[Updated] Gameplay Footage Taken From YouTuber Causes Confusion

Published: April 20, 2015 6:47 PM /


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Update: Some clarification was given by GameSpot, as some confusion about the situation was cleared out. Nexon was not the one who provided the email in question with the footage regarding Combat Arms. Not A Hero footage was provided via Devolver Digital, but the source of the footage was a presently unknown 3rd party that indicated official game footage regarding Combat Arms to the site, and was uploaded to the YouTube portion of the site appropriately at the time. Due to the issues regarding the removal of the article on the site (not being posed) and the video not being deleted as appropriate, it led to the problem as seen here. The video was set to private and is still as of today. Nexon was not involved with the incident in question, and this likely concludes the investigation into this affair in question.

Sadly, as a YouTuber myself, this issue hits a bit close to home, as noted by the Reddit thread over in KotakuInAction. A YouTube channel named undercoverdudes notes in a specific video that Gamespot in stealing gameplay footage involving the Combat Arms: Line of Sight Gameplay. Taking a look at the videos in question, the gameplay footage is identical, as you can see the footage that the channel posted on March 31st, 2015 below.


Then, if you take a look at Gamespot's gameplay channel, you'll notice a video (which is now set to private) published by that channel on April 6th, 2015,  one week after the original video on undercoverdudes was published. At the time, if you took a look in an app like YouTube Doubler, you would have seen that the footage is identical. The second video in question involved in the video revolves around a video from Devolver Digital themselves, and thus makes sense that it would be given to GameSpot.

TechRaptor has reached out to all parties involved, attempting to contact GameSpot through their help me email as well as on Twitter, and the twitter of the content creator in question. Going through GameSpot's help me email, I was thanked for bringing it to their attention, as the content of the email read: "We appreciate your bringing this to our attention and we are looking into what has happened." However, during my investigation, Danny O'Dwyer from GameSpot did comment on the video in question, and indicated the following:

"Danny from GameSpot here. I just watched this and went to our video files team to see what the story is. According to them we were sent this video, along with 2 others (1 was this gameplay with commentary) was sent to us by somebody associated with the game (Dev/PR) as an asset to be published on the site. After processing it through our video robot (which also publishes to our YouTube channel) the video team decided to pull it as it seems like it was just random gameplay (and honestly, it's that interesting for our audience). So it never reached the site. Unfortunately our YouTube guy didn't know we weren't going to put it live and so it made it to YouTube. It was subsequently made private I believe."
GameSpot seemed to act quickly with the information in hand, given the time frame of when they were made aware of the situation. Mistakes do happen, and while it sucks when being on the end of having content stolen or someone claim your content as your own (I know this from personal experience with claims on my footage from Collective_5 a while back), not everything is necessarily in black and white in terms of communications.  I do thank GameSpot for seemingly acting quickly at the information as it came up.

It was confirmed that the video was made private. At that point, I reached out to Nexon, the creators of the game, in an attempt to confirm the story. After being pointed to Nexon's Europe division after attempting to contact the main Nexon site, 3 days have passed since the email was sent to them, and there has been no response. Needless to say, I can't confirm at this time that what has been claimed occurred the way indicated by GameSpot, however, they reacted quickly to the situation and set the video to private. Whether Nexon did use the footage without indicating to the player is still unknown, although the YouTube creator (who the author did contact and talk to) did indicate that he was friendly with some of the developers, and would be surprised if that was the case.

GameSpot had monetized the video at the time but compared to the original video and the amount of views it had at the time it went down, it was less then 5% from what was seen. There are a variety of issues regarding allegations of stolen/misused footage popping up lately for those in the YouTube content creation business, from false DMCA claims made, to companies with difficult gameplay footage policies like Nintendo. While there are arguments that can be made for the creators of the video's content have a right to use the footage due to it being their game, but with commentary and trans-formative work, what ownership of the video without permission can be claimed is very much a murky area.

Sadly, TechRaptor has no other information beyond that as of this point.  As we get more information, we will update the article accordingly. As of now, we haven't heard any further then the information presented above from any of the sides.

Do you think that YouTube Creators need more protection for their own work? What ways could they be protected from having their work stolen without having a lot of false claims?

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