An otherwise innocuous Nintendo U.K. tweet is earning sass and speculation from fans due to its incredibly poor timing. The account asked fans to shout out their favorite song from a certain Nintendo franchise, and because of the recent Nintendo music bans, it’s a little harder to listen to those right now than it used to be.
“What’s your favourite piece of music from the Legend of Zelda series?” Nintendo U.K. asked on Twitter. Unfortunately for whoever manages that social media account, no amount of adorably British misspellings of the word “favorite” could make fans forget the company’s most recent crackdown on Nintendo game music-focused YouTube channels. Twitter user yochili_ replied to the tweet, saying “i could link you if it was still on youtube.” Others, like newruinslevel, replied with similar statements.
One user, linkvron on Twiter, even speculated that Nintendo U.K. could be fishing for links to Nintendo music so the company can take it down. While this is probably unlikely, it’s hard to deny that the tweet’s timing is odd, to say the least.
Is this a trap for people to link youtube videos and you block them for music licensing?
— linkvron (@linkvron) August 15, 2019
Nintendo has a long history of taking legal action against console modders, ROM sites, and fan games, but its most infamous implementation of copyright law is its semi-frequent YouTube copyright claims. Nintendo began claiming ad revenue on YouTube videos that featured its games years ago, a practice that it continued with varying degrees of intensity. The controversies came to a head in 2017 with Super Mario Odyssey’s release, and Nintendo finally somewhat relaxed its game content guidelines for online videos in late 2018.
Copyright-related Nintendo music bans have of course occurred throughout the company’s dealings with YouTube creators, but popular uploader GilvaSunner’s recent takedown has produced quite the amount of visibility for the issue. GilvaSunner’s tweet about the takedown, which contained a screenshot of email after email of copyright claims, has more than 38,000 likes and 8,700 retweets at the time of writing. Obviously, it is illegal to profit off of someone else’s copyrighted content, but some of the YouTube channels uploading Nintendo music may not be monetized, and many fans complain that — since most Nintendo music can’t be found on any streaming service — there’s not really anywhere else to listen to it.