An adolescent streamer, username Mr.CookieWalrus on YouTube and Twitch, was quite eloquent for his age when he gave a surprisingly awesome rant against Nintendo's obnoxious and randomly enforced YouTube policies, during the Q&A session of the TwitchCon panel "Legal Self-Defense for Streamers",
The three panelists—two lawyers (Jim Rennie at GitHub and Joe Gratz of Durie Tangri) and one representative from EFF (Parker Higgins)—were impressed by his line of questioning. And I was too. In fact, I see a future streaming superstar.
I urge you to watch his full response in Twitch's archive of the panel at the 53:40 mark (embedded below), but I've transcribed a selection below for your reading pleasure.
Mr.CookieWalrus: So I have a question that kind of applies more to YouTube but it can apply to Twitch. It just hasn't happened to me yet. But on YouTube I'm getting a lot of, um, copyright things from Nintendo, but it doesn't really make sense what things they're taking down.
So for example, I like to, I really like Pokémon but I don't really play a lot of the newer ones (on Youtube at least). I play a lot of the Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance ones which they didn't really have a lot of EULA back then. But… Nintendo, it's not really making sense what they're taking down so for example some of my Let's Plays on a Gameboy Advance Ruby version aren't getting taken down but then funny satire videos that I do where I have a 20-second sound bite from a original Japanese Lavender Town song gets copyrighted. So I'm not really sure, like how, how does it work, what they're taking down?
Joe Gratz: …Much of it may well be automated, and much of it may well be happening through YouTube Content ID. The Content ID sort of matches whatever it matches, and if the music is in that library… it gets matched and it's taken down. I don't think there's probably a human in the loop sittingthere thinking about "Hey, does this make any sense?" Do your videos need to be taken down for copyright reasons?…
Jim Rennie: If you make a lot of Pokemon videos and you put them up on YouTube, you may be the world expert on what gets taken down on YouTube for being a Pokemon video, like seriously… I you probably have more experience with it than we do. If you want us to make logical sense of this, we probably can't do it.
Mr.CookieWalrus: Like they take away a 20-second sound byte but when I am running through multiple towns with tons of Nintendo copyrighted music playing in the background because it's from the game, they don't care and they don't copyright ID me and nothing happens. I'm a little confused there.
[He continues after a response.]
Mr.CookieWalrus: And then I have another question which actually applies to Twitch. My last stream which I think is the last stream before I came here, I did a ROM hacking stream because I've got software called Advance Map and I'll put rocks everywhere or whatever, and I love messing with it and then I'll probably, you know, play through the ROM hack or whatever. So I'm wondering, you know, what is legal, what's not because I know Nintendo lately has been really cracking down on speedrunners and also Pokemon ROM hackers because it's Nintendo, it's a Nintendo ROM that you took, which tech-nic-ally isn't legal, and modifying it so…
Jim Rennie: I think you're answering your own question. *chuckles*
Joe Gratz: And I'm starting to agree with the chat which has said that you should replace me on the panel. [Applause.]
Mr.CookieWalrus: I know about the legality of doing it. But what about streaming it or putting it on video?
Jim Rennie: So yeah, streaming it let's them know you're doing it, right? Like if you do it in the privacy of your own home, no one's gonna figure out you're doing the ROM hacks, but once you stream, it's like the giant target in a way.
Parker Higgins: …We look at [how] Nintendo is taking stuff down, and we're like "What?!" This is such huge advertising–
Mr.CookieWalrus: Right! Free advertising!
Parker Higgins: –But, you know, there's a lot of people in companies who just want to use it as a way of controlling what you can do with your stuff and I'm less sympathetic to that use of copyright. But that doesn't make it go away.