During the process of uploading my latest Link’s Awakening live stream to YouTube, I saw the Copyright Claim flag under one of my my Tetris 99 videos. Confused, I clicked to see who had filed the claim and on what grounds. What I saw made me very upset.
The passage flagged was a section where you could clearly hear the Game Boy Tetris Type-A theme. However, the claim was not filed by Nintendo or The Tetris Company. Instead, it was flagged by an EDM group who sampled the theme in one of their songs. While I can’t say for certain that they don’t have the rights to use that song in their music, they certainly don’t have the right to claim Nintendo’s music on my video.
I start the disputing process and hit an impasse. You can file a dispute based on one of four reasons:
- Original content
- Fair use
- Public domain
The problem with these options is that none apply to this case. It’s not my original content per se, as it was technically a broadcast of Nintendo’s music. I don’t have a license to broadcast Nintendo’s music. This isn’t an example of fair use or public domain either.
Based on these options, I’m already at a huge disadvantage. How do I dispute on the grounds of, “It’s not mine, but it’s not yours either?” Also, this claim goes directly to the claimant, who of course isn’t going to let this slide and expose their shady dealings along the way, especially if I myself don’t have expressed written consent from Nintendo to broadcast that music on my stream. If anything, I open the door for them to hit me with a copyright strike, which would push my channel towards termination. Rightly or wrongly, it’s simply not worth it for me to go through that mess.
I took to Twitter and YouTube’s response ultimately wasn’t helpful. Their response just takes me back to the dispute form.
Copyright should be protected and I acknowledge that it’s hard to do. In this case, I’d have no problem if Nintendo or The Tetris Company took issue here. However, to have a third party try to claim the rights on my video and Nintendo’s music in one fell swoop isn’t right. They have the upper hand in this system because there’s no mechanism for me to fairly dispute my particular case.
Instead of giving them one iota of revenue, I pulled the video. It stinks to lose that 2.5 hour stream, but I don’t want them to get any credit for that work. Going forward, I’m never streaming with that particular Tetris 99 theme again in order to avoid this. Even so, I wish there was a better way to stop others from abusing the system this way.
For now, if you would like to watch the full broadcast, head over to my Twitch channel.