eSports analyst, former Head of Video Production department at Natus Vincere and journalist Andrew "Xeo" Yansenko wrote a new blog on cyber.sports.ru. Upon the permission of the author, we publish it on our website:
"I've been doing freelance consulting and marketing in eSports for the past several months. Before that I'd been working in one of the most known eSports clubs in the world — Natus Vincere for 4 years. I've visited over 30 Dota 2 and Counter-Strike tournaments in America, Asia and Europe, including four The Internationals. I produced 3 movies about Dota 2, worked with YouTube channels, social networking websites, sales and marketing. Thus I dare suppose that I understand eSports, so I have the right to write about it!
This is it for the introduction. Let's get to the main topic of the blog: "Players vs YouTubers – who is right?" I remind you that the whole thing began due to the tweet by Ludwig 'zai' Wåhlberg, in which the pro player accused popular youtuber NoobFromUA in copyright violation:
@NoobFromUA um if ur gonna make a video ripping video/audio from my stream could u at least ask for permission, this isnt the first time xd
Later Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao contributed to the discussion, laconically commenting the actions of the youtuber: «f***k you» (by the moment this blog was written, Jacky deleted that tweet) and forbade the creation of content using his streams. As a result NoobFromUA apologized to the players and deleted all the debated videos from his channel.
This guy doesn't like when somebody tries to earn money from his streams
This case divided the community in two: some supported players, others began defending youtubers. Let's try figure out who's right. For this purpose let's study 3 things:
1. Legal rights
Copyright to any Dota 2 content is the property of Valve Corporation. You may read the respective notification here
. Furthermore, Valve doesn't forbid publishing gameplay records on YouTube. The company even permits players to monetize it, which is notified here
. The last paragraph is importnat:
Of course this policy applies only to Valve content. If you include someone else's content in your video, such as music, you will have to get permission from the owner.
We'll get back to this paragraph later.
2. Moral rights
It's logical to suggest that the players are the creators of the content: they talk to the viewers, comment the gameplay and entertain audience. Their content is unique: you can find Pudge's explosions on Dendi's Twitch channel, the revelations of young schoolboy on Sumail's channel, and contemplations about the meaning of life at EternalEnvy's stream. These players are the owners of the unique content they created.
As the Head of Video Production at Natus Vincere
, I once had to deal with a fake YouTube channel of Dendi
. The channel was fat and bold: 100 000+ subscribers, "verify" (channel was approved by YouTube as official). It claimed that it was an "official channel of Danil Ishutin", and contained hundreds of stolen and uploaded videos of Dendi's streams.
Dendi and Xeo were working together for a long time at Natus Vincere
Unfortunately, the owner of the channel didn't want to solve this problem on good terms. I contacted our YouTube partner. We made a table comparing the time of publications of twitch-vods and Youtube-vods. Obviously, twitch-vods were created earlier than vods from YouTube. It enabled the service to define the owner of copyright of the videos. The violator channel gained about ten strikes, and died in a couple of days due to the lifetime ban.
As you see, in reality the players enjoy both moral and legal copyright to their stream content. Once again let's recall the notification of Valve:
"If you include someone else's content in your video, such as music, you will have to get permission from the owner."
What type of content are the Twitch vods? The comments of the players and the gameplay they created. Are youtubers entitled to upload these vods on their YouTube and monetize them? They aren't.
Who's to blame and what is to be done?
Unfortunately, the players don't waste their time and efforts to publish their streams. Moreover, most of them violate copyright, as they use music, which actually is the intellectual property of third parties, during their streams. That's why there are so many Twitch-vods with cut off sound. If the players want to additionally monetize their content, they need, first of all use copyright-free music (otherwise play without it). Second, they need to manage and update their YouTube channels on the regular basis. The war against the windmills, namely youtubers is unlikey be effective.
The youtubers must gain permissions from the players in advance to publish their vods. Moreover, the moral aspect tells me that they mustn't monetize such videos at all. I see no problems with highlights and other videos, in which the content, acquired from the streams, is used. YouTubers use their own time and create new unique content. In reality it all began from highlights and movies. And there have been no problems so far.
I suggest that you share your opinion in comments and follow me in social networks.
Thank you very much!