Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ban on Game Only Clips


My favorite comment:
One responder put it this way, paraphrasing a famous quote:
First they came for the gamers, and I did not speak up because I was not a gamer.
Then they came for the screencasters, and I did not speak up because I was not a screencaster.
Then they came for the lipdubbers, and I did not speak up because I was not a lipdubber.
Then they came for the video bloggers, and I did not speak up because I was not a video blogger.

Then they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak up for me.
Pulled out the Vimeo blog post I believe.


Vimeo has apparently decided that game-only clips (not machinima) are no longer welcome on their servers (from cnet):
Specifically, we are no longer going to allow game walk-throughs, game strategy videos, depictions of player vs player battles, raids, fraps, or any other video gaming videos that simply depict individuals playing a video game.
Is this a reaction to real-world issues? Apparently so:
Further, such videos may expose Vimeo to liability from the game creator(s), as we have already seen action from popular video game companies against videos such as these.

Sounds rather reactionary to me. No virtual documentaries then? Second Life nature clips? (Meanwhile, I see plenty of other software related titles, real world sports and games, and documentaries on Vimeo - rather contradictory, isn't it?).


Overman said...

I respect their decision, assuming I'm understanding the kind of videos they're talking about... but boy does this seem like a close shave re: machinima. Will be very interesting to see what is caught in the shakedown.

Comrades, back up yer vids to be safe!

bllius said...

Respect it in terms of?

johnnie said...

I share Overman's concerns.

Overman said...

@bllius - In that Vimeo is a privately owned site and all videos posted there are at their discretion anyway. They made a decision based on a number of factors including the site's stated purpose (and their interpretation of it), resource consumption, litigation concerns (no doubt prompted by the crackdown behavior on GTA4 videos around its launch time), etc. Sites like these are costly to run, especially when supporting high resolutions like they do. Ultimately, Vimeo's userbase as a whole benefits from them doing what they need to do to keep it running.

Some are using this decision as an excuse to throw around accusations of video-game-bigotry, but I don't look at it that way, even if some of my own vids would likely be banned. Hosting videos costs somebody money; if I want to take on that expense and host myself, I get the freedoms and stability that come with that; if I want to do that on someone else's dollar, then I need to be willing to bend to other factors (or look for a new home).

Overman said...

Eric Rice has also weighed in.


bllius said...

Just to throw in some more cents:

Do the comments and view counts at these various sites belong to the site, or do they belong to the submitter of the video? Because all of that will be deleted as well?

And I do find it contradictory to single out video game only clips as being non-creative and potentially legally circumspect when I've clearly found other cases that:

1. violate copyright
2. are non creative

and I think it comes down to picking on games as being 'non-creative' as the lowest man on the totem pole when it comes to artistic or creative merit (which I think it something they are just hiding behind as a reason).

I mean if they just said 'anything even remotely violating copyright', or anything over '10 minutes long' it might be more acceptable because at least some of those are quantitative measures.

I think I'm more annoyed with retroactively removing some clips than those going forward because at least in the future people know not to submit such videos. Those who have already submitted are sol.

Overman said...

Fair points. Their Termination clause (very standard in form) covers their legal ability to discontinue part/all of the service for any reason and with no limitation.

I'd have preferred a clearer yardstick, too. I'm not pleased with their decision or their explanation, but neither do I see it as some kind of aggregious offense. I also find it hard to be shocked; I guess I got that out of my system with the fall of Stage6.

Affected parties will be inconvenienced, certainly, but aren't SOL. Vimeo makes it very easy to download the source videos for your work, and they've given ample notice for anyone to grab copies of their videos. And there are tons of other free places to post the videos, some of whom (like WEGAME.com) are openly inviting the disgruntled. So it could be a lot worse.

Xanatos said...

In a way i'm glad Vimeo is doing this. I don't necessarily like seeing 'gameplay videos' on streaming sites at all, leave that to game trailers made by the video game companies, but in a way I don't like this because I suspect some machinima will be caught in the line of fire of the purgery.