The latest adventures by Square Enix for the recently released Dragon Quest Heroes has a bit of a snag for those Twitch/Youtubers out there who want to show off the game for the world. Unfortunately, it looks like Square Enix has followed in some of the control aspects that we’ve seen with some Japanese developers like Nintendo and Sega (which as TotalBiscuit has pointed out, comes very close to the anniversary of the Shining Force 3 mass claim). Some of it is pictured in the image below, but it only hits the start of the story.
As noted above, the notice warns that the music copyright is held by Sugiyama Kobo. He’s been noted to be in the special thanks section of Dragon Quest games in the past. And the music in particular may be the problem in question. Additional information on the press release side of Square Enix, it seems to point evidence to the music side of things.
In the terms and conditions for the game, things get a bit more concerning, as seen in an image here. While it does allow for streaming based on the terms and conditions here, certain areas of the game may not be streamable as listed in the Permitted Distributions Methods part of the conditions, and does not provide information on what that exactly is. Specifically, it calls out that the sites that stream have to have an agreement has to be held with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, which seems to be along the lines of the problems regarding the music of the game. Twitch seems to be out in the cold on this one, as while YouTube has an agreement with the society, in a translated page for Dragon Quest Heroes, it’s implied that only a URL or thumbnail can be used for Twitch, which you can find in that translated page here. It does seem that this has caused a bit of problems for people all over the web, and that Square Enix was unprepared for the launch of the game in terms of the streaming element of it.
The terms and conditions also imply that the content can only be used for personal use, which may imply that you can’t monetize the content in question. But even worse is clause 5 of the Conditions of Use, which provides a blanket for Square Enix to remove content regardless of reasoning:
All content, including images or videos, must be removed without delay upon receiving a removal request from Square Enix. Furthermore, Square Enix may delete any videos or streams in its sole discretion.
It should be noted that condition does not mean that the person in question violate the policy in question, in fact, it can seemingly remove the video in question for any reason whatsoever. And even with the idea that the music is the main source of the problem, it specifically calls out images as well. Whether it be a review, a let’s play, regardless of the situation, it seems Square Enix is indicating that they can take it down.
TechRaptor have reached out to the public relations sides of Square Enix to get more details about the story in question, and will update the story when they have responded to the query.
This is infuriating as a Youtube content creator myself. With all the problems of programs like Nintendo’s Creators Program and Sega’s abuse of the Shining Force 3 trademark, this just hurts the game in the long run. In this specific case, it may seem like Square Enix’s hands are tied, but if you’re going to use music like this in the first place, then you need to realize that people streaming and providing advertising of your game won’t go to it, and it’ll hurt your game in the process.