Nintendo's YouTube Plan Is Already Being Panned By YouTubers

Nintendo's YouTube Plan Is Already Being Panned By YouTubers

Nintendo launched a new affiliate program yesterday for YouTubers that, on paper sounds like a good thing. It's a way to let YouTubers make money off their Nintendo-related videos on YouTube, after all. But if you look at the finer details, things don't look so great.

Called the "Nintendo Creator's Program," the scheme lets people earn advertising proceeds on any Nintendo-related stuff that uses gameplay footage of Nintendo games. Think Let's Plays, like the kind that Pewdiepie does. Or walkthroughs. Or the type of video that an average joe might upload to YouTube about their sick Mario platforming. All of this stuff would be eligible to make money from advertising.

In order to earn the money, YouTubers can register specific videos or entire channels with Nintendo. Individual videos can earn 60 per cent of advertising proceeds, and registered channels can earn a little more -- 70 per cent. Unless Nintendo decides to change that. And they can. The Nintendo Creator's program says that this rate "may be changed arbitrarily". Presumably, Nintendo wouldn't be a jerk about this and wouldn't just change the rate to something ridiculous, but the fact that fine print exists at all does not inspire confidence.

The other big problem with this policy is that it puts certain type of Nintendo content in an awkward position. In many cases, the idea that Nintendo would want to take a share of the money produced by video content of their products makes some sense: they made the game(s) in question, and want in on the action. Of course they do. But let's say a YouTuber decides to make a review of a Nintendo product. Should Nintendo be able to get a cut of the advertising revenue on such a video? When a review runs in a professional gaming outlet, chances are good that the outlet would not be paying a developer or publisher a certain percentage of money just because they use footage of a game. That would be crazy. But it's going to be policy on YouTube.

Another aspect of this program that could potentially prove disadvantageous for YouTubers is the fact that it can "regularly take up to three business days" for registered videos to be reviewed and okayed. While it's unclear on whether or not an entire registered channel would have to wait that long, the problems with this system and individual Nintendo-related videos is clear. Again, let's use the example of a YouTuber producing a review of a game. Would the fact they have to get the video okayed by Nintendo influence what someone says? Is there a chance a policy like this could make people timid about criticising Nintendo, or offering valid critique?Let's say a YouTuber get a game in advance, and they crunch on it so that they can get a review out on time, before embargo. Having to add in three day's worth of potential waiting time is absurd in that scenario: it's hard enough to get reviews out on time, when it's useful to someone who would like to make an informed purchasing decision. Adding rules that require Nintendo to ok a video before it can run does not serve the interest of the consumer, or the interests of a YouTuber: it only serves Nintendo.

Now, that's not to say the current program is all bad. Certainly it's better than what existed before, where Nintendo-related content only let Nintendo and YouTube make advertising revenue. And Nintendo isn't fumbling YouTube as badly as companies like Sega, that have shut down entire channels just so that the company could get eyeballs on the videos they want, and not the videos that are produced by YouTubers. This new program by Nintendo at least lets YouTubers, who are actually making the original content, get some money out of their hard work too. But, in its current state, the program isn't well-constructed either. As a result, some YouTubers aren't very happy about the new affiliate program.

"This program further drives a wedge between video creators and game developers," YouTuber Zack Scott wrote on his Facebook page. "I've always felt our relationship was mutually beneficial, and most developers from large AAA studios to the smallest indies agree. I cringed when I heard about certain YouTubers demanding a percentage of game sales revenue in exchange for coverage. I feared that developers would adopt the same sentiment and demand a percentage of video ad revenue. With Nintendo's latest move, that time has come."

"Not only do you have to essentially pay Nintendo to review their game, you have to review their game by their rules," YouTuber Geek Remix griped in a recent video. "You've signed a contract with them in order to be allowed to review their game."

Last year, Nintendo promised that their affiliate program would be a mutually beneficial one, where content creators would be granted some sort of access to resources they might not otherwise have. And in the past, Nintendo has worked with certain YouTubers, like Mega64, to make Nintendo-related videos. In those cases, the usefulness of a partnership between Nintendo and YouTubers is clearer: they're both helping each other out, and the result is something that a viewer can enjoy. But, not every Nintendo-related video will work like this, nor should they.

Part of the issue here is that Nintendo is clearly interested in moulding YouTube coverage to their benefit. You see this in the way Reggie Fils-Aime described the plans to work with YouTubers last year. "The first thing we needed to do was make sure that the content that's out there was representative of the franchises," Fils-Aime said to Kotaku last year. "These are our lifeblood. These are our children. We needed to make sure that the content there was reflective of what these franchises are." Naturally Nintendo doesn't want their products to be misrepresented. But more than anything, it seems that Nintendo would like YouTube to be an extension of their marketing department. But a journalist, critic or YouTuber's interest is not necessarily to make sure their content is on-message, and acceptable to Nintendo.

And the fact that content has to be reviewed by Nintendo means that videos can be shot down by Nintendo. While we don't know how much control Nintendo would exert here -- can they shoot down a video if it says something negative, for example? -- based on principle alone, the program has some problems. And then of course there's the whole dilemma of whether or not Nintendo is entitled to make money off original content that they did not make. That one is up for debate. For now, we've asked Nintendo for clarification on the review process for the program, and will update this story if we hear back.

You can read all the rules and regulations about the Nintendo Creator's Program here.


Comments

    It's time for Youtubers/traditional games press that have either embraced or just dabbling in video content to put up or shut up.

    What if they banded together to take out a class action against Nintendo and show evidence in a court how this corporation is taking money out of their pockets?

    Some broad points:

    Traditional games press is in a state of flux, and things will not settle down for the foreseeable future.

    "Youtubers" have gleefully adopted the rogue-ish/maverick/edgy personality gimmick for years now, not unlike shock jocks on radio or even some musicians. This sort of news item is their bread and butter. The video embedded above is pure Alan Jones.

    How is some random European youtube video that shows an entire playthrough of a PAL version game made by Nintendo translated in English - with no commentary or added input from the uploader - before it releases in every territory not piracy of copyrighted content? That pendulum of judgement might need to swing the other way at some point, right?

    Lastly, the video above cries "what is the point of review if you can't SHOW the audience what you're saying...how are they suppposed to be believe what they are saying if you don't SHOW it to them."

    That is fascinating (as is the fact it veers in and out of gamergate territory so haphazardly I can't believe Kotaku - any region of Kotaku - didn't think twice about including it in the article) - how indeed has anybody ever been able to make a point without backing up their argument with a visual reference?

    Really, listen to that part of the video again. What that person is really asking is "how am I able to present _my_ general points and views of this piece of _content created by a third party_ to the audience, or, _my source of revenue_" - I don't know why but I'm reminded of the Candy-Babysitter episode of the Simpsons. You can't present the opinions you have as facts because the optics cannot be edited by you to suit your argument, so you probably think you are in the right to kick up a stink.

    Sweet-sweet-sweeeeeet caaaaaaaaan......

      Ignoring the video of the person complaining... My big problem with this move by Nintendo is that the law DOES allow for reviews which use the source content. And Let's Plays with commentary should fall squarely within those rights. But it's not the entrenched, established people who are under attack over it… because they might actually fight back.

      The 'put up or shut up' argument should never, ever, EVER apply to the people who are getting fucked over, or to the people who shouldn't have to defend themselves. Especially not when those same people are the ones least able to afford to. Class actions are not simple, they are not cheap, they are not quick, and damage is still done in the meantime. It's like me putting a gun to your head while I rob you, and telling you to 'put up or shut up' if you dare to complain about it.

      Content should be assumed to be fair use until it is proven to be a copyright violation - not the other way around, which is unfortunately exactly what's being proposed. In a fair situation, a youtuber with a video disliked by Nintendo would be able to say, "Well it's fair use, so I'm going to put it up if I want to and you can come after me and lose in court, if you want," putting all the risk exactly where it belongs: on the plaintiff without a case.

      But instead, Nintendo is circumventing the youtuber's ability to do that by pressuring Google to pull the advertising revenue rug out from underneath the youtuber. (And they have numerous means for pressuring Google/Youtube on that, not all of which have been explicitly stated.) And instead of the decision being made based on legal considerations (ie: 'is it fair use or not'), they're being made on whether Nintendo likes it or not, if it's good PR.

      But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that in faking this authority that they don’t legally have, Nintendo is claiming a cut they have absolutely zero right to claim, by making Youtubers 'an offer they can't refuse'. Youtube is letting Nintendo get away with extortion. Play by Nintendo's rules, not the law's, or Nintendo makes trouble for Youtube. And Nintendo's rules happen to include paying them some of the money you earn for your work.

      Copyright laws PROTECT the right for you to make money off someone else's work if your work is transformative enough (see my comments below on what that means) to be considered a unique piece of work with a different message. Saturday Night Live doesn't have to pay money to any studios to parody their movies… it has the legal right to make their own money from their parody without kickbacks, protected by Copyright law. Seeking permission for parody or paying for it defies the entire point of it, and the same is true of reviews or criticism.

      This is corporate manipulation which only succeeds due to the power of the players, not ethical or legal merit. If Nintendo tried to pull this "pay us to review our content" shit on larger, more established reviewing publications that have the resources and incentive to fight back, they would lose so fast and hard it'd make your head spin. Instead, they're not making demands of large publications, they're making demands of Youtube, who have different motivations and considerations from the reviewers affected.

    I want to say something along the lines of "Nintendo can handle their IP however they please", except I think that misses important issues brought up in the article.

    Before the introduction of the Nintendo Creator's Program, YTers could create video containing footage and music from Nintendo games - a quick search will show numerous reviews and Let's Plays - with the usual level of trepidation that their video would be flagged for copyright. Additionally, and most importantly, the videos were all ineligible for claiming advertising revenue.

    One note that YTers constantly overlook or push to the side is that of legality with regard to the content they produce. For the time being there is something of an uneasy truce between copyright holders and YTers: both receive a mutual benefit that that has thus far prevented copyright holders from formally challenging the legality. The creation of YT content set around games is grey.

    It appears that Nintendo is addressing both issues with this program: Registered videos and channels will now be licensed to use Nintendo copyrighted materials to earn ad revenue.
    YTers who disagree with the terms of the contract can continue to create videos, they just won't receive ad revenue; a problem for channels that create content solely around Nintendo but not an issue for anyone else.

    Whether this program has an impact on perception of video authority or quality should be an interesting property to observe as time passes. The article highlights problems with Nintendo reviewing each video before release, implying strongly that adverse opinions will be culled before they can make it to the controlled environment. A flaw with this line of reasoning is that YTers can currently create reviews with critical opinions, sans ad revenue, and those videos can be taken down by Nintendo at any point by a copyright challenge. We will have to wait to see whether Nintendo use the vetting process to restrict critical opinion, although for now I see a group of people raising their futile arms to complain about the putative formalisation of a power that already exists.

    Nintendo is exercising control over their IP in a constructive manner and YTers are starting to glimpse that restrictive copyright laws can be leveraged in a way that doesn't entirely screw them over.

      YTers??? Whyturs??? Made me laugh. Surely gotta be a better way to abbreviate YouTubers?!?

        Hm. I thought YTers is OK, but if you have to have a replacement... I like 'tubers'. If only because it alikens them to potatoes.

      I disagree. And pretty much purely because of this:

      let’s say a YouTuber decides to make a review of a Nintendo product. Should Nintendo be able to get a cut of the advertising revenue on such a video? When a review runs in a professional gaming outlet, chances are good that the outlet would not be paying a developer or publisher a certain percentage of money just because they use footage of a game. That would be crazy. But it’s going to be policy on YouTube.

      Where's the difference in the law that allows official/traditional game-reviewing publications to make money off Nintendo's product by reviewing it, without kicking any back to Nintendo? If there isn't any, then it's hypocritical. If there is, it's outdated and inconsistent and needs to get patched the fuck out.

      (Edit: Every reading I've seen of copyright law allows for fair use of materials for the purposes of criticism or review. This is a very insidious way of trying to get around having to fight in court the difference between a 'let's play' which ends up showing off the entire game in its entirety, vs a review which samples. Because lines might have to be drawn, and battles fought, and technology can't yet easily determine fair use, just 'use'. Which means investigating things case-by-case instead of blanket banning, which is time-consuming and expensive. So rather than fight the true examples that aren't fair use, they want to undermine the entire concept of it. And worse, try to be seen as being semi-reasonable while they do it.)

      Last edited 30/01/15 1:11 pm

    Writing about the ethics of relationship between game makers and reviewers? That's novel! Wherever did that idea come from?

    After thinking a little further, I'm not actually convinced that even a full-run-through let's play is actually a copyright violation. And I don't think the courts will be convinced, either.
    …Which is another reason for rights-holders to strong-arm youtube into stripping ad revenue from youtubers pre-emptively - avoiding ever having to put it to the test.
    It's a question I strongly suspect no-one wants answered because they might not like the answer.

    Now, I Am Not A Lawyer, but many case law results, judgement notes, and the wording of the laws themselves are pretty self-evident.
    Parody and review/criticism are probably the most common and well-known examples of contested fair use, but they seem to stem from provisions in the laws which allow for 'transformative' works to be defined as fair use.

    The case law seems to have it that if your purpose is to supersede or surpass or substitute the work in the same form as its original, then that's copyright violation. But if you draw upon the original and it is transform in its state to a wholly different work with a different expression, meaning, or message, then it is considered an original work for commercial purposes.

    For example, reproducing artworks in thumbnail format has already been ruled a transformative work, to allow search engines to link to materials free of copyright violation.

    How transformative would you say a Pewdiepie Let's Play is? I'd argue it's very transformative.

    1) The viewer is rendered passive. They are not playing, they are viewing. Gamers would consider their product broken if they could not play the Nintendo game, only view it. The primary purpose of their purchase has fundamentally changed.

    2) The message, the primary distinction from the original work is that viewers are watching the youtuber. It is very clear that this distinction exists, thanks to the difference in popularity between youtubers. If they were all equal and the primary purpose behind let's play videos was the game itself, then all youtubers would be equal - they are not. Viewers watch for the reactions and commentary of the player (which are measurably, objectively different), making some more popular than others.

    A let's play is quite obviously a completely different work to the game itself on every measurable criteria, which makes it not actually illegal. The actual result would be down to how good the lawyers are, vs whether they have a judge who's going to allow it, or stand on principle.

    I think these 'transformative' works would fucking nail rights-holders if they were taken to court, and utterly demolish their ability to control youtube content, which is why they're taking the course they are: pretending they have authority that they don't really have.

    The key to their success so far seems to be convincing the facilitators of advertising to play ball - whether through the threat of extensive legal costs, or potentially getting a ruling that jeopardizes their revenue-stream.
    Much easier to block some randoms for the one or two companies who bother to complain about it. After all… no-one is actually legally obliged to enter into a contract with you if they don't want to (anti-discrimination laws for protected demographics, notwithstanding).

      Covered anything I could wish to say on this subject very well.

      Holy shit.

        Hm? At the wall of text? Bleh... I tried to keep each point distinct and succinct, but there were a lot of points to hit. Spoiler tags didn't really seem to fit.

          No I mean at the "wow I didn't even consider that at all but that totally makes sense THE PEOPLE HAVE TO KNOW" :P

            Ohhhh. Well. It's also a tad more complex than just that... Not quite the instant win, slam dunk I put forward.

            I actually chopped out an entire bunch of paragraphs about trademark law and how it relates to rights-holders attempts to chop up their works to claim that parts of it (like music) are separate works on their own being infringed upon unrelated to the whole piece.

            I was a lot less confident on the legal arguments about that, was more detailing how that argument is the reason that trademarks exist, but there's an out for rights-holders that they can use (and are using) with more confidence.

            Basically, you can't copyright Master Chief, or Mario, because he's not the work itself but a single piece of a work. But to prevent people from slapping Master Chief, or Mario on their lunchboxes and energy-drink labels, you can Trademark them.

            The most relevant piece of legal wording rolled out when citing trademark violations relates to that the copying of the trademarked asset could result in misleading consumers to believe that there is a sanctioned relationship between the properties in which the trademark appears.

            This is the excuse 'King' mobile game devs used when they tried to trademark the word 'saga'. They DO have a case under trademark law in that in the mobile game space they run a series of games called '[Whatever thing] Saga', and it would be very reasonable to assume that a consumer might believe an unrelated game ALSO titled '[Whatever other thing] Saga' is related to King's more popular 'saga' series, affording an unfair commercial advantage to the pretender. But they come unstuck where unrelated properties with no relation make use of the word themselves. It's too common, and has already been in heavy use prior to King's works. It's a dick move, but one that a series of OTHER dick moves in the ethically-bankrupt mobile space forced them into making.

            So here's where it gets interesting. Now you can't trademark a song... you copyright it. Because a song DOES stand as its own creative work. Even though it's an inextricable part of a different piece of copyright.
            Copyright within a copyright. Copyrightception.
            So shit starts to get a little complex. We understand it's a work within a work... And when you review the game, as copyright allows you to, does that give you the right to show the work within the work (the song), if you aren't even reviewing that song on its own? You're protected against the game's copyright, but not the song's, right?

            This is why most of the videos pulled on youtube and twitch in the last couple years have been using music as their excuse, why Twitch is building a separate copyright-approved library JUST for music.
            Because editing out the game music specifically is uncommon, difficult, and detracts from the experience. So rather than tackling let's play videos and similar on copyright grounds where they don't have a leg to stand on (ie: the game specifically), they're hitting videos which contain the parts that they have a better claim on, which is the music.

            Personally, I think that the argument to block videos based on the copyrighted material WITHIN the review material is pretty weak even if the youtuber is silent the entire duration of a song, because it's obvious to a reasonable person that the song is only present in a video of a game being played, because it's inextricable from the REAL content being reviewed, which is the game...
            ...But that's where I expect the battle is going to be fought. Relying on 'common sense' and 'the obvious' is where the law usually falls over.

            It doesn't help that these laws were not drafted with this sort of situation in mind.

            EDIT: I think the simplest thing for the law to do will be to make it very clear that copyright-within-a-copyright is not legal. That any work used WITHIN a game (or movie or whatever) is to be considered just another component of the larger work when the primary copyright under consideration is that of the larger work. The copyright for the smaller work will only apply when the smaller work appears independent of the larger work, or as the primary subject of the offending reproduction.

            Eg:
            If I post the song on its own, I get done for copyright.
            If I parody the song on its own, I'm fine.
            If I include the song without transforming it in the process of a parody/review which primarily focuses on the larger work, I'm fine.
            If I include the song without transforming it, and claim to link it to the larger work but the song is the primary focus of my reproduction, then I'm not fine.
            (You'll often see this done when watching a clip from a movie or tv show where the poster includes a disclaimer that this qualifies as fair use for educational, review, or parody purposes, but does nothing to actually justify that claim. I can claim to be exempt from local laws under diplomatic immunity, but that doesn't make it true.)

            Anything else is allowing rights-holders more rights than they are intended to have, and unintended ability to unfairly deny access to fair use or related works.

            Last edited 30/01/15 4:56 pm

    I don't really see a problem with this, not yet at least.

    Crunch time will come when content is produced and we get to see the finer points in action first hand.
    I think it would be stupid for Nintendo to block negative reviews but on the other hand I very rarely see the level of constructive review in YouTube vids that one would expect.
    I would hope that a well discussed video that highlights valid criticisms as well as showing the positives would be eligible.
    If I had to guess I would say lets plays filled with excessive swearing would not be welcomed given Nintendos target demographic.

    Using YouTube as a marketing tool isn't necessarly a bad thing either, with the possibility of work being displayed in official channels and mediums in which developers already choose to display positive aspects of player made content anyway. (Though I would be interested to see if such practices have the possibility to yield further benefits)

    I will be watching closely to see how this all unfolds.

    "Now, I Am Not A Lawyer"
    Precides then to make arguments on copyright law saying that rights holders would get nailed to the fucking on one of the most fucked up and convoluted sections of law that have been strong armed into give rights holders ALL the power because big corporations blah blah blah.
    Good luck with that Trans.

    Youtubers are trying to make money by a relatively new media that ISNT really protected in law yet by using OTHER PEOPLES WORK which IS protected by law by claiming fair use or "we are advertising your product you should be paying us" despite how many times it is said youtubers did not get into their field to advertise other peoples work and no they are not advertising.

    A lets play is not a review. its a person playing a video game for an audience and trying to make money of it because its currently the trend making the biggest dough for the least possible work.

    I feel for the reviewers who make their reviews incredibly interesting throwing in new content, jokes, actually putting in effort to write material and work it in there because they are getting caught in the crossfire here.

    Nothing is going to change for a while unless somebody with a solid case and a bankroll to hire a big time lawyer.
    Nintendo are offering a good deal here especially when most network partners offer something in line with being strong armed by a record company. But people will whinge about money being taken away from them even if they dont have a real leg to stand on in getting that money in the first place.

      While I agree some of them are throwing the "It's free advertising!" line around to a bit of an extreme to blanket themselves... You still can't argue it isn't advertising a game to some degree whenever a video of people playing one pops up.

      Even just REFERENCING something is advertising it at the most basic point. A Let's Play takes it a few steps further... It's putting it out there for people to see, watch, and judge.

      A number of Youtubers have an INCREDIBLE amount of sway over people buying a game or not, it's the sort of influence companies would absolutely kill to have. And while yes they've tried to buy it many times, that's a whole other story.

      I'd also argue typical Let's Plays are some of the most unbiased reviewing you'll EVER see... There's generally no bullshit, just unfiltered gameplay you can see and judge for yourself.

      So you see the context of not being a lawyer being set... then ignore that context to justify your complaint. Nice one. Here's how and why you're wrong:

      The entire purpose of saying, "I am not a lawyer, but..." is to convey that the following argument is how you see things from your non-expert understanding of the facts available.

      Y'know... Facts such as can be found with 5 minutes websurfing in places like Stanford and other universities I now can't remember law schools' webdocs on the subject, and wikipedia case law examples.

      So yes, when I say I think they'd get nailed if anyone actually tried to take this to court instead of strong-arming with the threat of expensive legal action and infinitely deep pockets (which you'll notice is primarily what has happened), anyone who's been able to remember that disclaimer (such as you clearly did) should have the brainpower to then be able to put my disclaimed-inexpert 'prima facie' case in the context of: 'they'll get nailed IF the law plays out according to a 'plain english' interpretation of the wording and consistent with the easiest to find case law'.

      As to your argument? You can get bogged down in the bullshit semantics of whether a let's play is a 'Review' capital-R or not* , but that's not the point.

      'Reviews' are protected not because they are 'Reviews' with a set definition. They are protected because they are transformed works that incorporate material to create a wholly new work. Just like a let's play. So even if you don't consider a let's play to be a review, it still fits the same criteria for protection that a review does.

      Whether something counts as transformative or not has always been tested on a case by case basis. But because that's expensive, these major groups don't want to, and are making deals to dictate terms to people who don't have the wealth and power to draw upon specialized lawyers to fight it.

      Nintendo are offering a bullshit deal, because that money being earned by reviewers/let'splayers isn't theirs to claim, by right. The works are fundamentally different to the source material.

      If Let's Players post their works and make money and Nintendo challenges that in a court of law, my understanding of the law is that they will lose. They probably know this, which is probably why I can't find any instances of it ever being done, and why there is no case law I can easily find for it. What they are doing to get around that is making a separate deal with Google so that they get what they want without having to go to the courts, where they would NOT get what they want.
      And they can do this because it's not illegal for them to do this.
      If I make a club, I don't have to let you set up a lemonade stand in it, just because it's the only gathering place in town. Access to sell your content on Youtube is not a protected right, even if it is 'the' place for content. No-one can band together and fight to make that their right without changing the law.

      That's why this is an absolute prick move which is worthy of community censure - because the law can't/won't, but it's still very morally wrong.

      *
      (and I would argue that a 'let's play' might not be a TRADITIONAL 'review' or primarily for review purposes, but it certainly fulfills the same purpose as a review, if consumers can use them to preview gameplay in action to see if the product is what they want to buy, just like a 'review'; added value of personality-based entertainment doesn't negate that other purpose, just adds to it. Try to think of how lawn-mowers are legally classed as vehicles if you use them to drive on roads, and are subject to conditional registration and licensing requirements if you do.)

      Last edited 02/02/15 11:18 am

        "but it's still very morally wrong."
        Says you. Says the people who are trying to make money off other peoples work. Personally out of ALL the arguments you could possibly make, having nintendo go "hey, you cant make any money off the backs of our work without some of it coming to us" and say its very morally wrong, is laughable as it is biased, the fact you are trying to bring a moral argument into a COPYRIGHT LAW, a law that is constantly changed for (IMO) the worse to keep rights holders holding all the power has left me questioning your sanity when you claim they would lose.
        You are making a shit tonne of assumptions that just dont hold up with the way copyright law actually is and presented, you are judging copyright law like common law when we both know its not.
        "As to your argument? You can get bogged down in the bullshit semantics of whether a let's play is a 'Review' capital-R or not* , but that's not the point. "
        Actually that is PRECISELY the point.
        If this shit ever makes it to court, which it never will, because all the rights holders hold all the power and all the law behind them, despite your assurances otherwise, the argument on what is and what isnt a review will be the frontline of the lawsuit just like what is 'fair'.
        When some lets player posts up the ENTIRE next zelda game and talks in a corner of the gameplay while trying to make money off the back of that, Lets players would not stand a chance.
        Copyright law is a mess as it is HEAVILY designed to give corporations the power, copyright law on youtube is even worse as it is run by a bot who simply see anything copyrighted and flags it regardless of it being protected or not, and in alot of cases they should be protected and gives the power to the company who owns the rights to a screenshot of a video game for a 5 minute funny yet scathing review.

        Copyright law is messy, specifically designed to keep rights holders happy. If you think that copyright law will change for the better when it inevitable changes to address youtube.
        You havent been paying attention.

    FFS... Reviews are critic, it is protected by fair use, imagine Top Gear doing car reviews but being unable to show the cars on TV, they could only talk about them. It's not copyright infringement.

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