Nintendo has no intention of losing control of its intellectual property, regardless of its fans’ love for the many successful video games the Japanese giant released over the years.
If forced to choose between total control versus giving its fans that little freedom that often gives life to amazing communities, Nintendo would choose total control without hesitation – every single time.
Nintendo often targets YouTube. The video platform is home to flourishing communities of hundreds of thousands of fans, that regularly share content, opinions and other Nintendo-related stuff. There is nothing so serious going on to elicit Nintendo’s brutal takedowns; it is just a fanbase behaving like a fanbase.
In a recent takedown operation, the company targeted a YouTube channel that had the purpose of celebrating and sharing and commenting Nintendo games’ soundtracks and their love for the music.
The YouTube channel GilvaSunner shared a screenshot on Twitter of an email inbox containing dozens of copyright infringement claims against videos containing music from ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s’, ‘Hyrule Field’ and ‘Mega Man 2’.
In another post, GilvaSunner shared more copyright claims against videos featuring music from ‘Fire Emblem: Awakening’. “115 videos in total blocked so far,” GilvaSunner wrote. “They started manually with the most viewed content on the channel, and are now going through the playlists one by one I guess.”
Nintendo’s actions seem to be lacking in common sense. Having big fanbases that talk about you and share content could be seen as a sort of high-tech powered word-of-mouth advertisement, and advertisement is good for business.
Most of the fans become dedicated through their love for Nintendo’s games, and music plays an important part in creating a connection between the user and the game. The channels that share this music are technically infringing copyright, but most have the effect of boosting Nintendo’s fandom.
This is the reason why many companies simply do nothing to suppress these forms of expression of fandom, and Nintendo would do good in following their example.