Hey iLoL community, I have an interesting "issue," for lack of a better term, to open for discussion. I'm not sure if this is the right forum category to discuss this in, but it involves discussion and LoL, so close enough. XD
Copyright restrictions and the like are very commonplace these days and if you aren't careful, you can wind up dealing with litigations completely unintentionally. However, copyright laws and "Fair Use" rules can make some lines very fuzzy, especially with video games, or more specifically, gameplay footage. Recently YouTube has offered me a partnership in order to make money from the various content I post on my account (mostly videos of my former band). As of late, however, I have decided to start a for-fun series of me and occasionally my friends playing LoL with commentary and maybe even a TF2 or Minecraft series. This is where the problem arises, however. In order to become a partner and to "monetize" content with advertisements, you must have full copyright ownership or permission to use all content in the video. Due to "Fair Use," I can add various music for an intro so long as I use under 30 seconds of a song, which is easy enough for a 12 second intro. But for gameplay videos, proving copyright and/or gaining permission from the developer (in this case Riot) can be significantly more difficult (though I doubt Riot has a problem with it). Under "Fair Use," one can use excerpts of footage from various sources for commentary or review purposes, but what constitutes "commentary" or an "excerpt" and its context can be interpreted in many very different ways. I'm thinking of contacting Riot to ask if they are ok with me using their content for videos, just to be safe, but I personally think this is pointless since I'm subscribed to several partnered channels that post LoL videos all the time with no copyright backlash whatsoever. It also provides essentially free advertising of the game and can expose LoL to many more people through the vast reaches of the YouTube community. However, some gaming companies, most notably Rockstar, have been cracking down on YouTube videos containing reviews or play-throughs of Red Dead Redemption and the GTA IV DLC.
Thus I reach my main point of discussion: should it be considered "Fair Use" to share videos of gameplay footage on YouTube so long as you acknowledge the developers and include some form of original commentary, or are gaming companies justified in requiring their given consent to use their content? Also, should there be more specific restrictions for certain genres due to variety of gameplay experience, such as in RPGs or multiplayer games like LoL with unique gaming experiences or storylines, as opposed to single-player games with little variety in game experience?