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"Music"



This Dumb Industry: Punishing The Internet for Sharing

By Shamus
on Tuesday Jun 19, 2018
Filed under:
Column

 
 

I have a hypothetical situation for you: Let’s say you’re promoting a play or a concert or something. So you pay some money to have a graphic designer come up with a really clever, eye-grabbing advertisement for it. You print out a stack of leaflets. Your goal is to get these leaflets into the hands of as many people as possible. You want maximum saturation. You want everyone in town to see one of these things.

So you hire a guy to hand out the leaflets in the street. But instead of handing them out, he claims copyright on them and tries to sell them. He manages to get a few buyers, although obviously fewer people see the ad than if he just gave them away like you told him to. When it’s all over he proudly hands over the $1.25 he got selling a handful of flyers. The rest are still in his hand, unsold, un-viewed, unused. The concert tickets you’re selling go for $60 each, so this dollar and change isn’t really a lot of income for your operation.

Would you feel cheated by this guy? I would.

YouTube Copyright Claims

There's a reason advertisers don't distribute their commercials via pay-per-view.

There's a reason advertisers don't distribute their commercials via pay-per-view.

So last week I covered E3. I’m sure you’ve noticed. I streamed four events and uploaded them to YouTube: Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Bethesda, and Ubisoft. Obviously these events featured a lot of trailers, and therefore those trailers wound up as part of my YouTube video. And predictably, Various Parties claimed copyright infringement as a result.

The EA show had no claims. The Microsoft show got 4 claims. Bethesda got zero. Ubisoft got two.

Namco Bandai and Capcom were responsible for three of the claims in the Microsoft show, but the fourth claim came from some outfit called “[Merlin] AWAL Digital Limited”. This claim mysteriously vanished later. Has YouTube FINALLY implemented a system to deal with the trolls who file mass bogus claims, or is this just yet another bug in their increasingly out-of-control system? You decide.

On the Ubisoft event I got another vanishing claim from Rooster Teeth. The other claim on the Ubi show was for music. One of the trailers had 32 seconds of a licensed song at half volume with Ross and I talking over it. This easily qualifies as fair use, but I don’t have millions of dollars to take the jackasses at “UMG On behalf of: EMI” to court and assert my rights. Fine. Have it, you big babies.

For the record, none of these claims hurt me. Now that I have a Patreon, I don’t put ads on my YouTube videosIf you see an ad on one of my videos, it means someone hit me with a claim and they’re getting the money.. Even better, when one video gets multiple claims like this, there’s no good way to determine how the money should be divided up among the claimants. So YouTube just disables ads and nobody gets any money. Which means all of this furious automated legal activity came to nothing and the videos are running ad-free, which is all I wanted in the first place.

Anyway. I’m not here to complain about the malfunctioning Orwellian corporate machine that Google has built. And I’m not here to rage against all the copyright trolls that upload other people’s trailers, claim copyright, and then skim ad revenue from peasants like me who can’t fight back. Instead I’m here to complain about the legitimate claims. As strange as it might sound, I think the valid claims are the most destructive of them all.

Charging People To Show Advertisements

How much money would Vogue make if they tried to charge you to show THEIR ads on YOUR building?

How much money would Vogue make if they tried to charge you to show THEIR ads on YOUR building?

Going back to the concert-promotion analogy I started with: In my analogy, one person was trying to promote a concert and the other was trying to make money selling handbills. This is a pretty ridiculous situation, but it’s even more ridiculous in real life because they’re the same person.

Namco Bandai probably spent a lot of money making that trailerWhich trailer? I’m too lazy to look it up. More importantly, I don’t care.. It costs a lot of money to push a trailer out there and get people to watch it. I know television isn’t the culture-dominating force it used to be, but television time still ain’t cheap. You’ve paid to have the ads made, and now your #1 goal is to get as many people watching it as possible.

Which means having someone else upload your advertisement ought to represent a huge net gain for you. They are saturating YouTube. They’re getting that trailer out to their subscribers. And it doesn’t cost you a dime! Why would you want to interfere with this glorious windfall?

Sure, a lot of these people have small subscriber bases. But if 10,000 channels each share the video and each of those puny channels has just 500 subscribers, that’s 5 million people. For comparison, the official Namco Bandai channel has less than half a million subscribers. And that’s ignoring that fact that a small number of people sharing the trailer will have very large subscriber bases. You might even get lucky and have some 10 million subscriber superstar cover your trailer! Think about how much that kind of coverage would cost on traditional media!

This is how the internet works. It’s about distributed systems. One video going viral on Facebook can get far more views than a Superbowl ad. You want people out there sharing that trailer, because the combined reach of all fans is greater than even the mightiest advertising agency. You want your fans out there dissecting the trailer, doing reaction videos, doing previews, and integrating it into the news shows. You want your game to be the hot topic. You want everyone talking about it, excited for it, and lining up to preorder the dang thing.

So why would you try to prevent this from happening by punishing people who share the trailer on their own channels?

When you hit a video with a copyright claim, three things happen:

  1. A DIFFERENT ad will play before the trailer. So if someone DOES decide they want to watch the trailer for the new Shoot Guy reboot, they have to sit through an ad for GEICO first. And a lot of people, when they realize that to see this trailer they need to watch a GEICO ad for the 100th time, will hit the back button.
  2. You’re punishing people who share your advertisements, which makes them less eager to do it.
  3. You make nine cents per one thousand views.

Okay, I don’t know if you actually make nine cents, but I know it’s a really small amount of money. The point is, whatever you make per view by skimming ad revenue from rando small-time creators is going to be a good bit less than how much it costs you to pay Google for views.

How badly do you want that nine cents? Because to get it you’re going to lose out on many potential views. (Due to people hitting the back button.) Worse, you’re adding friction to the sharing process. Nintendo has been so relentlessly brutal about this that a lot of people have stopped covering Nintendo stuff. As a result, I see a lot less Nintendo content in my feed these daysI’m sure they’re fine because they’re NINTENDO. Namco Bandai? Capcom? I don’t think they can afford to burn away good will like this.. You’re effectively creating anti-advertising. There’s no way to know how many views you lose because of this, but you can prove it’s more than those nine cents can buy you. Since Google takes a cut for themselves, the money you make per view on advertising will always be less than how much you have to PAY for a view when YOUR video is the advertisement. Don’t get so excited selling handbills for nickel that you forget your REAL goal is to move those $60 concert tickets.

Like I said. None of this hurt me. I’m just pointing at this giant mess of dysfunction and explaining why issuing copyright claims on trailers is an act that harms even the claimant. (And sometimes, only the claimant.)

Footnotes:

[1] If you see an ad on one of my videos, it means someone hit me with a claim and they’re getting the money.

[2] Which trailer? I’m too lazy to look it up. More importantly, I don’t care.

[3] I’m sure they’re fine because they’re NINTENDO. Namco Bandai? Capcom? I don’t think they can afford to burn away good will like this.


 
 
Comments (112)

  1. Asdasd says:

    For sure it’s one of the more bone-headed things Nintendo are famous for. Are they really still doing it? I assumed that after that whole furore a few years back, someone would point out how stupid their policy was and they would quietly stop enforcing it.

    I love their games and hardware. I’m playing that new Splatoon 2 DLC and it’s so fresh and exciting for what should just be a selection of trial stages. Definitely has a little of that Mario Galaxy magic. But a lot of their decisions around the wider running of their business are baffling.

  2. Omobono says:

    Jim Sterling has found something of an exploit about the youtube ad system that he calls the claims gridlock if I recall correctly (or something similar).
    Basically, if two different companies put a claim on the video then the video gets forced into a no-ad situation; so, Jim deliberately puts various claim bait for the most claim-happy companies in his videos so there WILL be multiple claims on them, to avoid a single claim putting unwanted advertisement.

    The youtube copyright system is kinda broken isn’t it?

  3. Chris says:

    i always thought “well these people have hired some people that get paid a lot of money to figure out whether its better to let people post their stuff for views or hit them with a copyright claim”. But when I see stuff like this I wonder what the reasoning is. Is there some way to email these folks, like a PR department of capcom? I wonder what the standard email response is. My guess is “well it wouldnt be fair that others make money of our stuff”, as little sense as that argument makes.

    • Tizzy says:

      No one wants to bother with hiring real people and making judgment calls. Much easier to just have a script that flags everything that matches and auto-claim it all. Don’t worry: there’s no reasoning involved anywhere.

    • BlueHorus says:

      I always thought “Well these people have hired some people that get paid a lot of money to figure out whether its better to let people post their stuff for views or hit them with a copyright claim”

      It’s always possible…But I wouldn’t be surprised of some of the third-party companies (as in ‘DMT Copyright Security on behalf of Big Games LLC’) actually approached the games company, and the games company was too lazy to look very hard into what the service actually was and it’s consequences.

      It would go something like this:

      Salesman from DMT: Did you know you have no copyright protection? People could be using your products on YouTube without paying you! But DMT Copyright security has a state-of-the-art-system that will protect your product for a low monthly price!

      Overworked CEO from Big Games LLC: What? Copyright protection? Yeah, sounds good…how much per month? Fine, pay the man. Now where was I…?

      CEO goes back to what he was doing* and the man from DMT adds Big Games LLC to their already-existing copyright AI’s operation. Meanwhile YouTubers get trolled, Big Games LLC loses free advertising, and DMT makes money out of it all, which they invest in company assets**.

      *hookers and cocaine
      **cocaine and hookers

    • ccesarano says:

      I know Capcom has actually removed copyright claims on people’s videos when contacted on Twitter and such. After last generation they’re in a position where they’re seeking good will so if you get a Capcom claim I figure it might be worth it to send a message their way like “Hey, this kind of stinks, can I get a fix on this?”

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I remember a few years ago sony pictures* asked google to ban someone for piracy.Apparently,they sniffed out a ton of their movies at this persons ip.The ip in question:127.0.0.1

    So yeah,I am totally not surprised when someone decides that their companys ad should not be advertised.

    *Was it them?Maybe it was someone else.Im too lazy to look up.

  5. Tizzy says:

    With E3 week, I’ve actually had ads for *different* games play before the trailers I wanted to watch. That was entertaining.

    • Mephane says:

      That reminds me of ads in mobile games, a large cesspool of useless circular references. F2P games with ads for other F2P games. Yeah, I know that the goal is to convert some players into payers, but from my perspective this business looks patently absurd, as the companies pay each other for the ads for their games, and thus not only am I playing a game for free, they are effectively losing money every time I open the game.

  6. Henson says:

    Do all that many people hit the back button instead of watching a 10-second advertisement?

    I don’t know how the general population acts, but for myself, I think I’ve only skipped a video for ads a few times, and that was because it was either a minute or more in length, or the channel itself put in multiple, and I do mean multiple ad breaks themselves. For almost every ad on YouTube, it’s either really, really short or can be skipped after a really, really short amount of time. So, how much viewership are these companies losing, really?

    The issue of creating friction with people who upload on YouTube is certainly worth considering, but I’m not sure the first point about people hitting the ‘back’ button amounts to much. But let’s find out; do any of you guys abandon a video due to ads?

    • Mephane says:

      Do all that many people hit the back button instead of watching a 10-second advertisement?

      I am using adblockers so I have seen a Youtube ad only like once or twice in my whole life. It’s a very cringe-worthy experience for me because unlike a banner ad, this doesn’t just take up some fraction of the screen, it actively steals time that I could already be watching what I am here to see. Plus, that stuff is almost always localized, so I get someone blaring at me to buy in German.

      I’d have to be very intent on viewing the actual video to not just close the tab if presented with a video ad. Heck, I once wanted to rewatch an old South Park episode and Comedy Central let’s you do that for free on their website (even here on their German site), but when episode was very early already interrupted by a 30 second ad, mid-sentence no less, I found that it’s not worth that kind of hassle. At least on TV, ads are placed manually at cuts between scenes…

      • Fizban says:

        Same here. It kinda weirds me out actually- I was under the impression that literally everyone realized as soon as they got on the internet that Adblock was required (for both safety and sanity), but apparently there are tons of people who never got the memo? Between people intentionally turning off Adblock on youtube as support, and people who just don’t have a clue, I sadly do have to side with the likelihood that they are. . . unaware *shudder*.

        Crunchyroll started putting in “not-ads,” where if you view their stuff with adblock on, they give you a guilt trip. And sure, I feel guilty. . . so I just have another reason to not want to visit Crunchyroll. I already know I’m a good-for-nothing leech, but the fastest way to make me not buy something is to try and guilt me into it.

        • Asdasd says:

          At my office we have a busted radio that only picks up two channels: one belonging to the state broadcaster, which plays a mixture of music from the last four decades, and a commercial station with a more or less identical play-list, but which takes a five minute break for loud, obnoxious, repetitive, attention-stealing adverts after every two songs.

          Guess which station we listen to by near-unanimous preference.

        • Echo Tango says:

          The one place that does the guilt-trip correctly, is that way because it’s not really a guilt-trip. Wikipedia plainly states at the top of their website, how your support could help, and they only do it at the end of the year. (And they’re a charity, not a company trying to profit off of me paying away ads…)

    • TheJungerLudendorff says:

      I sometimes let ads roll in the background to give the video creator some money.

      But while a lot of them are short, there are also a bunch of pretty obnoxious or really long advertisements. Most are 1-2 minutes, and i’ve seen them go up to 10 minutes long. Almost never for something I would care about either.

      • Syal says:

        I often play videos as background noise for games and such. I was ten minutes into one before I switched back to see why the topic wasn’t what was in the title. Turns out the video was preempted by a 45 minute advertisement that was an entire talkshow or something.

        That plus the same 30-second unskippable political ad at the beginning and end of every 10 minute video in a playlist I was trying to watch, and now I have Adblock.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I’ve skipped every single video ad I’ve ever seen. Advertising isn’t made for me, because in the best-case scenario it’s advertising for:
      – something I just purchased,
      – something I purchased a while ago,
      – something I don’t need two of,
      – something I don’t want, or
      – something I don’t need and can’t use.

      I buy non-name instead of the big names, despite them having advertising everywhere. Any services I need, I try to get reviews. Failing that, I use word of mouth from friends and family. Ads just aren’t made for me.

    • Jennifer Snow says:

      I’ve had 2-minute “story” ads run on 3-minute videos before.

      I won’t watch those. ALL ads for internet videos NEED to be 10 seconds or less, and the “money” of your ad, as in, THE NAME OF WHAT YOU ARE SELLING, needs to happen in the FIRST. FIVE. SECONDS.

      If you’re five seconds in and I don’t know what it’s even an ad for, you just wasted your advertising money.

    • Groo says:

      In general if the ad appears in the middle of a video then yeah I back out and am gone.

      If it’s a the front and under 10 seconds then I will let it play, if it’s longer I will generally either spend that time goggling a different youtube feed OR feed from another streaming service.

      There have been a handful of ads in my time that I thought were clever, even enjoyable to watch but in the 20+ years I have been on the internet I have never once bought something linked off of an actual ad.

      I have used referral links to say Amazon from site creators I like but acutal ads .. no hommie don’t play that game.

  7. Mephane says:

    And on top of all that, even if the claim is not only technically legitimate, but the uploaded video is an actual copyright violation, that might still shoot the claimant in their own foot.

    A good example is music. Plenty of times someone sent me a link to a Youtube video that is just a full song played in front of a static album cover. Technically illegal. But sometimes I end up liking and thus buying the song, or even the whole album. That wouldn’t ever have happened with out that – technically illegal – music video.

    Gladly, some artists understand the medium now and post the songs on their own official channels, for free, with a couple of links where to easily buy in the description. And in an age where you can buy songs individually, there’s much less hesitation to buy that one song you like for $1 on a whim, than an entire album for $10-20.

    Others still spend money to send out copyright claims against what effectively constitutes free advertisement.

  8. DanMan says:

    Not saying this is a good idea or saying it counters any of the points you make, but my guess is that it has to do with metrics. Management that doesn’t understand the product does understand pretty graphs and numbers.

    You said how expensive it is to make a trailer. Managers want to have a report telling them how effective that trailer is. And they get that number by view count. So if some YouTube megastar takes their trailer and uploads it to their channel, suddenly their video is getting views and the official trailer is not. Now the official trailer looks to be underperforming.

    Again, not saying it’s the right decision. I agree that particularly in today’s day and age, virility of a trailer far outweighs predictability of outcomes. I’m just reporting from the depths of a large company and explaining the way people who don’t understand their product make decisions on said product.

    • Mej says:

      This is basically what I was thinking, too. But I’m wondering if the motivation also includes data collection on the audience, in addition to the raw number of views.

      Hey, would copyright claims serve as data collection instruments in their own right?

  9. Redrock says:

    I take issue with the phrase “Orwellian corporate machine”. “Orwellian” is already an overused term with a definition stretched beyond any meaning, but I find it best to use it in relation to situations that have to do with an authoritarian state, surveillance, propaganda, etc. For corporate bureaucracy, especially one so opaque and paradoxical, wouldn’t “kafkaesque” be more fitting? Or, since “corporate” seems to be the operative word here, dare I suggest “gibsonian”? That would be fittingly nerdy.

    Also, Orwell totally ripped off Zamyatin. But that’s a whole other discussion.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah. kafkaesque is a way better word for what it feels like to interact with YouTube as a creator.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Orwell is the most popular one however.So whenever we talk about a dystopia like situation,its orwellian,whether it has to do with corporations,governments,bots,whatever.

      Just how every hard game these days is like dark souls.You may even say that Orwell is the dark souls of dystopian writers.

      • Redrock says:

        Nah, nah. “The Dark Souls of something” is supposed to mean “the hardest version”, no? So in that context it would be the more complex or probably dense dystopian novel. And that’s certainly not 1984. “We” fits the bill better, again. because Zamyatin’s language is a bit overstuffed and suffers in translation. But “We” isn’t the best option, either. Maybe “Stand on Zanzibar”? Or possibly “Atlas Shrugged”. That one is quite painful to get through. And full of monsters. And it instills a powerful sense of dread and sorrow.

        • BlueHorus says:

          Also, Atlas Shrugged has the same ‘you get what you work for’ mentality, similar to Dark Souls.

          All those poor people just need to Git Gud.

          • Geebs says:

            Get Rich or You Died Trying

          • Redrock says:

            Oh my god. It all makes sense. Ayn Rand is the original Dark Souls snob.

            • Jennifer Snow says:

              I find your misconception . . . amusing.

              It’s be more accurate to say that Nietzsche is the original Dark Souls snob. Definitely Ubermensch issues going on there.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                God is dead.And I crafted a nifty snake staff from his soul.

              • Redrock says:

                I mean … we were kinda riffing on the whole “Git Gud” culture here, so… Nietzsche (massively overrated, by the way) really doesn’t fit into the joke all that well. See, the concept of the overman has more to do with values and morality – surpassing the mediocrity of a doomed egalitarian society through sheer force of will to become somehting above existing mundane morals and proceed to create new values in the absence of God, who, as we know, is dead. Now, in terms of themes and the underlying emotions, Dark Souls itself can indeed be described as Nietzschean is one so desires. But Dark Souls snobbery, the Git Gud mentality – not so much.

                • Jennifer Snow says:

                  It fits Ayn Rand about as well, so . . .

                  • Redrock says:

                    Oh, I wouldn’t say that. The message of “Atlas Shrugged” and objectivism in general is pretty much “Git Gud”, as BlueHorus very accurately pointed out. Remember, the main drive of Rand’s work was her very understandable hatred of socialism and communism born from her family’s painful experience with the Russian Revolution. So you can boil her ideas down to “instead of asking for help from the government, some people should just Git Gud at life”. That’s about it. That’s the joke.

        • evileeyore says:

          “Maybe “Stand on Zanzibar”?”

          Stand on Zanzibar is when things have gone so convolutedly sidewise that it’s edging into a serious take on Brazil. But I could ‘Brunneresque’ being used conversationally.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          What its supposed to mean and what it actually means are not the same.There are plethora of games way harder than dark souls,but those arent as popular so no one is using them as examples.

          • Redrock says:

            Ain’t that the truth. Souls games are weird. I’m playing Bloodborne for the first time right now,and liking it way more than the other Souls games – to the extent that I bothered to beat TWO bosses and still ain’t giving up on the game. That said, the formula is weird. It works, it can be engaging but still. I feel like I would have liked it better as a pure action game, without the leveling and the currency, etc. Either make me learn the level and Git Gud and learn to pass the level fast to get to my latest hurdle, OR make me farm and obsess over stats. But both at the same time annoys me. The reason I’m playing Bloodborne for longer than any Dark Souls is primarily because of the simplified RPG systems. No weight, very few armor options, weapons are differentiated by mechanics and not by stats. It’s telling, I think, that FROM’s next game (Sekiro? Something something die twice something) ditches the RPG stuff almost completely.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Yeah. The government in 1984 (and in We) put a lot of thought and effort into their repressive surveillance states, and had very clear goals while doing it. YouTube/Google…hasn’t put so much effort in, and has very different goals.

      In a sense it’s a bit of an insult to the government of Eurasia to liken them to GoogleTube.

  10. Draklaw says:

    I guess one of the goals might be to try to control where the trailers are shown. I mean, it is perfectly possible that someone post their trailer just to comment on how dumb it is ! (Certainly not the kind of things that happens here.) Carefully picking which channel is allowed to show a trailer (that might be bound by some contract) and claiming all the others might just be a desperate attempt to avoid criticism.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I think it’s more of an issue about WHO is posting it, rather than whether it’s positive or negative. If there’s some angry shouting nerd persona who likes to make videos about kicking kittens and heiling Hitlers, you don’t want their brand associated with your brand. Which, IMO, is a legitimate use of copyright powers in theory even if I don’t really agree with it.

      Of course, nobody is actually going to CHECK all the channels too make sure this isn’t happening, what do you think the automated systems are for…? /sarcasm

    • ccesarano says:

      Both of you are close to what I think is the situation, at least with Nintendo. Atlus is a bit of a different beast given their recent Persona 5 fiasco, and I think another recent release.

      In regards to Nintendo, they are very protective of what they want their brand to be. Ironically, people claim them to be “behind the times” with a lot of this stuff, but if you consider when they started the Nintendo Direct streams and how they have their Nintendo Minute show, as well as a variety of other YouTube content aside from just trailers, they’re actually ahead of the rest of the industry’s curve. They’re adapting quite well to communicating directly with their consumers.

      But it’s a very one-sided communication, and they want to make sure that communication sticks to a very specific script. If you search “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, they don’t want “GameHAX1337” to be the first result. They want to be the first result, and they want to be next in your recommendations. They especially don’t want 10 year old kids Googling “Super Mario Party” and popping up with Angry Joe and friends cussing loudly and violently while playing a family game, or some NewTuber trying to be funny by making sexual innuendo about Mario and Peach.

      Does that stuff harm the brand? They think it does, and while Japan’s video game industry is, when you think about it, less conservative than most of their industries (see how insular even anime and film is over there versus how global and International video games have been for several decades), they’re still a conservative industry that cares about image. “Saving Face” is a big deal and wraps up in the general concept of Wa, or Harmony. Hierarchies are to be respected, you don’t call out or disagree with someone in public, and you always leave them a way out. At least, that’s what I’ve learned superficially.

      To switch things to an extreme, why was Logan Paul so insulting? He was disrespecting not just one single person, but an entire culture. As such, he made foreigners as a whole look bad. The best way Western cultures could have responded would have been to have several bloggers apologize on behalf and own it as our own shame, because it doesn’t matter if he acted as an individual. He was, in some fashion, enabled by foreign culture as a whole to disrespect and desecrate their own culture. So even if it’s Angry Joe’s brand cussing over Nintendo, it’s still Nintendo being “dragged down” with him. By being involved, Nintendo is also being tarnished.

      …I feel like I didn’t explain that well at all by trying to be brief.

      Then you have something like Atlus and Persona 5, which… I can partially understand the intent. They didn’t want spoilers just spreading all over the Internet, and in many cases a game’s spoiler can actually dissuade people from purchasing it. Streaming is just a weird thing in general, where some games have just the right sort of mechanics that seeing someone else play encourages you to get the game yourself. But not all games are like that. Streaming isn’t always advertising. There are people that watch a stream and decide there’s no reason to play the game after that. So you can’t always say it’s free marketing. Breath of the Wild? Dark Souls? Minecraft? Stardew Valley? Yeah sure. Persona 5? I dunno… it’s not really a game that allows freedom of build or choice.

      Now, I only try to explain the mentality the companies have and from what sort of culture (and if anyone has a better understanding of Japanese culture feel free to correct me where I’m wrong, even if I’m wrong in all of it). Whether I agree with them or not is a different story. The question becomes “What’s the best way to deal with the reality of the situation?” and… y’know, I don’t know. How would I feel if someone took one of my videos and uploaded it onto their channel? Or my podcast? Even if it maintained all the notes that I made the video or podcast I’d still feel like crap because people aren’t coming directly to me.

      But I also am treading water at around 435-445 subscribers on YouTube so… bit of a different scale there. Similarly, it’s a false equivalency anyway because if we go back to Shamus’ blog, we’re talking trailers, not gameplay. So… shrug.

  11. Fizban says:

    Last I heard, the payout per view of an ad was in fractions of a cent- like hundreds of views per cent (MaTN mentions it on his streams whenever adblock and donations come up how even a one dollar donation beats almost any amount of ad views). Unless it also fluctuates based on other metrics, but then what would even be the point of counting views?

    • Majromax says:

      The order-of-magnitude estimate I usually use is $1 per 1,000 views, based on comments from various streamers and youtubers.

      The exact amount is highly variable, since the ad placement algorithms are dynamic. Factors include time of year (December is big, January is not), audience demographics, ad fill rates (adblock), and click-through rates.

      • Lanthanide says:

        A few years ago, before the adpocalypse, it seemed that $5 per 1000 views was quite a good rate.

        The very top of the youtube echelon could get more than that, as advertisers would want to specially appear on their channel, so they’d pay more.

        I suspect the adpocalypse, increase in ad-blockers and also broadening of the youtube talent pool has reduced rates overall though.

  12. Decius says:

    Does Youtube presume that the copyright claimants are legitimate if you dispute them? Under DMCA, if the user and claimant dispute ownership with the provider, the provider is then off the hook, and the claimant can go after the user.

    You don’t need to spend millions on legal fees to fight them, they need to pay their lawyers to attack you, at which point they have to describe to the court in detail what you are doing to infringe. At that point, you can agree to remove that content from your video. Replace the trailer that they object to with images of their court filings that explain why it isn’t fair use, and reupload.

    • Xeorm says:

      Youtube’s system is automatic and 100% done by themselves. The goal of said system is to never have to deal with actual lawyers and to keep bigger media groups happy.

    • Cuthalion says:

      In that hypothetical, once they go to court, I’m not sure you actually get a chance to remove the allegedly-infringing content. You might have to remove it and pay damages if you don’t successfully fight it off.

    • Agammamon says:

      the yt system isn’t an actual dcma claim – a real, legal one. its just someone telling yt that someone else is violating their copyright and that yt must do something about it to avoid a *real* dcma claim.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Quite. The problem is that the flagging is done automatically by a bot.

        Sure, your average Youtuber can complain to on Fair Use grounds, and probably/possibly win. They just have to do that every time, and by the time the complaint is addressed and dealt with by a human, the video is old news (by internet standards) and a large chunk of that Youtuber’s advertising revenue is gone.
        As so often with these things, the time & effort required to solve the problem just isn’t worth the outcome.

        Thus a company with the right autoamted program can troll dozens of people out of their ad income, with not much effort.

        • Decius says:

          Has anyone thrown a fraud lawsuit against one of the botters? If they represented to Youtube that they owned content that they didn’t, and got paid as a result, that’s literally both a crime and the basis for a civil claim.

          • Guest says:

            That’s the thing. It comes down to the same reason the YT system is so oversensitive and punishing. There isn’t money in it.

            YT doesn’t have the money to cover the legal effort to cover all of these claims properly, and is trying to minimise their vulnerability under the DMCA.

            Youtubers don’t have enough riding on one video or from one particularly stubborn false claimant to make getting a lawyer involved worthwhile. And, the risk increases again for claims from the holder, who may pursue legal action.

            What I don’t get is how so many fraudulent claimants can pop up claiming things which aught to be claimed by big corporate groups. I can get a video claimed for using “In the house in a heartbeat” a song owned by a record label, used in the promotion of a movie, and it’s not even by any of the owners, it’s by some pirate. I’m suprised it hasn’t come to a head with a copyright deadlock situation tbh.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              What disappoints me is that youtubers never filed a class action law suit against youtube for giving their money away to frauds with zero recourse.Class action is cheaper(per person),so it couldve been done.But the reasoning people kept citing for not doing this was always the silly “how can you possible sue google?”.Even though people HAVE done so,and WON.

              • Redrock says:

                “Their” money? While I Have a lot of sympathy for Youtube creators, it’s still worth remembering that Youtube doesn’t really owe them anything. At least not in the legal sense. I’m not an expert on the Partner Program, but from what I understand all of this can be essentially considered a courtesy on Google’s part. They don’t hire creators, don’t sign contracts, they just share a part of ad money as a sign of goodwill on pretty much a voluntary basis, when you get down to brass tacks. I don’t see a lot of class action prospects here, unfortunately.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Even if we say that there is no “real” contract,youtube has no right to use your content to advertise anything.You give them your videos for free to do with them as they please,either out of the goodness of your own heart,or because they are willing to share part of the ad money with you.They could say “No money for anyone,we will just give you free hosting and in return slap ads all over your videos”,as a bunch of free web hosting places do,and that would also be fair.But a bunch of people would then leave youtube.So saying that youtube is basically giving out charity is wrong.They are paying to incentivise people to give them videos they can slap ads on.So yes,it is the money of the youtube creator,unless they infringed someone elses copyright.

                  Giving that money to someone else is fraudulent,at best being false advertisement on their part.Worse,if there actually IS a copyright infringement,but someone other than the copyright holder files a false claim,by giving money to them youtube is not only ripping off the person who uploaded the video,they are also infringing the copyright of the holder.

                  • Redrock says:

                    I’m too lazy to go through the Youtube license agreement, but here’s a quote from some attorney’s interview on the matter: “…you grant to YouTube a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual license to freely sub-license, re-distribute, re-publish, monetize, and whatever they may want to do with your video. They’re basically requiring that you grant YouTube all of the same rights that you have with your video, short of turning over your rights to them”. Which I basically what I expected. I mean, come on. You can’t expect to post something for free on someone else’s problem and expect to retain full control. Now, you may not agree with this approach, in which case it’s time to move to a different video platform. Part of the problem is that due to the prevalence of social media a lot of people start to think of it as a public good. It’s not.

  13. Perry Norris says:

    You don’t have fair use rights under the YouTube copyright claims, though. That’s the entire point of them.

    The YouTube copyright claims are not DMCA takedowns. They are a wholly separate agreement YouTube has with the copyright holding industry. It completely bypasses the DMCA. You have no recourse at all there, apart from not using YouTube in the first place.

  14. Amarsir says:

    If the EU passes Article 13 this week, you could get a system like that “malfunctioning Orwellian corporate machine” as the standard for ALL media on ALL sites. (National border issues notwithstanding.) IMHO It’s really being under-reported.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      While the article itself is poorly worded,in a very broad manner(which is not something you should do for legaleze),its actually something that I was for from the start.Yes,it would increase the expenses of sites like youtube and move majority of them into the paid category,but such a thing would actually reduce the number of false flags,not increase them.Because the way things are now,anyone can flag anything as theirs,even when its clear “caricature, parody or pastiche”,which is exempt by eu copyright law,and in most cases it would be just gone.Article 13,however,requires everyone to have”complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case of disputes”.

      As a proposal,its an ok draft,but significant rewording and specifics should be required before it gets passed as a law(for example,what does “large amounts” even mean?50 mb?10 gb?thousands of pictures?hours of video?).

  15. Redrock says:

    Hey, Shamus, unrelated question: any plans on covering the whole “WHO planning to include gaming disorder in ICD-11” hysteria? Lots of people getting really emotional about that one. Would be interested in your take on that.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Im not sure if its necessary though.Since obsessive gaming is rather similar to obsessive gambling.I mean check out the signs for possible obsessive gambling diagnosis:

      A disorder characterized by a preoccupation with gambling and the excitement that gambling with increasing risk provides. Pathological gamblers are unable to cut back on their gambling, despite the fact that it may lead them to lie, steal, or lose a significant relationship, job, or educational opportunity.
      Many people enjoy gambling, whether it’s betting on a horse or playing poker on the internet. Most people who gamble don’t have a problem, but some lose control of their gambling. Signs of problem gambling include
      always thinking about gambling
      lying about gambling
      spending work or family time gambling
      feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting
      gambling with money you need for other things
      many people can control their compulsive gambling with medicines and therapy. Support groups can also help.

      Replace gambling there with gaming,and you basically describe someone who has a problem with gaming.Maybe just update that section to include video games along with games of chance.

      • TheJungerLudendorff says:

        If they word it correctly, it would seem pretty appropriate.

        I mean, look at things like MMO’s, or those lootbox and gambling mechanics that are shoved into so many games. People have absolutely suffered from getting addicted to those.

      • Redrock says:

        I don’t know if I’d actually equate gaming to gambling, even for medical reasons. That’s pretty much the textbook definition of a slippery slope. Also, just last night we’ve been discussing with my girlfriend, who is a professional psychologist, whether or not gambling and gaming actually work the same way in terms of psychophysiology. It’s questionable. Could go both ways, more research needed. An argument can be and indeed has been made that unhealthily obsessive gaming is probably caused by an underlying condition, like clinical depression, and is a manifestation of serotonin imbalance. I dunno. I’m not exactly up to date on relevant studies. To be honest, I’m much more interested in the negative reaction that this move by the WHO has been getting. The gaming community is not taking it well, and I find that intriguing.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          An argument can be and indeed has been made that unhealthily obsessive gaming is probably caused by an underlying condition, like clinical depression, and is a manifestation of serotonin imbalance.

          That is the case for a bunch of psychiatric diagnoses.There are often a bunch of different conditions arising from other conditions.Which is why self diagnosing a mental problem is really bad,and you need to talk to a professional to get to the root of it(and even they can get it wrong).But it still is helpful to have those listed and categorized neatly,because often treating the side effects helps in treating the core problem.It is also helpful to group similar conditions together,especially if the treatments are (almost) the same.

          To be honest, I’m much more interested in the negative reaction that this move by the WHO has been getting. The gaming community is not taking it well, and I find that intriguing.

          Its because some poeple reported on this stupidly*.I even heard that someone said something like “Gaming over 20 hours a week is obsessive gaming”.

          *Which is par for the course.Every scientific research or advancement has been reported stupidly.At least with this you dont have people throwing money in the fire like with SOLAR FREAKING ROADWAYS.

        • Guest says:

          They compared the diagnostic criterion, they aren’t comparing the morality or costs of gaming and gambling. I wouldn’t think it’s very accurate to compare the change to say, depression, in the interests of invalidating diagnoses either if you’re going to say that.

          They’re not making gaming a diagnosis.

          They’re including a diagnosis for a subset of people who overconsume, and damage their life in the process. You know, the people you hear about dying in gaming cafe’s, or neglecting children, or becoming shutins around some MMO.

          These are legitimate things for psychologists to consider. It’s incredibly reductive to reduce it to an underlying condition or serotonin imbalances, those are common features in many diagnoses. The criterion are there to help psychologists determine if someone has a problem that they may need help with.

          • Redrock says:

            What I was getting at, is that there’s an ongoing discussion on whether gaming disorder might merit a separate diganosis or if this classification would get in the way of diagnosing and treating the underlying condition. The difference being between gaming disorder being seen as a condition in and of itself or a symptom. Personally, I see the pros and cons of either approach. I get part of the anxiety: society in general doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to viewing gamer culture and a lot of people are worried that the codification of the term “gaming disorder” would once again marginalize gaming. It’s not a completely unreasonable fear, although one I don’t share. On the other hand, the current wording proposed by the WHO seems to be decent enough, if in need of further tightening. It focuses on actual empirical evidence of a habit getting in the way of properly functioning. So I don’t have a problem with that.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              The difference being between gaming disorder being seen as a condition in and of itself or a symptom.

              Condition can also be a symptom for a different condition.Take anxiety for example.It can be a condition on its own,or it can be a symptom of something else,like paranoia.Its on the doctor to diagnose which is the case and how to proceed with treatment.

              It focuses on actual empirical evidence of a habit getting in the way of properly functioning.

              Yes,despite what people may think,these things are based on research and evidence.Doctors dont just willy nilly decide to make up a new thing.Now of course,those researches and evidence CAN be manipulated with,either by accident or corruption.Which is why they are constantly being revisited and revised if needed,why theres an always increasing standard,etc.

      • Syal says:

        You can also replace gambling with porn in that paragraph.

        You don’t even have to change the examples!

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          You could,but I think that falls under excessive sexual drive,or satyriasis and nymphomania.And technically,none of these things are considered to be addictions,but rather impulsive behavior.The difference is mostly in the lack of external catalyst for the disorder,like in addiction to alcohol or drugs.

          • BlueHorus says:

            People can be addicted to sex. Just ask Cyril Figgis!

            But seriously, they can. As in a really unhealthy ‘I don’t care who with or why, I just gotta be fucking someone/something’. It comes* with all the classic signs of an addiction, as well as support groups etc.

            *Hur hur hur!

            • Redrock says:

              Oh, hey, Tiger. Didn’t know you frequented this site. Or played anything except you PGA Tour games, for that matter.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Yes,impulsive behavior and addiction are very similar,and can be treated in similar fashion.But the difference comes in whether the imbalance comes purely from within(as is the case with gambling),or as a combination of internal and external chemicals(like drinking alcohol).You can call both addiction in casual talk,of course.Because the difference is important only for the actual treatment.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Hey, Shamus, unrelated question: any plans on covering the whole “WHO planning to include gaming disorder in ICD-11” hysteria? Lots of people getting really emotional about that one. Would be interested in your take on that.

      I’ll second this. The Shamus take on gaming addiction would be interesting in and of itself – and his views on the way other people are reacting good in a different way.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I fully support the WHO on this, as long as it’s defined properly.

      Not all video games are created equal, and some are designed to exploit people in ways that other games don’t. Defining this problem as something that can come from some games is just acknowledging the problem from the other side.

      Unless they try to say that all video games affect people in the same way, in which case: screw ’em. There’s no way that they can be competent at their jobs and not understand that some games are deliberately designed to be more psychologically manipulative than others. But I’m assuming someone involved is competent.

      • Guest says:

        That’s not what it’s about at all.

        It’s about the patterns exhibited by the user, and making diagnoses to help patients. Psychologists aren’t going to be looking at shitty lootboox design or grindy games.

        They’re going to be looking at patients, and whether they’re engaging with their hobbies in a healthy way, or if they have a problem. It’s diagnostic criterion for a patient, not for a game.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its a bit of both.While some people are susceptible to becoming addicted,not everything is going to trigger their addiction equally.Thats why someone can become an alcoholic while never touching a cigarette*,or become a gambler while not caring about video games,or vice versa.So its important to figure out which part of a video game is triggering the impulsive behavior.Is it the win?The risk?The anticipation?Socialization with others?The flashy colors?And its important to figure out if its always the same (group of) factor(s) that draws in every person,or if it differs from individual to individual**.If its just one part of the game thats problematic for someone,therapy could involve encouraging them to play specific games instead during the withdrawal period.

          *Though such cases are admittedly rare.Substance abuse usually disregards the substance being abused,so people who abstain from one can bounce to the other.Its a complicated mess.But still,addicts often prefer one thing over another.
          **Obviously therell be a difference from person to person.But some things may be more common draws than others.

          • Redrock says:

            Yeah, we could do with more research on that. Do Skinner box-type games cause addiction in more people than other games? Or can a person play LucasArts adventure games for 12 hours straight every day for weeks? A lot of interesting questions to study here, and very little data.

  16. Dev Null says:

    So YouTube just disables ads and nobody gets any money. Which means all of this furious automated legal activity came to nothing and the videos are running ad-free, which is all I wanted in the first place.

    Wait, does this mean that we could just create a bit of material, copyright it, and “allow you to acquire” a copy, then complain, and all of your videos would become ad-free? Or I guess we’d need to do that twice as two different entities?

    Why does that sound like a service that someone could sell…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      No,ads are still there,its just that no one(other than youtube)is getting the money.

      You can intentionally get your video flagged as advertiser unfriendly though.

      • Gabriel Mobius says:

        That depends on the copyright-holder. They can specifically tell YouTube, when they claim a video, that they don’t want ads to be run on any video (see: Erasure’s Chains of Love, which Jim Sterling uses for his Copyright Deadlocks) and this setting apparently takes priority over any other possible claims on the video. This stops companies like Nintendo from running ads (to get in on all $1.29 of that sweet ad money) when you specifically want the video to be ad-free.

  17. If you see claims appear then later vanish on their own it’s most likely that somebody tried to get away by monetising somebody else, they contested the claim, Youtube found in favour of them (or the claimant quickly released the claim now that they’ve been “caught”), Googles system notices that the same claim was sent against xx other youtubers and automatically release all those claims as well.

    As to trailers and stuff getting claimed, the suits/execs have ordered someone to claim/monetize EVERYTHING. So the poor smuchs on thew tech department just do the easy thing and through EVERYTHING into the claim-bot.

  18. GoStu says:

    Trying to monetize your own advertisements seems like one of the stupidest possible decisions they could make in this situation. We’re talking two fingers, two knuckles deep in their own sinuses level of stupid.

    Some cursory clicking around ‘research’ on my part finds info from Youtubers saying that the pay per million views ranges between $100 and $8000, depending on exactly what the content is. If it’s something like a cat video you’ll be on the lower end of that range – nobody really wants to advertise on a video about cats because “people looking at cat videos aren’t really looking to buy”.

    Meanwhile if it’s something like a product review video you’ll be on the higher end of that – someone watching a video about (say) makeup and the quality thereof is probably looking to buy some makeup and would be a prime person to hit up with an ad for that.

    Even assuming these trailers are on the high end of that range (which to be fair, people watching game trailers are probably looking to buy games), the prime thing for the advertisers to SELL in that spot is another video game, probably not yours. For the eight thousand dollars you may have made, you just showed a MILLION people a competitor’s product.

    How can executives in this dumb industry be THIS dumb? “Don’t advertise your competitor’s products” would seem to be trans-industry knowledge that’d come in from anywhere. Right? Are video game executives the washouts from other industries?

    • Echo Tango says:

      I feel like YouTube could have some algorithm to detect, “is this video already an advertisement?” If so, disable ads from running on it. To help the people who either don’t care about how stupid this type of situation is, or are too busy to do it properly, so they just put ads on everything their company owns.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        But such a tag already exists on youtube.When uploaded,you have the option to mark the video with “Creative Commons Attribution license”,basically allowing anyone to share the video anywhere.Youtubes automatic content id bot will ignore those when it spots a match.Also,Shamus did not say whether these were automatic or manual claims.If they were manual(which may be the case),its really a colossal misunderstanding of what a trailer is by the people who made the trailer(or at least some people they are working with).

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