Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Many Youtubers doing gaming stuff are technically violating copyright law and depend on the largesse of the game creators

Richard Hoeg and Virtual Legality (“HoegLaw”) discusses the technical legality of a lot of transformative work by YouTubers, in a post called “Streaming, Copyright Infringement, and Fair Use”.

He says that a lot of common practices online are in a legal gray area where Fair Use would be hard to prove. He talks particularly about copyright strikes on YouTube caused by Electronic Arts.  

In some situations streamers are making a living at the “largesse” of some original content creators, and might be more likely if the content reflects poorly on the copyright holder.

He talks about whether making a video about playing a particular game (as an instance) would be infringing.
There could also be a question of performing still copyrighted works, although in most cases the original owner benefits from the event.  It might be an issue with playing recordings at a church service or funeral (although I did that at my mother’s funeral in 2011).
It’s pretty obvious that many sports are very strict about this with licensing because that is their business model.
He says there could be a problem with revealing movie spoilers in reviews (given the mentality of many potential moviegoers in the commercial world). He talks about "game spoilers".  
It might matter if the derivative content creator itself takes patronage or subscriptions.

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