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Minecraft videos based on Super Mario DLC hit with copyright claims

Nintendo has been filing copyright claims against YouTubers again - this time, though, it's over videos created from the official Super Mario DLC created for Minecraft.

The tense relationship between Nintendo and YouTubers wishing to create videos based on its games stretches all the way back to May 2013. As Let's Play videos and similar content became more and more popular, Nintendo introduced a compromise: a "Creators Program" that allowed it to take 30 per cent of the participants' advertising revenue.

Minecraft - the most popular game on YouTube by quite some distance - enforces no such policies, and Nintendo had officially collaborated with 4J Studios on a free Super Mario DLC pack for the Wii U version of the game. According to a tweet spotted by Kotaku, the YouTube community had been informed by 4J Studios that Nintendo's policies would not apple to the new content.

Though the claims can be reversed, this is likely to be taken as an evidence of the flaws in Nintendo's approach to YouTube. In January 2015, the ubiquitous PewDiePie spoke out against Nintendo, criticising a state of affairs that ensures "everybody loses" - Nintendo in terms of free publicity, and YouTubers in terms of the revenue that only those approaching PewDiePie's status can afford to sacrifice.

Not that Let's Play videos always offer valuable free publicity, of course. In March this year, That Dragon, Cancer developer Ryan Green discussed the commercial impact that a preponderance of Let's Play videos can have on certain kinds of games.

"We underestimated how many people would be satisfied with only watching the game instead of playing it themselves," Green said.

"We have allowed our content, the fruit of our sweat and our tears, to be used by Let's Players and to your fans for free to create content with, and you are drawing a small amount of ad revenue from our content. We are asking that you return that favor by creating Let's Play videos that don't just rebroadcast the entirety of our content with minimal commentary, but instead use portions of our content as a context to share your own stories and start conversations with your viewers.

"We would encourage you to link to our site and directly encourage viewers to support our work financially through buying the game, or donating a dollar or two to our studio if they believe that what we did has value. This small act will allow us to continue to work."

It should be noted that Nintendo, which earns $3.5 billion in revenue on a bad year, is not under the same economic pressures as Robert Green.

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