New YouTube rules rub content creators up the wrong way

  • Posted December 10th, 2013 at 16:46 EDT by Dave Sandidge

Recent changes to YouTube's new policy regarding content copyright rules have left a sour taste in the mouths of gaming content creators across all platforms. These rule changes have flagged videos of gameplays, commentaries, let's plays, and game news with little to no warning to the owners of the YouTube channels.

Previously, content creators that have signed with a multi-channel network (MCN), more commonly known as a partnership, were able to earn income directly through the MCN without worrying about unauthorized copyrighted content. MCNs' copyright protection came at a small cost as a percentage of the channel's income would be directed towards the MCN.

The way the policy reads now is that partnered YouTube channels will be named either "managed" or "affiliate" channels. "Managed" channels are "going to keep the monitization benefits" they became accustomed to with the previous MCN policy. If creators' channels are not appointed as "managed" channels, they will be downgraded to an "affiliate" status. "Affiliate" channels are self-responsible and will have to share income with their MCN. "Managed" channels are the best for creators, but the decision lies solely with the MCN whether or not to deem creators' channels "managed" or "affiliate". In the eyes of the MCN, "affiliate" channels are more safe as the content creators are responsible for producing legal videos. "Managed" channels require more trust as penalties for unauthorized copyright content affect both the content creator and the MCN. 

Smaller gaming channels will most likely be named "affiliate" channels, leaving these creators "scared of any copyright claim". The way copyright claims work is videos can be reported as containing copyright infringement. Once the video is reported, it will be removed from the creator's channel, earning the creator a strike. If the channel reaches three strikes, the account is suspended. There are ways for creators to dispute these claims and improve the channel's standing with YouTube.

The problem with this change is how it affects creators who have been part of an MCN in the past. Once these creators are deemed "affiliate" channels, every video published by the creators is put under the copyright microscope. YouTuber AwesomeMattG (@AwesomeMattG), a TGN partner, tweeted "YouTube is sending out the new copyright claim e-mails but only getting 35 out of 978 videos isn't too bad". His tweet is one of the highest totals I've seen, but I'm sure there are many other creators with even more claims. The protection MCNs have provided for years is now gone for these "affiliate" channels, and the creators are getting burned.

Not only do "affiliate" creators have to worry more about copyright infringement, but their videos cannot be published as quickly. Once the upload is completed, the video will be audited for copyright-related issues. This process can ... (continued on next page) ----

Dave Sandidge is a Staff Writer, Community Streamer, and soldier in the United States Army. He is better known as DS The Drunk Heavy, a name given by members of the Dust 514 community. Follow him on Twitter and Twitch to keep up with his insane life.
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