YouTube Monetization for Guild Wars 2 is a Non-Issue – TaugVlog Ep. 7


What Happened

The following thread, regarding monetizing GW2 videos on YouTube, created a huge uproar in the community:
https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/support/account/Policy-for-posting-videos-on-Youtube-others/

An ArenaNet employee wrote:

You cannot use the monetization system for YouTube or other services. In order words, you cannot make money from our products.

In this vlog, I explain why all the concern on the part of the players regarding that statement was largely unwarranted.

Why There’s Nothing for Gamers to Worry About

The ArenaNet employee who posted the initial response in the above thread can be faulted for not anticipating that what she wrote would generate a poopstorm. However, later in the thread she clarified ArenaNet’s stance, and that stance is consistent with how game developers regard the YouTube community:

Technically, it’s against the current Guild Wars 2 Content Terms of Use for people to make money through such things as monetizing a Guild Wars 2 video. However, we support people sharing their experiences with our game. (Heck, we <3 people doing that!) So while we want to do the right thing and accurately relay what the CToU says — because that’s often the question — we do not take action when fan sites support themselves via ads, and we don’t take action when the creators of fan videos place ads. In other words, we do not flag such videos.

Game developers typically don’t grant permission to customers to make gameplay videos or monetize those videos in the Terms of Use. That said, in practice they typically won’t submit a copyright infringement claim against a gameplay video unless they feel the video is harmful to their product.

Why don’t games developers broadly grant permission to make gameplay videos? It has to do with business risk. While a given YouTuber may have good intentions, there’s no way for the game developer to know for sure that that intent will be executed in a way that they are comfortable with. Moreover the game developer needs to retain the right to have a video pulled down, if they believe the video is harmful to their product.

Links to YouTube Monetization, Fair Use

I referenced content in the video from the following pages:

P.S. I’m really excited about footage I’ve recorded in the past week of my “Legion” Mesmer build and new “Hammer Gun” Warrior build in sPvP and tournament play. Hopefully this weekend I’ll have some time to crank out some videos. Stay tuned!

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Posted in Business Analysis, Guild Wars 2, Video, Vlog
10 comments on “YouTube Monetization for Guild Wars 2 is a Non-Issue – TaugVlog Ep. 7
  1. Good vid Taugrim. You outlined the copyright stuff very well. My big critique would be, I would caution the “Fair Use” argument for this discussion, for a couple reasons. Like you, I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve spent many years working with and studying copyright from a “fair use” perspective (work in libraries, archives, and education).

    1) It’s just a defense if you get taken to court, and there’s no checklist for if you meet the requirements (which you mentioned)
    2) If people are using “monitization” on youtube for video game vids, the “Fair Use” argument is pretty much dead. The other options that you mentioned have some bearing, but in the current copyright environment, the monetization is really what is going to make copyright holders angry, so I don’t think this is a situation where fair use can help at all (unless you’re not making any money at all).

    Thanks for the good content and research :)

    • taugrim says:

      Jacob Ratliff (@Gameronomist) :

      Good vid Taugrim. You outlined the copyright stuff very well. My big critique would be, I would caution the “Fair Use” argument for this discussion, for a couple reasons. Like you, I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve spent many years working with and studying copyright from a “fair use” perspective (work in libraries, archives, and education).

      1) It’s just a defense if you get taken to court, and there’s no checklist for if you meet the requirements (which you mentioned)
      2) If people are using “monitization” on youtube for video game vids, the “Fair Use” argument is pretty much dead. The other options that you mentioned have some bearing, but in the current copyright environment, the monetization is really what is going to make copyright holders angry, so I don’t think this is a situation where fair use can help at all (unless you’re not making any money at all).

      Thanks for the good content and research :)

      The extent to which Fair Use applies depends on the factors listed on the Wiki link.

      I’ve received legal feedback that a reasonable argument can be made that my content meets Fair Use considerations.

      If any of you are lawyers, I would love to hear what you think!

      • Yes, and you were correct. I’m just saying that #4 on the wiki link (“the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”) is what will get you in trouble more often (if you look at previous case-law that has established fair-use.)

        I think fair use governs quite a bit (if not all) of what you’re talking about, but just to tell people to be careful if they’re wanting to up the monetizing portion of their content, do like you did and consult a lawyer :) Have to have that legal advice.

  2. Euchrid Eucrow says:

    Yeah, I always laugh when I see a youtube uploader or whomever putting in the “disclaimer” that the stuff they are using isn’t their property. It was one of the examples my teacher used to make a point about in my intellectual property law class. But yeah, it is basically you waving your hands and jumping up and and down saying “I’m stealing, I’m stealing!”.

    • taugrim says:

      Euchrid Eucrow :

      Yeah, I always laugh when I see a youtube uploader or whomever putting in the “disclaimer” that the stuff they are using isn’t their property. It was one of the examples my teacher used to make a point about in my intellectual property law class. But yeah, it is basically you waving your hands and jumping up and and down saying “I’m stealing, I’m stealing!”.

      Hahaha.

      Hey are you studying to become an IP lawyer? Pretty interesting work, and fairly lucrative, from what I’ve heard.

  3. So if ArenaNet and NCsoft are not going to push the copyright infringement part but your video does not gain monetization is there anything you can do to get it?

  4. Serialnerd says:

    If you really have any interest in copyright, trademark et al you should be reading Techdirt: http://www.techdirt.com/

    If you do a search on fair use you will get http://www.techdirt.com/search.php?q=fair+use

    More then enough info to get anyone started.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    It’s a bunch of garbage. Valve and Blizzard both give blanket permissions to monetize their games. I, personally, am not currently partnered with any YouTube Gaming Network. I don’t really need to be. I can even write to companies for permissions myself, though I prefer not to due to the petty caveats and pitfalls involved. That is where a gaming network partnership comes in – or, as in my case, I pretty much just stick to companies that give permissions on a public webpage. Much, much easier. GW2 wants to be iffy? OK – I won’t play it. I hear the end game is basically non-existant anyway. Moving on!

    BTW developers don’t have to submit a letter to YouTube to block you or any of that nonsense. Barking up the wrong tree. You first have to get through the YouTube automated checks, and in some cases (if you don’t know what you’re doing) you have to get a YouTube editor to approve it. They don’t give a crap about any nonsense. They need to see clear, definitive permission for YOU to use THAT CONTENT.. or it’s a NO GO.

    That simple, folks. Thinking about whether ArenaNet or any other dev is going to “have your video taken down” is waaaaaaaaaaay out in left field, very much back burner stuff.. Worry about getting the content, doing a good job, uploading it, getting it monetized on YouTube, then getting enough views for a dev to possibly even know you exist.. THEN *maybe* worry about whether or not the dev wants to take legal action against your video. Many of you in the comments here likely are miles from getting there, and might never even bother to get started quite frankly.. so.. yea.. don’t worry about it.

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