulting in thousands of blocked videos.

To battle copyright infringing content on Youtube, YouTube’s Content ID system matches up content with the supposed copyright owner and then allows copyright holders to

  1. automatically block the third-party posted infringing content; or
  2. divert any ad revenue from the third-party posted video to the actual copyright owner.

According to reports, some takedown claims did not come from the actual copyright owner.  What's more interesting is YouTube activated this round of Content ID matches without the support of the game developers. So far, many game developers are united in allowing the "Let's Play" videos on YouTube.