Nintendo seem to being going after youtube types again, this time though it involves something a bit closer to what we do around hereBackground
For those just joining us then you have not missed an awful lot.
For many years footage of games was something of a "as long as you do not force us to do something then we will not" for just about everybody and all uses. With the rise of ease of video capture and increased popularity of game footage/art based videos, many of which can earn not inconsiderable revenue for their creators, there have been many companies seeking to clarify their positions on various matters. There are various laws that could govern the usage of footage though the big one would be copyright, though if you look at Microsoft's effort ( http://www.xbox.com/en-us/developers/rules
) there is a definite dash of trademark law in there. One key feature of copyright is exemptions, commonly known as fair use or fair dealing. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/
for a more academic discussion, 5 minutes into https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbrmaeiZ4RE
if you want a more UK focused and light hearted take, the main ones are criticism/review, parody (previously not a thing in Europe but somewhat recently added -- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/02/uk_reforms_enabling_private_copying_parodying_and_general_quotation_of_copyrighted_material_come_into_force/
), various types of teaching and certain aspects of research. The criticism/review thing would form the backbone of much of it but what gets troubled is the "popular" activity known as let's play where a game gets played and shared basically in full. Many would then argue this is not a review or some other type of fair use as it is presently defined, and may not be a good candidate for a further exemption.
Trademarks have to be enforced (if you allow someone to use your trademark without some kind of agreement then it risks so called genericide -- depending upon where you are aspirin might still be a trademark for acetylsalicylic acid but in many places it is not and anybody can sell said acetylsalicylic acid as aspirin) but copyright kind of does not. If copyright does not then the position of many in the video and game communities would be "it is free advertising, why would you possibly object" which is not an unreasonable line of logic.
Nintendo specifically seems to have opted for the letter of the law approach to copyright and has since been seen to go after many in the video making world, by the way youtube is not especially geared in favour of the so called content creators when it comes to copyright ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xjcuik2t78
being one of many discussing such things).
If you are interested in other companies and their positions/links to their usage guidelines then http://letsplaylist.wikia.com/wiki/%22Let%27s_Play%22-friendly_developers_Wiki
is a good jumping off point.
Nintendo's first go around saw them take out many videos, potentially including some non infringing ones, which saw many eyebrows raised.
Round 2 saw Nintendo create a revenue sharing program known as Nintendo Creators Program, one that saw some interesting terms and conditions. http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,16408.0.html
Whether this was due to negative PR from the first or something else is a debate for the ages.
There has been very little said on matters of modding and especially not ROM hacking for many of those, one major exception would be Microsoft's guidelines ( http://www.xbox.com/en-us/developers/rules
) which specifically disallow hacks. Previously we saw reports of various developers claiming videos featuring various ROM hacks and the revenue with them but there was still some debate as to whether it was the hack or just part of a larger movement.Back to today
Round 3 seems to be happening now and has seen some speedrun stuff happen. http://www.destructoid.com/nintendo-s-cracking-down-on-speedrunning-and-rom-hacking-videos-310152.phtml
ROM hacking as many around here would know exists in a very grey area of the law but is largely untroubled by legal action -- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/10/tecmo_sues_xbox_game_hackers/
being the only major event I am aware of, and dropped three months later http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/27/tecmo_drops_ninjahacker_suit/
After this we are looking at C&Ds issued to various projects, probably the most notable in recent memory being the Final Fantasy type 0 on the PSP (which is supposed to be ported and translated on some newer consoles), http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=19992.0
and 7th Dragon (possibly, jury is still out on the specifics here).
Thoughts of others reading?