I run a very small, very casual video games channel on YouTube called The Blundercast – I just record, edit, and post silly little moments that happen while I play games. It’s very much a labour of love, but I do happen to monetize a few videos just for a bit of coffee money here and there.
Most recently, I posted a video where I played Scribblenauts Unlimited and had fun on a mission.
I did attempt to monetize this video but was abruptly stopped by YouTube.
We may consider your video(s) for further review provided you verify that you are authorized to commercially use all of the elements of your content. This includes all video, images, music, video game footage, and any other audio or visual elements.
Fair enough, I’ve run into this before. I explained:
This video is a video where I have fun with a small portion of the Scribblenauts Unlimited game. It was created solely for the purposes of entertainment and education and is all done in fair use.
Makes sense to me, you learn about the game and you can enjoy watching me make an ass of myself on the internet. However, it got rebuffed with a request for information regarding formal permission and/or terms that would allow me to post the video.
I reached out to WB Games, the publisher of Scribblenauts Unlimited, to get this permission, and got this response in a few hours:
WB Games Support:
WB does not provide formal permission to post videos on YouTube or similar sites. Generally we don’t mind fan videos so long as you’re using legal copies of the game, are not being posted to make a profit (through advertising or other means), and are in good taste.
Hmm… not being posted to make a profit? What about the hundreds of videos that do just that on YouTube? Do they all have a standing agreement with WB Games that allows them to post and profit off their videos? Or are they in danger of having WB enforce their policies on them?
So I asked to clarify, especially with regards to YouTube partners, and got this response:
WB does not give out any formal permission. We also do enforce this policy.
And now we’re back at square one.
I understand you want to protect your game, but we’re giving you free marketing at no cost. I’m not entirely sure why you would be against that?