YouTube user reviews are often the go-to solution when looking for an alternative unbiased opinion on a game – but is there a growing trend of game developers attempting to censor these, potentially harming the livelihood of YouTube game reviewers?
TotalBiscuit (aka Cynical Brit), a popular game reviewer on YouTube, was dealt a copyright complaint from a developer, which appears to be an abuse of YouTube’s copyright infringement reporting policy to hide a harsh review.
Many game reviewers on YouTube operate under the principles of “fair use” to perform their duty, and since everyone needs to make a living, these popular videos are monetised through YouTube adverts.
John Bain is the man behind the TotalBiscuit account, and he received the copyright complaint from Wild Games Studio after Bain’s review of the first-person survival game, Day One: Garry’s Incident, was less than complimentary.
As Bain tells it, following written requests to Wild Games Studio for review code, explaining the intended usage, the request was granted. Bain proceeded to slate the game, and Wild Games then exploited Youtube’s copyright infringement system to have the video review pulled down, claiming that Bain was illegally “monetising the content”.
“This highlights a wider problem and an issue that must be addressed. Look at how easily a company was able to censor the most-watched and prominent critique of their game by abusing YouTube’s copyright claim system,” said Bain. “Look at how they were able to completely flaunt the notion of networks policing their partners and using a shoot first, ask questions later form, to deny revenue to someone who they didn’t like.”
Check out TotalBiscuit’s description of the issue below:
What do you think? Are YouTube reviewers performing a valuable service in the realm of consumer journalism, and therefore should be entitled to generate an income from their service, even when using copyrighted materials under the “fair use” principles?
Or are they just a bunch of opportunistic parasites?
Sound off in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.