A YouTube user and another who made the mod have been slammed by the big N because how dare they expand something they have nothing to gain from?
Last week, PointCrow, a YouTube user with about 1.6 million subscribers who offered $10,000 a year and a half ago to anyone who would make a multiplayer mod of The Legend of Zelda, posted a new video showing off the project (or more specifically, the first public version of it). Nintendo took action and made copyright claims against his videos. On Tuesday, he took down the links to download the mod from Discord while negotiating with the big N: “I have taken down the mods in this Discord as I am currently in talks with Nintendo. That is all I can share right now. Please, no speculation, and understand that I will update you as much as possible. [Thank you so much]” he wrote on Discord. It’s hard to be optimistic after that, and it’s no wonder he tweeted, somewhat sourly, that it’s hard to be excited about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom when Nintendo is bombing its YouTube Zelda community in the meantime. Waikuteru, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild multiplayer mod’s creator, added: “PointCrow made it public that he would finance this for $10,000, and this is what Nintendo doesn’t wanna see. The first claim wave happened in January 2022. I disputed and appealed them and got my videos back. However, Nintendo broke the YouTube guidelines and claimed videos that have already been resolved and claimed before again. So I repeated the process, got them back, they claimed, etc. It was usually a 2-month gap between these occurrences.”
We won’t go into YouTube’s copyright claims (we’ll just say that geoblocking is the most idiotic move possible – put advertising on the video, it’s good for them, the uploader is lucky they didn’t get their video banned worldwide for half a minute of music…), They don’t go after the emulated videos. For example, on GameBana, mods can stay there regardless of YouTube, but when it comes to money, Nintendo seems to jump right in. “Honestly, when the first claim wave appeared, I was like, ‘Oh well, two years [of modding] for nothing?! I didn’t know yet that getting back the videos is rather easy. It’s a complicated situation, for sure. On the one hand, Nintendo is the original copyright owner. On the other hand, we make new creations out of it, and then we are the copyright owners of that new creation. Fair use here and there… If Nintendo reads that, I would like to tell them the following: Because of our mods and videos, we are creating free promotions for the games, extending the life of the games, and also, it results in more fans ultimately buying the games. Please take an example of other game developers even offering modding tools to their communities,” Waikuteru added.
On Friday, PointCrow posted a new video. In it, he said that his channel had received two copyright penalties (i.e., one more successful claim and they’ll delete his channel) for his videos related to the Breath of the Wild multiplayer mod: “The next day, Nintendo claimed 24 more videos from my channels. Most of them are modded content. Many of them are Breath of the Wild. Still, not all of them are… they’re striking down regular gameplay videos as well… Without even considering fair use, all of these videos are very clearly in line with Nintendo’s game content guidelines for online video and image sharing platforms. The precedent they’ve set with this case may apply heavily to their upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. As per their decisions to take down gameplay and challenge videos alongside the modified content, it’ll be difficult for any content creator to post creative concepts without having a fear of Nintendo exercising their copyright over a video that is in line with their policies. They’ve demonstrated that they will ignore their policies and licenses to enforce their intellectual property selectively. So if you’ve uploaded any video that features any Nintendo content, no matter how transformative or directly in line with their published guidelines, you are at risk.”
We agree with the modder. This is This is free advertising.