As a YouTube content creator myself, this is some good news considering the bad taste that Nintendo’s recent YouTube content policy has left in the mouth of Let’s Players and reviewers. Over in the official forums of SEGA, it was pointed out that eLicense was making copyright claims on SEGA content of several YouTubers, most of them small in nature. This is not uncommon, as several companies have made false copyright claims, such as Collective_4 with content that was produced by SEGA in the past (Sonic Boom). Games that were claimed ranged from Sonic Generations to the music of Sonic Adventure. Now, this is usually a stressful time for the creators of this content, due to being very small in nature, and the infamous 3 strike rule on YouTube can really hinder the growth of a channel.
Luckily, based on the official SEGA forums, SEGA has stepped in. Julian, a SEGA community manager, has stepped in indicating that the claims that eLicense has made are not done via SEGA, and that eLicense is not working on their behalf. In addition, he indicates that a cease and desist letter is being sent to eLicense to stop the behavior in question. He indicates on the forum that: “eLicense is acting independently and Sega intends to take the necessary action to prevent this from happening again.” He offers to use the post he has written and to spread the word to those affected by it. While SEGA has had problems in the past regarding using YouTube and the copyright claim system (see the Shining Force debacle), it’s good to see that SEGA is stepping up to protect those content creators who attempt to create videos and music based on their love/hatred of a franchise.
He indicates that you can counterclaim the claims in question, and it looks like with the news in question, claims are already being taken off of claimed videos, as indicated by Julian. The question remains though: if a company like eLicense can easily make claims on content that is not theirs, does that indicate a major problem with the YouTube copyright system? Should their be a penalty of some sort for false claims on the system, to try to discourage false claims made by companies that don’t own the rights?