The Most Ridiculous Victim Of YouTube’s Crackdown Is A BASIC Game

The Most Ridiculous Victim Of YouTube’s Crackdown Is A BASIC Game

YouTube’s content ID match system may be the best way to keep copyright holders happy but it continues to cover everyone else in embarrassment. The latest example: This guy just got flagged for a playthrough video of a game. A game he programmed. In BASIC.

This is “the action surfing adventure” Surfshooter, according to its creator, Brian Picchi, who coded it more than a year ago for a BASIC computing game jam. Surfshooter is itself ridiculous but not as ridiculous as Picchi finding out YouTube’s infamous bot rejected a video of it and won’t let it be monetized.

Here’s Picchi’s awesome description of the game:

You are the surf shooter, just out to catch some waves but you have some hostile birds and fish out to stop you. At the end of each level there’s gonna be some surfer dude and he wants you off his wave. But you can’t just shoot him because he carries a gun and a shield with him! So he’ll block your shots. Who is this guy? Who carries a shield when he surfs? Of course, you’re carrying a gun with you, so that’s kind of bizarre.

The YouTube refusal is not really a big deal — the original video had only 1,990 views — and Picchi notes there’s no claimant identified, so it’s not like some douchebag is out there literally saying Picchi’s work is their own. It still illustrates how absurd things get under Google’s copyright-enforcement-by-bot model.

I reached out to Picchi through his YouTube account to ask if this refusal has been lifted or if he’s discovered why the video was rejected in the first place. I haven’t heard back, (The video’s title, the only piece of content I could think that would possibly trip a filter, is Applesoft BASIC Game #3 (SurfShooter), though there is a photography studio in Hawaii that goes by the name “Surf Shooter” and has a YouTube channel. It should be noted that Google’s content-scanning bot auto generates these claims, sometimes erroneously.)

If it’s any consolation, the video Picchi posted yesterday about the screwup already has about 90,000 views, or eight per cent of his combined total since he started uploading videos on this account in 2009.

My own game has been flagged by YouTube! [TanRu Nomad on YouTube]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @owengood.

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