The Nintendo Switch hasn’t been out a week yet, but a new generation of Nintendo hardware doesn’t mean that the company’s copyright policies have changed. In fact, YouTuber Josh “The Bit Block” Thomas has informed Kotaku that a 1-2-Switch video he did got flagged with two Content ID notifications. The first one is expected, a “music track from the game”. However, the second one is due to “a man saying “Ready… Fire!” from the Quick Draw mini game”. This means that even sound effects are being targeted by YouTube’s Content ID system, and considering how strict Nintendo is about fan content, it is certainly not out of the question that Nintendo is behind it.
A combination of Content ID system and Nintendo’s affiliate program, with the latter splitting up the video’s profits between the YouTuber and Nintendo, makes things difficult for YouTubers who upload Nintendo content. In fact, Josh Thomas said in an email to Kotaku that “the work around here involves nearly completely muting the game music in the background, or flipping and altering the color in any trailer footage used. It all makes for a complicated process and in the end I feel forces me (and others) to create purposely inferior video content for no real reason. To clarify this video in question (among hundreds of others in the past) is actually well within fair use, the video shows us physically demonstrating 1-2-Switch, adding our own silly commentary on camera and is edited quite a bit. It isn’t merely a matter of gameplay being uploaded without any kind of transformative work put into it.”
Thomas says he still loves Nintendo, but he’s frustrated. He says that “essentially what I’m saying is, Nintendo, please stop hurting me. Please stop trying to stop me from celebrating you as a company.”