Videogame company Nintendo said it’s getting ready to launch a program for YouTube creators under which fans that use its copyrighted material in their videos will be eligible to receive a share of advertising revenue from that content in some circumstances.
The Japanese company said it has been permitting the use of Nintendo-copyrighted material in videos on YouTube under “appropriate circumstances,” with ad revenue shared between YouTube and Nintendo.
Under a new affiliate program, YouTube users “who wish to use the material more proactively” will also receive a cut of ad revenue, Nintendo said in a statement. Nintendo said it will announce additional details in the future.
The new program from Nintendo reflects changing attitudes among some copyright holders toward YouTube. Rather than treating it as a rogue site that steals their content — the allegation central to Viacom’s billion-dollar lawsuit against Google and YouTube that the parties resolved this spring — media companies are beginning to look to the video service as a way to generate incremental income from their intellectual property.
YouTube operates an extensive copyright-flagging system called Content ID, designed to catch material uploaded to the site without permission. Content ID scans the equivalent of 400 years of video every day, which is matched against a database with 25 million reference files supplied by content owners, according to Google. About 5,000 content partners use the service, including TV broadcasters, movie studios and record labels, the company has said.
Late last year, YouTube sent out a flurry of copyright-infringement notifications for videos on multichannel networks — primarily targeting channels with videogame content. Under YouTube’s revised policies, MCNs are responsible for copyright violations on channels that they directly manage while their “affiliates” creators now are subject to screening by Content ID.
Nintendo’s YouTube channel has about 650,000 subscribers and has served 155 million views to date.