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Thread: Let's Play Copyright Infringement.

  1. #1

    Let's Play Copyright Infringement.

    I was listening to a podcast the other day that was over a year old (Idle Weekend for those that may care). They were discussing how a small indie that made an extremely narrative focused game (That Dragon, Cancer for those that may care) were going after people that posted Let's Plays because they felt being able to watch the game unfold in its entirety hurt sales.

    This morning I was listening to a current podcast (Completely Unnecessary Podcast for those that may care) and the subject of Let's Plays came up again.

    There seems to be decent arguments on both sides of the issue. It has been shown that if the right Youtuber gets behind a game, its sales can increase dramatically. Yet at the same time, I'm sure there are plenty of publishers that lose sales because someone can just watch the game being played.

    What I don't understand is why the rules for games are different than the rules for movies and music. I'm pretty sure I can't head to Best Buy on Tuesday, buy a new release bluray or cd and then upload it with my commentary laid over the top (well I CAN, but it'd probably be pulled) and watch the ad money roll in.

    While I'm not against the spirit of Let's Plays, especially when it comes to classic gaming, I do think it's crappy that someone can buy a new game and then make a bunch of money broadcasting it. One of the Idle Weekenders stated that the personality behind the Let's Play is the draw not the game. I mostly don't buy that. If the person is such a personality then the channel should draw without relying on someone else IP.
    Whatcha think?

  2. #2
    They're probably right, at least for AAA titles. I did watch a lets play for Doom and I'm waiting for a price drop.

    But I've also used lets plays to determine if I should bid on weird Japanese 8 and 16 bit games.

    It can go both ways I guess. Maybe publishers should make games that compel me to buy them if I watch someone play them?

  3. Twitch IRL is around now, so we're getting a test of how much the personality is. Although a big chunk of it looks like a low grade MFC.

    I do understand why the people who make walking sims would not want LPs. *All* those things have are the narrative. It's why they are so stupid. But I'm not sure someone is not going to get For Honor or something because people are streaming it. I do think it helps games like that.

    Kids these days watch a lot of twitch... maybe more than they actually play. My kid brother has told me all about games he hasn't even played... and in some instances he knew more about it than me and I *did* play the game.

  4. I watched all of Life is Strange on twitch. Didn't buy it because why would I now? I get their argument, I just don't know the solution. You can't arbitrate on game by game basis. It's too big of a platform.
    Boo, Hiss.

  5. I'm thinking about streaming my recent movie speedruns on twitch, but I'm not sure what the legal implications might be. I recently tied my personal best (PB) for The Shining: 2 hours 24 minutes.

    I also cut my Godfather Part II run down to 3:22 using tech that allows you to skip between Vito in early 20th century NY to Sonny in 1958. Using this skip known in the community as "Corleone cancelling," I was able to shave about 41 years off of the run. I got the idea watching 2001: A Space Odyssey runners.

  6. Let's not forget all those times Andy Kaufman read The Great Gatsby aloud. Just imagine how many sales were lost!

  7. #7
    I'm not sure anything should be done about it.

    Say I made a tank twitch. Or an old army truck restoration twitch. People would probably watch that.

    How many people would I encourage get into car restoration that would not have? Its a dying hobby but it might spark something in sheltered kids that don't get to see dad (or mom) work on cars anymore.

    But at the same time, someone might really just watch me do it while saving all their money. Why spend all that money on a car restoration when you can watch someone else do it?

    How do you determine how many kids fall into A, and how many fall into B?

    And talking about doom. I put off buying it because of a lets play. But I also know that I will buy it eventually because of a lets play. In fact, I got my dad an xbox one copy for Christmas. I might not have done that had I not known the game was good from the lets play.

  8. Doom is not the same thing as something like Firewatch though.

  9. #9
    Also, where do you draw the line?

    I can hear this castlevania song for free

    Maybe like one person didn't buy the game because they can now just watch the music on youtube?

  10. #10
    And that may seem like moving the goal post pretty far, but there are corporate lawyers that want money for ever bit of related content. They want to the property owner to get paid like its 1980 and we're covering songs in a bar or playing songs on the radio.

    Every note, every clip, every image, they want royalties.

    Which is stifling.


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