The lights are on
Last month, Nintendo upset a number of people in the "Let's Play" community by short-circuiting individual user monetization of YouTube videos. This group (known as "LPers") were vocal in their frustration, and wondering why a company they had supported via word of mouth promotion had taken such a step.
Another company has now stepped forward, clearly taking a different path. Ubisoft today announced that users are "free to monetize your videos via the YouTube partner program and similar programs on other video sharing sites (for as long as you follow the specific guidelines of those individual programs)."
Ubisoft also stated, "We consider ourselves fortunate to have fans actively engaging with our game content," and directed interested YouTube channel holders to review Ubisoft's video policy to ensure compliance.
It's important that companies have a clear policy, whether they choose to protect themselves as Nintendo did or open the doors as Ubisoft has. Copyright is a tricky thing, and if it isn't aggressively protected with clear boundaries, property holders could find themselves weakened if ever in court.
Since we first reported on Nintendo's action, it seems the company has quietly stepped back a bit. Kotaku has reported that Zack Scott, the individual who first brought the issue to the attention of the media, has had some videos untouched by Nintendo.
It's unlikely that Nintendo will sound an all-clear after making such a public display, but based on Scott's recent experience, it might be safe to publish a "Let's Play" for a Nintendo game without the company stepping in on the revenue side.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.