from the nintendon’t dept
It’s no secret that Nintendo is one of my common targets to slap around for its draconian enforcement of intellectual property, much to the annoyance of some Nintendo fans. It’s just that it’s… hard not to? This is an enormous player in the video game industry that wields IP as a method for taking down all kinds of fan-driven content that typically isn’t available anywhere else at the time Nintendo’s lawyers get involved. There were all kinds of takedowns for game music that Nintendo doesn’t make officially available, for instance. Then there were both the war on ROM sites and all of the other behavior the company engages in that threatens game/art preservation efforts.
It all boils down to this: if control of IP is at stake, Nintendo basically puts literally every other possible concern to the side and focuses on control. And that sucks, especially for those looking to preserve or document games from days gone by.
But I haven’t seen Nintendo copyright strike someone basically reporting on and discussing a game that never came out before. I can’t say that anymore, with the Did You Know Gaming YouTube channel having a video disappeared in which it discussed Heroes of Hyrule, which never made it past the pitch stage.
“Nintendo has removed our Heroes of Hyrule video from YouTube. This was a journalistic video documenting a game that Retro Studios pitched to Nintendo nearly 20 years ago. This is an attempt by a large corporation to silence whatever journalism they don’t like, and a slap in the face for video game history preservation. We are exploring all available options to restore the video.”
I’m tempted to believe that this was some automated system gone awry. Given that the game never even made it to a place where there would be gameplay footage to share, I can’t imagine there were any actual game assets in the video, though the video is currently down so I can’t check to be sure. But even if gameplay footage did show up in the video, this is still about as clear a case of fair use as I can imagine.
And because it’s Nintendo, I also have no problem believing that the company’s lawyers may have just nuked this thing manually, either. And if that’s the case, it’s even more absurd. Either Nintendo’s and YouTube’s combined attempts to automate copyright strikes sucks once again, or the company’s lawyers can’t recognize obvious fair use when they see it. Bad times either way.
The sites official Twitter account, meanwhile, has a pinned tweet actively encouraging everyone to let Nintendo know what they think about all of this.
All that negative PR the company is likely getting over a game that never got made? Sounds like Nintendo to me!
Filed Under: copyright, fair use, heroes of hyrule, journalism