Disclaimer: My personal opinion in this piece. I am not speaking for anyone other than myself.
YouTube news outlets, and media outlets that occasionally foray into coverage of the YouTube ecosystem, have been experiencing and onslaught of pieces about the “judgement day” of claims made to Lets Plays, Walkthroughs and other video game videos on YouTube.
Gamers have been vlogging as a way to reach out to their audience in order to put pressure on game owners to restore the status quo. Many game publishers do not want these claims to exist and are reaching out to YouTubers in an effort to combat false claims and take their place at a table of the few, who encourage the monetization of earned media about media.
What is happening from many of those with claims on their videos is an attempt to keep videos up and monetized. Many game publishers and rights owners like the benefit of vloggers using their footage. Some do not.
A storm is brewing, but what needs to happen might not be near us yet.
One of my personal favorite perspectives on this is in Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition video on the impending Copyright War, viewable here (warning audio NSFW).
And now we come to the thesis of this post. After immersing myself in context and the stories of all of these claims, false or otherwise, I have come to the conclusion that:
YOUTUBERS DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT A COPYRIGHT VICTORY WOULD LOOK LIKE.
Thus far it seems as though being able to go back to business as usual is the victory. This however, doesn’t make any lasting change and YouTubers
There is talk of the need for legal precedent. For an excellent perspective on this, that mirrors a lot of my own, check out this guy:
Going to court is what victory or defeat looks like. One day, maybe soon, this will happen. I, however, have my doubts because going to court is almost never in the best interest of the rights owners claiming and flagging videos.
Court is too expensive for many YouTubers and the high chance of precedent in the favor of YouTubers is too risky for businesses to engage in a legal fight.
More likely than not this war will be fought over influence and in board rooms rather than court rooms, even though we so desperately need some trials to settle these issues once and for all.
If YouTube is moving quickly in the direction of professionalization, then what people can and cannot make careers doing, on the platform, needs to be established.