An Open Request to Developers and Publishers Regarding Monetizing Videos on Youtube

In light of Youtube's recent changes and the relationships I've formed with publishers and developers over the last year, I felt it was time to reach back out to them to ask them to support us content creators.

Note: My ultimate goal is that Developers and Publishers around the world will watch and read this open letter of sorts. I believe many of them are not fully aware that this is even an issue or how they can help us continue to support them. With that in mind, please feel free to share this with anyone you know that may be a developer, publisher or YouTube content creator.

Editor's Note: the header video almost directly reflects the following text.

If you're reading this article, chances are you've heard all the fuss about YouTube activating the Content ID Claim System for all Affiliate partners. With that in mind, I won't bore you with that part of the story.

What I want to do is make a blanket request to any and every person, company, corporation or etc. that owns the copyrights to the games they make. Please grant us - the content creators that use your material to make reviews, walkthroughs, tutorials, let's plays, etc. - the license to use your content in all our videos that meet the criteria for fair use. Please also grant us permission to take advantage of YouTube's Partner program that allows us to make revenue from ads that google or our multi-channel networks place on said videos.

Many of you have already done this. I applaud all of you for doing so. To those of you who are on the fence, I believe you will at least agree with me that our work creates a mutually beneficial situation and relationship between the both of us. We create entertaining content that brings attention to your work and we make a bit of money to support us as we continue making great content. I implore you to get off the fence.

As a side note while you contemplate our request, please allow me to also ask you to post this license - this permission if you will - publicly on your websites--most likely in your Terms of Use or Terms of Service Sections. Once YouTube makes its next batch of updates next month, it will get increasingly difficult for us to monetize our content. In many cases, we will be asked to prove that we have your permission. Having an online source that we can cite in our response will help us tremendously.

To most of you who have denied us a license to use and/or monetize our work using your content. Let me say that I do understand why you would be reluctant. Copyright law requires that you actively protect your copyrights. Since I started reaching out to many of you early this year, I truly got the impression that this is all you wanted to do. I respect that. Especially for many of the companies outside the US who don't have a similarly broad fair use clause in your laws regarding copyrights. While I believe you truly don't need to worry about any of us contesting your copyrights, whether individually or corporately, I do understand and respect your stance. However, I do ask that you reconsider as I believe your aversion to risk in this case is probably more cautious than it need be. 

With that said, I would like to personally say that I will be removing content from my channel using your footage and avoiding uploading any further videos with your content until you reverse your stance. I'm encouraging the rest of the creator community to do the same. This is not a personal affront and I pray you don't take it as such. I'm making this move for two very specific reasons. First, I want to limit the risk that my channel might incur any type of 3rd Party Claim or Copyright Strike. Second, I am very adamantly taking the same stance I believe you are taking with me. The content I upload may be partially yours, but it is also mine. My reviews and editorials contain work that cost me a fairly large dose of time and passion. I frankly will not allow you to make money from my work, if you won't allow me to make money from yours. And this is of course not just about money. It's about the principle of establishing a fair system where all parties are mutually benefitting

As a side note to Microsoft: I recommend you take a good look at your peers in the industry who are supporting us. I personally believe your stance against us using the YouTube partner program is unfounded, outdated and a testament to how out-of-touch you often are with the community that supports you.

Thanks to everyone for reading and listening. Unlike many, I'm actually encouraged and optimistic that the perpetual endstate for content creators will be much better and brighter than many believe. To the developers and publishers who have taken the time to speak with me, I sincerely thank you--regardless of what your stance was. To my fellow gamers, thanks as always for your support.

Published Dec. 20th 2013
  • Spyke_3447
    plenty of folks have stated they would be fine with sharing some of the revenue gained based on how much of the content was used in the review etc.

    by cutting into lets plays however, you're showing a color to me... yellow.

    If you're that afraid your game won't stand up to a playthrough and will look bad and buggy, it's only natural that your response is to silence the ones spreading the word that your game is muck, especially if it has video evidence of this included lol
  • kevin_4389
    In other words let us profit off your massive expense Games, without any major cost to ourselves. Sound like folks are asking for a ton ,but w/ no major return for these companies .
  • B. Chambers
    Featured Correspondent
    Not at all. The folks that actually make good content spend a lot of man-hours and money on equipment to create their shows. The trade-off for copyright owners is that they don't have to spend marketing dollars to grab the mind-share of gamers across the world. There is a reason why the top channels on Youtube are gaming channels.

    Many of us make our purchase decisions based on what our favorite Youtube channels tell us about games. Even major sites like IGN don't have the presence on Youtube that other independent content creators have.
  • Kevin_7397
    I used to follow certain figures, was let down many times . I just prefer to trust my own gut feeling on things these days.
    My Apologies I lumped all those that do a decent service with the lame , hopefully those that are doing a great job and service find a compromise both parties can agree on. Godspeed
  • B. Chambers
    Featured Correspondent
    Thanks Kevin! There are many game companies that are working with us to make the landscape mutually beneficial. Some have gone as far as to create their own communities for Youtube content creators to keep us posted on upcoming releases and provide us with review copies of games (Nordic Games for example).
  • B. Chambers
    Featured Correspondent
    Oh, and if I can give a shameless self plug here, if you are looking for comprehensive and objective reviews, I'd recommend our channel. We don't score games, but we use what we've patented as the "Gamer Category System" where we use categories to define gamers' tendencies and then explain to everyone what they will experience with the game based on what category they fall into. Here's an example - Tales of Vesperia Review -
  • Kevin_7397
    Plug away , Lol. I may look into the channel.
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
  • B. Chambers
    Featured Correspondent
    Many thanks

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