Game Critic Says YouTube Copyright Policy Threatens His Livelihood

Three of "Angry Joe" Vargas' 10 most-viewed videos on YouTube, and dozens of others, have been flagged by YouTube's controversial "content ID" system, meaning the independent games critic and personality can't earn any advertising money from them. Last night, Angry Joe responded, very much in character.

Vargas, who has 1.1 million subscribers and more than 400 videos on the service, fulminated about YouTube, video game publishers and other copyright holders in an 18-minute rant (above), saying YouTube's recent crackdown threatens the livelihood he built from nothing back in 2009.

"Four fucking years of hard work, now in jeopardy, because of your new blanket system that completely favours big corporations and anybody with a lot of [money] whether it's right or wrong," Vargas says.

Vargas' show and accompanying site, AngryJoeShow.com, offers reviews of video games, interviews of developers and other commentary, some of it satirical. He is perhaps best known for an interview at E3 2013 in which he took Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb of Microsoft to task for the Xbox One's online check-in requirements, to which Hryb responded that Microsoft couldn't just "flip a switch" to turn them off. When Microsoft indeed removed this requirement, Hryb's reply became a meme. It's one of several videos with more than a million views for Vargas.

Neither that interview nor its follow up rant (Vargas most popular video overall) is not among the 62 he says were flagged by the content ID bot YouTube appears to be using more aggressively over the past week. Several YouTubers, with large and small viewerships, began receiving a flood of notices saying their videos had been flagged for unauthorised use of someone else's copyrighted material — whether that was audio or video. When such a claim is made, the uploader can no longer run ads on the video, and the supposed rights-holder can even collect money by running their own advertisements unless they release the claim.

His reviews of Far Cry 3, BioShock Infinite and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim all have more than a million views and all have been flagged (a full list scrolls up at 3:46 of the above video.) But Vargas is particularly infuriated that two 10-minute interviews he conducted were flagged by YouTube for infringing content. One is a 2012 interview about Tomb Raider with Karl Stewart of Crystal Dynamics, and the other is a 2009 interview with Matt Turner of Electronic Arts about Army of Two: The 40th Day.

The interviews are intercut with gameplay footage. In Tomb Raider's case, about four minutes in total are used from what appears to be Tomb Raider's E3 2012 trailer and the game's demonstration during Microsoft's news conference during that expo. Indeed, a couple of shots show the audience at the news conference, suggesting it was footage taken from a broadcast.

It's less clear what could be objectionable in the Army of Two interview, which features plenty of gameplay footage, and also an extended outro during which "O Fortuna," better known as that song from Excalibur, plays over gunfire.

Vargas' video didn't show the content claim placed on either video, though he strongly indicated Square Enix, publisher of Tomb Raider, was responsible in its case. Kotaku tried to contact Vargas through email and Twitter today but was unsuccessful.

"My Tomb Raider interview, with the Tomb Raider people, has been claimed by Tomb Raider," Vargas says in the video. "What right do you have to my interview with a Tomb Raider person?!"

Fourteen other reviews of video games, some of them negative, some very positive (including BioShock Infinite) also were flagged, suggesting that either gameplay, gameplay trailers, or even songs in the soundtracks were discovered by YouTube's bot. (Vargas had videos for Star Wars Kinect flagged because they featured the films' original soundtrack.) The flagging does not remove a video from circulation but it does prevent its owner from earning ad revenue from it until the claim is resolved.

Some video game publishers have responded to the controversy by asking video uploaders to contact them with any content ID matches YouTube's system has made on their behalf. But YouTube's dispute resolution system gives a copyright holder 30 days to respond to an appeal. It means someone like Vargas has to spend a lot of time answering these claims and then potentially forego a month of ad revenue he expected to earn from them. Furthermore, if a copyright holder insists the use is unauthorised and YouTube sides with them, it can result in a copyright violation strike against the channel owner. Three strikes, and the account is banned.

"I quit my job four years ago, and it was really fucking risky at that time," Vargas says. "And the risk paid off. Because I poured myself into this, 80 hours, 70 hours a week. I've been doing this the past four fucking years with no vacation. And now all of it is in jeopardy. I have no idea what to do.

"I can no longer illustrate the points I need to make," he says, "That's what makes my show strong. I want to ask questions about Destiny, I want to ask questions about Titanfall. I want to ask questions about Witcher 3 without worrying, 'If I put up that video on YouTube, is it gonna get claimed?'


Comments

    “I can no longer illustrate the points I need to make,” - Of course he can, YouTube just won't pay him for it.

    I know it sucks, but you're using their network. If you want to use their site, and get paid with their payment system, then you need to play by their rules (regardless of being compliant with the law).

    If you don't like it, then start hosting, providing, and distributing your own content - if you really are compliant with the law, then you have nothing to worry about. Trying to monetise your own site, and your own videos seems like a lot more effort than piggy backing through YouTube.

    Should Angry Joe be paid for his hard work? Definitely.
    Is YouTube on the hook for making sure he gets paid because he chooses to use the site? I don't think so.

    Last edited 13/12/13 2:14 pm

      @Furious. Basically I read your post as saying that all those youtube channels should just bend over and take it, no matter how moronic or unjust this system is. These are reviews for crying out loud, their supposed to have gameplay footage etc otherwise it's just some guy sitting in front of a cam talking about a game.

      This is a job to people like Angry Joe and with the time, effort and money he puts into it he should be able to make money from it, like he has for the last four years. And people like him make a difference, a lot of people make their game purchases based on his and others reviews. This is something that game publishers are well aware of and a bunch of them aren't happy about this new system either, the crippling effect it's having on game review channels on youtube is going to hit game publishers too. They lose pr, they lose people and channels they've worked with and their customers aren't happy about it either.

      In short, your "lay down and let them kick you" advice isn't the answer. This is a problem, for the people who run affected youtube channels, for game publishers, for gamers and for youtube as well since this hasn't made them many friends and it needs to be solved.

      I am not sure you get what is happening. These reviewers are sent copies of games ahead of release with permissions to create monetized videos. The developers get promotional benefits and the reviewers get something for their work. Then the automated system flags their videos with no consideration to existing contracts between developers and the reviewers.

        Actually a lot of reviewers- especially the bigger names like Joe Vargas and Brad purchase the majority of their games. Even if they were to be given review copies of games- there is still the cost of time taken to play the game, recording, editing, encoding and uploading.

        This youtube content ID update is bullshit. I dont monetize my videos but I stopped uploading because youtube liked to flaunt that I could make money from my videos on my upload page. I only earlier this week got my clearance to do youtube live streaming if I chose to. I have gone out of my way to get new things prepared for when the missus starts uni to get back into getting into my gaming communities, join new ones, and try to have fun with sharing my entertainment.

      Hello there. I would like to ask something. Okay so we all know Pewdiepie and that he makes millions from YouTube. This guy plays all sorts of video games, all copyrighted by the way yet he gets paid by the advertisers.
      How is this possible when he is talking about copy righted work yet still making money,? If it's true and they have made it a exception it's not fair to this dude.

    “I can no longer illustrate the points I need to make,” - Of course he can, YouTube just won't pay him for it.

    I'm not sure what you mean by that. I've been told (in a youtube video) that content is being flagged regardless as to whether or not the videos are monetized.

    I totally agree with the rest of your statement.

    Sure, having your livelihood affected is going to hurt but crying to 100s of 1,000s about it isn't the classiest of moves to make.

    Holden employees are about to be made redundant. Should they all make whinge videos?

    If you know, wouldn't they face the same legal issues if they were to create their own site? Presumably the content owners could send cease and desists or whatever just as effectively, albeit without Youtubes more direct response of immediate takedowns.

    I think it's an interesting subject but a bit disapointing that 100% of the content creators want to have a cry about it and no one wants to consider the other side, or ADMIT that they do use content that they've not created themselves.

    Strikes me as childish and selfish.

      I'm not sure what you mean by that. I've been told (in a youtube video) that content is being flagged regardless as to whether or not the videos are monetized.

      I don't think that just because a video is flagged by the Content ID system means the video is in any way less accessible. If you're flagged by the Content ID system, it simply means you can't monetise the video. The video is still available for people to watch, you just aren't making any money through YouTube advertising.

      If you know, wouldn't they face the same legal issues if they were to create their own site?

      Yes, they sure would, however, the process wouldn't be automated. If they are truly on the right side of the law, they can fight (and win) any take downs sent to them.

        I don't think that just because a video is flagged by the Content ID system means the video is in any way less accessible. If you're flagged by the Content ID system, it simply means you can't monetise the video. The video is still available for people to watch, you just aren't making any money through YouTube advertising.

        Oh.

        So it is a tissy about loss of income only. Right?

        It's not about the content not being viewable.

        Yes, they sure would, however, the process wouldn't be automated. If they are truly on the right side of the law, they can fight (and win) any take downs sent to them.

        Presumably they would be no less or no more on the right side of the law than they are on youtube. And I guess it would be up to the lawyers to decide. I guess those moving away from Youtube but continuing to create the same content are simply hoping to capitalise on the delay it would take for legal action to be enforced, or firmly believe that they're within the law.

          So it is a tissy about loss of income only. Right?

          Listen to the Video. Yes he makes money off these videos. But without him making money how can he afford to live and make more videos. Its his livelihood.

          In an extreme way what if a big studio made a movie and they used some type of content in the background that wasn't theirs and someone else owned it. Can that person claim that movie and all profits as their own?

          The biggest point is Google wont care. As they still make their profits. They just split it with someone else.

      I disagree. hundred hours had been put in those videos, they are shouldn't be judged by an automatic system that can only pick up trail of music & video patterns then flag it.

      Remember that Youtube is also earning part of the money from monetized videos, the moment the system flags something, they are still earning the money, but not the creator anymore.

      This is a scenario where you made videos and the claimer earn the money, Imagine how would you feel if you work your ass off but other earns your money?

      Kotaku is a perfect example right now, they are using unauthorized contents from Angryjoe and many other creators. Should they ask for permissions first? I want to remind that PS4 and xbox One have a streaming feature, if a big publishers like Sony or Microsoft don't want their contents to be streamed on Internet, why would they bother with streaming at all?

        I disagree. hundred hours had been put in those videos, they are shouldn't be judged by an automatic system that can only pick up trail of music & video patterns then flag it.

        Hours of video is being posted to YouTube every second. The onus shouldn't be on the companies to ensure people aren't abusing their copyright, it's an impossible to task to manage by human hands.

        Remember that Youtube is also earning part of the money from monetized videos, the moment the system flags something, they are still earning the money, but not the creator anymore.

        YouTube also have to maintain a system of seemingly infinite data storage, and a worldwide distribution network.

        I want to remind that PS4 and xbox One have a streaming feature, if a big publishers like Sony or Microsoft don't want their contents to be streamed on Internet, why would they bother with streaming at all?

        Contents creators (in this case, the people that make the game) can disable the on-system streaming any point they like, whether this is to avoid spoilers, stop their cut scenes from posted etc.

        But you are missing the point, you can stream all you like and even post it all to YouTube, you just can't monetise it.

        Last edited 13/12/13 2:49 pm

          Except you missed ONE important point

          ALL of these reviewers/youtubers that monetise off games/LP have *specific* licenses/accounts and agreements that allows them to actually stream this stuff. Every big VG reviewer has pretty much asked for permission before creating theses reviews. These were all brought up by Total Biscuit when he was hit w/ the same ban abuse by a publisher.

          Everyone who monetises these clips go through a fair few hoops to make sure their interviews and reviews are legit and w/ permission. Add to the fact Youtube itself will be getting a cut from this monetisation.

          The problem w/ the automated system is that IT DOESN'T SEE/CHECK THESE it just sees licensed material and hits the flag/ban hammer. AJ and all other Youtubers are pissed because all their stuff is legit and being made money from by Youtube and yet they get NO PROTECTION whatsoever by the company making the cut from their work.

      Youtubers don't exactly have a union to lobby the powers that be to help them in their situation, the Holden employees have been using the tools they have available to them to push for job security. They even agreed to a pay rise freeze to help keep costs down.

      Angry Joe is using the most powerful tool he has to do the same thing. He needs job security, the current claim system is broken and the only way to bring about change is to make it very public. I think if there's going to be an automated content block, there should be several levels that allow for ad revenue to stack up for youtube partners with a good history, and give them a time period to dispute or settle any copyright claims without resorting to a blanket take down and loss of revenue.

        He needs job security

        Yeah. He does. We all do. And if his current practices won't allow him to do that within Youtube he needs to change his practices or move elsewhere.

        Same with the Holden employees. If they no longer have a job, they have to look elsewhere. It's no different for anyone else. We all have our own situations going on.

        I think if there's going to be an automated content block, there should be several levels that allow for ad revenue to stack up for youtube partners with a good history, and give them a time period to dispute or settle any copyright claims without resorting to a blanket take down and loss of revenue.

        I think the issue is getting muddied because it's not being presented properly.

        It seems that the main bone of contention is that the blocking that is occurring is occurring incorrectly, or not in a correct manner.

        But the discussion is muddied up with the view that Youtube shouldn't be stopping the monetization of videos that contain other peoples content, which is an entirely different subject.

        Last edited 13/12/13 7:00 pm

      I totally agree with the rest of your statement.

      Sure, having your livelihood affected is going to hurt but crying to 100s of 1,000s about it isn't the classiest of moves to make.

      its those 100s of 1000s of people being cried to who made this youtube career for people- and their own lifestyle.

      please- for a less ranty opinion on the issue view TotalBiscuit
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JqjDhuPFaQ&feature=share&list=UUy1Ms_5qBTawC-k7PVjHXKQ&index=1

        60 seconds into the TotalBiscuit video and it's already far better explained than AJ.

        There's something to be learned there.

        Last edited 13/12/13 11:32 pm

      > Holden employees are about to be made redundant. Should they all make whinge videos?

      I bet they would whinge if somebody garnisheed their wages (with no option to get their wages back) because it turned out one of them was playing a radio in the background while they were working.

      Or because it turned out that Toyota owned the driveway they used to get to the plant each morning.

      That's pretty close to what's happening here.

        Pretty close. Like water is pretty close to fire?

        People are using copyrighted content to earn a living (quite a substantial one too for running a voiceover on a play through). Now they cannot in some cases because Youtube says no.

        How you can compare that to the Holden situation is laughable and tells me you are probably personally affected.

    Got a cam a capture card and mic... What an empire he built.

    How much money do they make? If they have to really pump them out one after another just to make ends meet, than I think that's all right. If they're doing it because they love it.
    But I'm under the impression these people are doing real well for themselves? if they're making 40k plus a year from it, I dunno how I feel about that.

    Could always just comment on games without the footage? but then would they get the hits? it would show what really makes them the money, their opinions or the gameplay footage.
    I know I only ever click for footage, and usually have to mute the commentary.

    Last edited 13/12/13 2:21 pm

      I think, and I could be wrong, that the top of the top (Pewdiepie) makes millions a year.

      And on top of that they'll get paid for personal appearances, corporate sponsors. Maybe even merchandising.

      That's the cream of the crop, but the Let's Plays are hugely popular - and in my mind it's not down to the presenters, but due to the topic and the gameplay.

      I love Stonemountain64. He does funny commentaries over Battlefield 3 videos. He's hilarious. A talented guy, But it's fair to say that a certain percentage of the reason I watch the videos is because I want to see the game and the gameplay, so it's a little unfair, or abnormal, or unjustifable, (I'm not quite sure) to see some people make huge money on the basis of posting video of content created by others.

      Yeah I agree about them doing commentaries but without the footage.

      What if I owned a coffee van, and I made $5,000 a day when I parked in a busy area, such as a CBD street or at a park, or fair. And the council then decided to charge me rent?

      What a cheek. I'm parked in a public place. How dare they ask me to pay rent, and to be an approved seller. I'm not harming anyone. I'm providing a service to all the coffee lovers.

      The reality is that the land is the property of the council, and they can and will set whatever rules they feel are appropriate. And then we all have to accept it and deal with it.

      Last edited 13/12/13 2:31 pm

        Your analogy with council land and rent is incorrect for the reason that if you don't pay rent, council can have somebody else use that land, and they'll pay. The same cannot be said for YouTube. You remove angryjoe, pewdiepie, etc that's a couple of million eyeballs that will no longer be viewing YouTube as often, ie. Watching ads.

        You can try and wait for someone to fill their void, but they'll likely not succeed since this new policy will affect them too. Unlike council land, YouTube can't just sell off the piece of land for commercial or residential usage. Sure, YouTube can just stay adamant and let the whole video game demograohic of their site die, but at what cost?

          Analogies are rarely an exact match for the issue they're attempting to represent, especially mine. They typically illustrate at least one point.

          Youtubes income is not at all dependent on the gaming videos.

            But the point you're trying to illustrate still doesn't fit with what this policy does. At best, this policy means those on the network have to obey the rules of it. At worst, it penalises content creators in the video games genre for generating revenue for the very company they work for. This policy is is about tipping the balance towards the big publishers flexing their so called copyrights in an attempt to stifle a new way in which video games media is delivered, and which they have little control over.

            And I have no doubt Youtube's income is not all dependent on their gaming demographic, as it is a relatively new one. But when the Machinima network has some 291m subs (let's be cynical and say only a quarter are active, so 70ish mil), that is a lot of eyeballs to lose if half the network was to die due to this policy. Then there's the guys at Polaris...

        Your analogy almost works, except for a few changes.

        First the council has explicitly told you you can set up and sell your coffee there, they were very generous and instead of charging you rent they just taxed a portion of your sales.

        Then someone else claims that you're using their coffee, and takes your share of the money leaving the business you made to continue on but not earn you anything.

        Of course, videos don't have ongoing costs of business which is one of the few things that make that YouTube business model popular. Whilst a few might be making great money off it, most content makers probably aren't making much more than just enough to make ends meet doing 80 hour weeks, but it's something they love.

          Then someone else claims that you're using their coffee, and takes your share of the money leaving the business you made to continue on but not earn you anything.

          Well were you using their coffee? If each cup of coffee that you make contains 70% your coffee and 30% their coffee, then you are using their coffee. In which case sanctions would be expected and correct. The degree and form of those sanctions could be argued, but not the sanctions themselves.

          If you weren't using their coffee, or you were using their coffee but with their prior consent, then fair enough - any sanction being placed would be uncalled for and the council would deserve an ear-battering .

          Last edited 13/12/13 7:01 pm

        The money that PewDiePie makes is completely different to the money Joe makes. PewDiePie makes several videos a week, which cost him nothing to make and each receive millions of views. Angry Joe, on the other hand, makes one Angry Review a month, that cost him a lot of money and time to make. Joe is on the record for saying that he sometimes spends more money making the review than he ever hopes to recoup. Sure, he has a bunch of small non-review videos spread across his channel, but those are not his bread and butter.

        Another thing to consider (I am aware what I am about to type is a less well-worded version of what Totalbiscuit said) is that Stonemountain64's commentary is a stage. Although the gameplay is appealing, it is not the reason you go there. You go there for the commentary. If Stonemountain64 were to play any other game, I am sure that you would enjoy the video just as much as long as the commentary was of the same quality.

        There is the other argument in that games are unique in that they are based almost entirely on player input. The developers didn't create the footage Stonemountain64 made, they merely provided the ruleset and the assets to allow for that particular footage to occur As opposed to a movie, everything changes based on the way the player plays. If you hand a controller/mouse+keyboard to two different people, the footage will be different. But I am not going to go any further with this argument, as this is a legal grey area.

        The coffee van argument is so stupid I am not even going to address it.

      Uh, Joe puts a little bit more effort into his videos then buying a capture card and mic.

        You're right.

        He has to sit down and talk for 20 minutes.

        Violins please.

          Geez, have you even seen one of his reviews?

            Yeah one of them.

              please enlighten us.

              Which one? the one in this post is a rant

              Here is a playlist of 80 video game reviews- or a whole 24 hours of polished work.
              http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBBDDA4B202570E78

                The one about Ace Combat, and another flight sim if I recall. I was checking out the reviews for the other one as it was on sale on PSN.

                Would you like to know what I had for breakfast?

                Last edited 13/12/13 11:28 pm

          No. His reviews are extremely long and edited pretty well.

            So watch him , hit like, share and subscribe and he'll get paid for your patronage.

            Oh wait....

            Last edited 13/12/13 7:02 pm

          He puts in about 70 hours of work a week.

          Regardless, you've made it clear that you don't watch a lot of good game review channels, Angry Joe's or otherwise and your comments about them doing their shows without gameplay footage is akin to suggesting that a movie should only have audio, no image. It just shows that you don't know what makes up a good review.

          And, just like Furious, your "just lay down and be kicked" advice isn't a solution, not even close.

            your comments about them doing their shows without gameplay footage is akin to suggesting that a movie should only have audio, no image. It just shows that you don't know what makes up a good review.

            It's not about what makes up a good review. That's simply not the subject of the discussion.

            If you were to ask me my opinion on game reviews, and I watch plenty of them, then absolutely video is an important aspect of that. But again, that's entirely irrelevant.

            The important point is whether or not the videos are allowed to contain such visuals. If they are, great. If they're not, then alternatives must be sought. Or the posting of such videos will be done so at the risk of losing monetisation..

            Last edited 13/12/13 6:53 pm

          Come on man, have you ever actually sat down and tried to create entertaining content? It takes hours of planning, scripting, footage filmed or captured and discarded. You don't get to the level of popularity on Youtube just by recording 20 uninterrupted minutes of you playing a game, there are millions of people who do that already. It takes several hours to make one decent 20 minute video, it's not trivial at all, and it takes a fuckload of views for that video to even make back the cost of the time.

            Drug dealers are popular, and can be hard workers. It doesn't make them legal.

            Last edited 13/12/13 6:53 pm

              yes, drug dealers are illegal, but what about drug analysts/researchers (in a sense, they are reviewing the drugs), they are totally legal right?

              I'm not sure what your point is. The video content in question is legal, they have the copyright holder's permission.

          Dude you have no idea what you are talking about, Joe's reviews are awesome, he always has Custom costumes and props to get into the mood of every game he discusses. ALOT of reviewers could learn a thing or two from his channel, as Above all else, Joe's a gamer, and LOVES playing games and it shows.

          Youtube is effectively GUTTING itself with this crap, if something isn't done, it will eventually no longer be the prime "Tube" site. Another site will be happy to mop up the revenue from these people no doubt. Yes, DCMA has it's place, but the Onus should be on the organisation to claim a breach, not some automated robot with a Guilty until proven innocent system. Seems very lazy and inappropriate..

            OK, so he's right because he spends more than 20 minutes making videos, and because he makes custom costumes.

            Fair enough.

              So many people have trouble disconnecting the law with what is the right thing to do. I bet if you asked any of the people who actually created these games they would say that people should absolutely be allowed to profit from reviewing them or talking about them intercut with game footage.

              Companies with billions of dollars have much ability to change the law than I do so you should get used to laws that are more one sided than before.

              This is probably some side effect of a new program they have been forced to implement by the RIAA/MPAA who will happily throw takedowns at everything without even checking if it has a single second of their content in it.

                I bet if you asked any of the people who actually created these games they would say that people should absolutely be allowed to profit from reviewing them or talking about them intercut with game footage.

                Yeah but those people don't get to dictate Youtubes policies.

                Companies with billions of dollars have much ability to change the law than I do so you should get used to laws that are more one sided than before.

                If we're going to have a discussion about the distribution of wealth, or the corruption of power, could it please be about something more important than AJs pay packet .

                Last edited 13/12/13 6:56 pm

              And because what he's doing is explicitly legal (under US Fair Use laws permitting use for reviews, amongst other things) and he's contributing a heck of a lot of value.

              Then YouTube changes the rules under which he's operating, in a fashion which the actual copyright owners have not asked for and do not want.

              I'm guessing that this change was introduced because some of the big studios complained that YouTube was insufficiently proactive in enforcing their copyrights. That's fair enough, as far as it goes, since there is a heck of a lot of copyrighted content duplicated on YouTube, including in some cases entire movies.

              However YouTube has implemented their solution on a blanket basis that is simply not suited to some of the ways in which copyrighted content is used.

              I doubt there are many people here would would suffer silently if their pay was suddenly cut by 30%.

      I think the top tier of gaming youtubers earn a mid six figures. Obviously it would depend on a lot of factors.

        So $500,000 or so.

        That's not a small amount. That's proper celebrity money right thur.

      This is his livelihood, and as he stated he pours about 70 hours a week into this and hasn't had a vaccation for four years. Regardless of how much money he makes this new system is asinine not to mention unfair. A lot of the game publishers aren't thrilled about it either, it hits against channels that they work with, provide interviews to and to an extent depend on to spread word about the games they make, not to mention that this new system pisses off their fans.

      Could always just comment on games without the footage?

      You're allowed to use any footage as long as your reviewing it which he is.

        Which is why the videos aren't flagged as a copyright violation.

        The video is lawful, but by using content owned by someone else, it no longer qualifies for YouTube monetisation.

        Last edited 13/12/13 2:53 pm

          I'd also like to add, or ask, that this is essentially exactly the same as if you or I were to make a video, about whatever issue floats our boat, and we wanted to jazz up the video and make it more entertaining by using music, or images (or video), that we would have to use media that is copyright free, or we would not be able to monetise the video.

          AJ / the gaming youtubers are not being singled out here. (please correct me if i'm wrong).

          And, I think I'm correct that the actions currently being taken by youtube have been taken for some time, but it's now only affecting the more established gaming youtubers at this stage.

          Again, no one's being singled out.

            I'd also like to add, or ask, that this is essentially exactly the same as if you or I were to make a video, about whatever issue floats our boat, and we wanted to jazz up the video and make it more entertaining by using music, or images (or video), that we would have to use media that is copyright free, or we would not be able to monetise the video.

            And that is what's happening here. All of the video and sounds that Joe is using fits under fair use or he was given express permission by the copyright holder to use. Legally he is allowed to make money off of it.

            And, I think I'm correct that the actions currently being taken by youtube have been taken for some time, but it's now only affecting the more established gaming youtubers at this stage.

            You are incorrect. Youtube has just implemented an entirely automated system, which is why everyone has been hit by it at the same time. This isn't a case where this has been slowly happening and only just got to the gaming figures, it literally just happened.

            You're missing the key point here; legally people like Joe can make money off of these videos (one of the publishers he's done a video on even publically stated on twitter that they had given him permission and have now made sure that this policy no longer applies to him based on their stuff), there are no copyright concerns at all. But Youtube just implemented an automated system that ignores legal factors and just prevents youtubers from making money off their hard work, whilst Youtube still gets it's cut.

            So to boil it down to a nutshell, Youtube did a half-assed job making a system that screws everybody over, then places the onus on them to prove that Youtube fucked up.

      I could buy a cam and a mic, and put the most inane crap up on Youtube, and surprise - no one will watch or care. In order to build a fanbase like AngryJoe has - you must be doing something entertaining or something people enjoy watching. I don't even really like AngryJoe, but I do think people like him put in a lot of work to get where they are.

    Oh and why the heck is that guy shouting so much in his videos.

    Can youtube please start banning people for shouting too much. Thanks.

      Or don't watch the video. He's called Angry Joe and the title says Angry Rant. If you weren't expecting shouting then that's your fault.

        Yeah! Like, I'm expecting that by responding to your comment that you're gonna act like a total shithead :)

        Banning people for shouting is drastic, but no need to be a shithead! :P

        Or, they could present in a watchable fashion.

          Yeah nobody wants any shouting, of course besides his million subscribers...

          Last edited 13/12/13 6:26 pm

            Forgive me for disagreeing with his million subscribers. I naturally must be in the wrong. Let's all start shouting.

              You are pretty good however the point was that he shouldn't be banned on the grounds that you personally don't like it.

      Judging from your ignorant remarks, I'm thinking that "drastic" in your name is used to describe some form of intelligence issue.

        So the mods think that this kind of insult is acceptable. Good to know.

      It's how you get noticed on YouTube these days, being angry and loud seems go make you money over being sensible

        Dontforgetthewholetalkingreallyfastsothatitsoundslikeyouaretheredcordialbandit.

        He's normally very chill; unless he's reviewing an awful game you wouldn't even know why he's called Angry Joe. The point you're supposed to take away from this is that he is pissed.

    Hipster Mode Activate:

    Been a fan for a long time and I think he should go back to Blip.

    Maybe he should get a job? I have one and my livelihood isnt at risk.

      He said in the video that he quit his job to move onto this career. If he can't earn a living from doing what he loves, then he will have to cancel his own show in order to get a job.

        Well that to bad for him. Make a real living if you cant make one off you tube.

          So, it's only considered a "real living" if you slump your way to a 9-5 job that you hate?

            No, just don't make money off of others hard work.

            edit: don't expect to be liked for making money of others hard work.

            Last edited 13/12/13 3:08 pm

              He's not selling the videogames (or interviews) he's reviewing.

              Do you even know what website you're on? This is a gaming blog. It makes money by reporting on other people's work. If you don't like that idea, why the fuck are you here? Is it because this site provides something of value to you? Don't you think, for something you get value from, the provider of that shouldn't deserve to be paid for their work?

            I dont hate my job. I love my job and isnt 9 tp 5 its 6 to 4 30.may sound crap but its perfect for me. This reminds me if the gmod idiot box creator asking for a new pc because he quit his job. Also why would i slump at work? I nevrer sit down

          I seriously question your narrow, not to mention bleak, definition of "a real living".

        Oh no.

        Someone can't do exactly what they want for a living. Boo hoo.

          What's up your arse? He's not breaking any laws, he has permission from the copyright holders, he's following the rules of the system. And he can do what he wants for a living, the only thing stopping him is a broken automated system that isn't carrying out the wishes of anyone actually involved.

          It would be like if your boss walked up to you and said "Hey, that project you were working on for the last few weeks for our client? They love it, but our payroll database doesn't want to mark it as complete for some reason so we're going to just not pay you for the time you spent on it. If you want to be paid, just send a ticket through to the IT department and they'll get back to you in a few months, no biggie."

            There's nothing "up my arse" as you so eloquently put it.

            I'm merely making the point that Angry Joe and others are having a huge public hissy fit because their chosen profession is subject to change.

            Wake up.

            It happens to all of us.

            If you work for a company that has redundancies, guess what - you're livelihood will be affected.

            If you're a business owner and the cost of supplies or the cost of rent or the cost of wages goes up, guess what - you're livelihood will be affected.

            It is not only the youtube gaming content creators that are subject to having their livelihood affected by changes to their situation; their suppliers etc.

            It happens every day.

            Just not all of us go on a massive public rant about it.

            And not all of us can expect the sympathy and support of others.

            Whatever man.

            It's quite clear that most here think it's normal for a grown man to shout and cry because he can no longer financially gain by utilising other peoples content.

            Downvote me for not being overly sympathetic.

            I simply think there's more pressing things in life.

              People being made redundant isn't comparable to having your income stream terminated because of a mistake made by an automated system. Everyone who makes content for Youtube to any serious extent knows the game can change at any time and that they have to roll with the punches, but this situation isn't because of the industry changing or the platform changing, it's because Google's automated content ID system is overly zealous and is shutting people's income down over invalid criteria.

              On your first paragraph below, I think your comment is perfectly fair. For context, I have a close friend who produces video content on Youtube (42,000 subs) and I spent a good bit of money and time laying the groundwork to get into producing content myself, but held off until I had more time to make a proper go of it. I did do a lot of research on how Youtube, and affiliate networks in particular work. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'd like to think I have the fundamentals down reasonably well.

                People being made redundant isn't comparable to having your income stream terminated because of a mistake made by an automated system.

                Well, apart from the whole income stream being terminated part.

                this situation isn't because of the industry changing or the platform changing, it's because Google's automated content ID system is overly zealous and is shutting people's income down over invalid criteria.

                That's an entirely different subject, and one (if correct) I would sympathise with (as I've stated elsewhere). I think the subject is being muddied by the youtubers discussing both issues at the same time.

                They're not saying, "fair enough, we can't use other people content, so we'll stop doing that, but you've incorrectly sanctioned this video, can you please ammend it". They're saying "whinge, whinge, blah, blah, it's ridiculous I can't use visuals, this is my job, I work hard, I bought a microphone, I'm a professional, whinge, whinge, Youtube keeps making mistakes". Well, that's what i'm hearing anyway.

                On your first paragraph below, I think your comment is perfectly fair

                Thanks.

                Contrary to what others have suggested I'm not purposefully being unreasonable, it's simply that i'm not automatically going to sympathise with those that face issues that are essentially normal in business life.

                I also think it's pretty weak (and this isn't directed at you) to downvote me, to hurl personal insults and accusations when I'm one of only a few people attempting to examine the subject thoroughly and logically. But then such is the internet.

                  There is only one issue here, that people with permission to use content are getting content ID matches against their videos, preventing monetisation. People without permission have always had claims lodged against them, that's nothing new. What's new is that legit people are getting claims because of Youtube, or because someone who doesn't have exclusive rights (eg. the music publisher) is making a claim even though the game publisher has already granted permission.

                  People like Angry Joe are on affiliate networks that have already negotiated rights with publishers, and a previous article today on the same topic says even publishers are scratching their heads, saying 'it wasn't us'.

            It would be like if your boss walked up to you and said "Hey, that project you were working on for the last few weeks for our client? They love it, but our payroll database doesn't want to mark it as complete for some reason so we're going to just not pay you for the time you spent on it. If you want to be paid, just send a ticket through to the IT department and they'll get back to you in a few months, no biggie."

            I honestly don't know how true and accurate the above statement / analogy is. And I suspect (and I don't mean this in a mean way) that neither you, nor most in the discussion do.

            If Youtube is contradicting it's own terms and conditions, and if Youtube does not have the authority to do so (which they might - they could have a "we can change things whenever we want" clause), then your above analogy would largely hold true - and in such case I would sympathise with the VICTIM of fraudulent (? I'm not a lawyer) behaviour.

            If Youtube is perfectly entitled to do what they're doing, then your above analogy doesn't hold true.

              are you just trying to be unreasonable for the sake of it, because it sure looks like you are mate.

                First off, we're not mates.

                Secondly, if you have a point to make, make it.

                I am.

                Last edited 13/12/13 7:16 pm

              Even if they had a "we can change things whenever we want" clause that doesn't automatically mean that it's legal. There are court cases all over the world where the verdict was "yeah that clause you put in doesn't fly so we're going to be bitch-slapping you with fines now."

              Point is that Youtube set up a half-assed system to stop copyright abuse, and in the process fucked over the people who weren't doing anything wrong and again, plenty of game publishers are coming out and saying "Well this is fucked." These publishing being the actual people who have a stake in copyright abuse.

      He has a job, this is what he does.

      And if your livelihood is ever jepordized we now know what kind of sympathy you expect to be met with; none.

        Guess waht Rawen. I wouldn't ask for your sympathy.

        I wouldn't make a video shouting and crying about the issue

        I'd accept the situation for what it was. Which, in this case, is essentially this:-

        AngryJoe publishes on Youtube.
        Youtube have changed their policies, or the enforcing of their policies.
        AngryJoe is angry.
        AngryJoe makes whinge video with a call for sympathy.
        Lots of people sympathise with said whinge video.
        I don't.

        I see his situation as being no different than it is for millions of others.

        Last edited 13/12/13 7:16 pm

    Sorry, I'm on the commentators side. Davedrastic had a whine comparing this to Holden. Yeah, totally correct. Blanket claims are Holden, the commentators are the workers. So you're saying if you were in their position where you had something like that going for that long, got some popularity up and all of a sudden the videos that you've had up for ages ends up getting ads put on them for someone else's benefit you wouldn't be pissed?

    "Should they all make a whinge video?" Pretty sure it's been all over the f***ing news! Joe's hasn't hit NBN or Prime so he's well within his rights. Kinda what youtube is for, remember? Before the whole monetization based uploads it was about anybody being able to upload what they want. Honestly the Holden employees can do whatever the hell they want, upload a video to youtube! Oh wait... They'll probably be blanket flagged for the background audio. I'm sure SOMEONE has recorded a similar sound and trademarked it. Also, upon replying (if you do) I'm issuing a blanket claim on any words I wrote because they were here first and were unclaimed beforehand! YOU ALL OWE MONEY! Get the picture?

    "100% of the content creators want to have a cry about it" - BLANKET STATEMENT.

      Davedrastic had a whine comparing this to Holden. Yeah, totally correct. Blanket claims are Holden, the commentators are the workers. So you're saying if you were in their position where you had something like that going for that long, got some popularity up and all of a sudden the videos that you've had up for ages ends up getting ads put on them for someone else's benefit you wouldn't be pissed?

      Whine? Bit unnecessary isn't it?

      I'm not quite sure if I understand your meaning. In fact i'm pretty sure I don't.

      This is how I see it...

      I view AngryJoe as a business owner. As a self employed entity. The same with the other full time youtubers - Boogie, TalkingBiscuit etc. But let's talk about AngryJoe (AJ).

      AJ has a business relationship with his supplier, Youtube.

      Youtube has changed how they do business.

      Youtube is entitled to change how they do business. (or have I got that part wrong? If so, please state how, as that will be the failure of my take on things. If it isn't wrong then I don't see why the objection).

      AJ is angry and has a cry about it, boo hoo.

      In business, businesses have partnerships and relationships with other businesses. It's normal.

      And some of those businesses will make changes that will have direct effects on other businesses. It's normal.

      Those businesses that are adversely affected by such changes will naturally be unhappy about them, but THEY HAVE TO ACCEPT THOSE CHANGES - IFFFFFFF - that is, those changes are legal etc.

      So my point, basically, is that AJ and the other Youtubers are not in a unique position AT ALLLLLLLLLL.

      I used Holden as an example as the Holden staff members that will be made redundant will have their livelihoods affected - but guess what, they'll HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT. Because such changes ARE NORMAL and LEGAL.

      It's not about being pissed.

      You can be pissed all you like. I just don't see the point in publically whingeing and crying about it EN MASSE when the changes are NORMAL and LEGAL.

      If they're not legal, fine. But that's not the case - is it? (genuine question). If it is illegal then for sure, let the damns of hell break loose.

      Kinda what youtube is for, remember? Before the whole monetization based uploads it was about anybody being able to upload what they want.

      Before monetization is a key point. That's what this is about, isn't it. Monetization. Let's not pretend it's about some grandiose issue. It's not. It's about money.

      And anybody was able to upload what they want, as long as it was with the T&Cs. And that remains to be the case, isn't it? Again, genuine question.

      "Also, upon replying (if you do) I'm issuing a blanket claim on any words I wrote because they were here first and were unclaimed beforehand! YOU ALL OWE MONEY! Get the picture?"

      Yep I get the picture.

      Last edited 13/12/13 7:17 pm

        Your Holden example is flawed. Using it properly, Angry Joe is the worker, Holden is the supplier, and Holden is fine for Joe to use their stuff to make money with. To make the money the worker uses a pay system made by a third party (Youtube). The pay system implements a policy to crack down on unauthorised profits on Holden's products, but doesn't distinguish between authorised and unauthorised profits. The worker is pissed because they have done the right thing by the supplier, the supplier has confirmed the worker is doing the right thing by them, but the third party system says it's up to the worker to prove it. And in the meantime they're still taking their cut of the profits.

        Or hell to use an even better example, Youtube is Toyota, and this system is the changes they wanted to make to their Enterprise Agreement except this time the action came before the review to see if it'd stand up.

    Man most of you guys don't understand.

      I am surprised by the amount of awful comments here.

        I reckon, I'm pretty sure if they were in the same position they would say otherwise.

        It's almost like if went up to all the street buskers in the city, took all their hats (used to collect the money from the audience) because I thought they belonged to friends of mine and in that process I stop them from making any more profit from doing what they love.

        Last edited 13/12/13 5:56 pm

    I'm confused. So I make a video of me doing a review.

    5 mins of me on camera talking about stuff.
    5 mins of footage.

    And they can say no, you can't profit from that, we'll make a claim and we'll get all that advertising money.

    Shouldn't I still get 50 percent?
    What about me sitting in my room how can they be profiting from that?

    What about the IGN and Giantbomb etc., channels? Are they getting hit with the same issues?

    I see an opportunity for a rival video site specialising around gaming here. Or is this what twitch.tv is meant to be for?

      Twitch is mainly for livestreaming, it has limits on how many videos can be kept in archive.

        I thought that was the case but I've never gone to it. Sounds like there is room for a site to do this then.

    I doubt that any of those who think that AngryJoe shouldnt be paid for his work have ever seen his show. Go to his site http://angryjoeshow.com, watch one of his proper reviews (not vlog) and compare to absolutely any other video game review site, even the professional studios ones and you will clearly see the amount of work that goes in it. Also listen to the actual review, it is honest and you can tell it is not sponsored talk that you hear from game developers. Reviewers need to be unbiased and that is what he is doing.

    Not to mention over one million subscribers (not viewers, subscribers). That is a massive amount of advertising for games by anyones standards, and if you dont think that takes effort that should be rewarded, then you know nothing about Internet marketing. He is a attribute to gaming studios (money-wise or other), plain and simple.

    AngryJoe is one of the best reviewers out there, and his reviews contribute to the success or failure of a game. Hes a video game reviewer. If he cant show the game, then he cant comment on one of the most basic features of gaming.

    And for those who say its the game that makes the reviews (when he is doing a lets play - which is only a tiny portion, and is more for fun than the reviews that he is angry about being claimed), you are 100% wrong. The hosts make the reviews worth watching all the way to the end and keep coming back. Doubt it? then watch reviews of the thousands of other reviewers and tell me if you want to keep coming back.

    He's doing a job. He's doing a good job, one that is needed for the industry and one that is needed for the gamers. He makes money for the studios and YouTube with the viewers he brings in. Just let him keep doing what he does best.

    Last edited 13/12/13 7:25 pm

      Technically, a review is biased because it's a personal opinion, but apart from that I agree with the rest of your points.

    Been a big fan of Joe for years, right back to when he started out. Between him and Total Biscuit and thier mates, you can get some of the best reviews and opinion on the web. Keep going Joe, keep going!

    Joe's made a second video this subject. He doesn't shout or rant (although he does swear once or twice); he shows some examples of the flagged videos; he offers good, measured suggestions and even mentions this article and why he didn't respond to Kotaku's attempts to reach him (he was asleep). This is Joe at his best, and it's well worth your time.

    http://youtu.be/QAi81_uvztM

    Last edited 13/12/13 11:49 pm

      Just watched it. Much better than the vid this article is based on.

    And this is so completely different from regular web reviewers with advertising, or magazines how?

    I watched Angry Joes video and I damn near shed a tear for him. He really is passionate about his work and I admire his ethic and how much he really cares for his fan base that may not be able to watch his great videos. YouTube better stop.

      So he uses copyrighted material without their permission in some videos and they make a claim to it.

      And?

        Except he has their permission to. Several even went and publically announced that fact.

        Fuck, Capcom has gone and told Youtube to stop blocking this sort of thing. No one is making a claim against his videos, another company put an automated request in that doesn't bother checking the actual permissions involved.

    You know how all of these guys are actually earning money? From the ads displayed on the page.

    More views = more clicks on those ads = more money.

    If you're serious about making videos and all that (which obviously, heaps of people are), go and buy a domain, host your videos there, and sign up for a service like (I could be wrong but) "google ads".

    Don't complain that a FREE service (ie youtube) is preventing you from earning revenue. You have obstacles, go around them.

    or he can come work for Kotaku WooHoo!

    That's the way the cracker crumbles you can argue and cry about it all day youtube isn't going listen to you. Time to figure out a new way to make money. I know angry joe just reviews games maybe it's fair use but the term fair use doesn't hold up well in a court of law the copyright holder wins 9/10 times.
    Besides Joe There's too many people who think they can sit on their ass play a video game and make a living some people have done it they are lucky individuals but times are changing and you can't just sit on your ass anymore you can sit there and cry or do something about it

    "I’ve been doing this the past four fucking years with no vacation. And now all of it is in jeopardy. I have no idea what to do."

    Maybe get a real job?

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