YouTube ragnarök

Anyone who's been visiting my YouTube channel (love you 56 subscribers, although I think you'll all leave by the end of the week) know that I mostly make Let's Play videos. I love the concept, it's fun to share your experience of an overlooked game with random bystanders. Maybe they'll love it too and you'll have helped them find a new favourite game.

I'm terrible at making them though. I went on several months long hiatuses for no apparent reason. Many times I kept my thoughts internal, especially when I did blind LPs, since I'm a fairly analytical person. But people did enjoy them, I got 25k views on (for the most part) entirely unknown games. Many developers also contacted me, graciously gave me permission to make LPs of their games and thanked me. That felt great.

I just removed all of my LP videos from my YouTube account. Thus those precious 56 subscribers are about to go poof. For those who enjoyed my LPs I apologize. This wasn't made on a whim. I won't bore you with all the details, nor will I shame anyone publicly, but this is what happened.

Just finished a new series for a new game. I was given permission by the author beforehand and we had a great conversation back and forth. When it was done I was left with a feeling of joy. I really liked the game and it showed. But the developer wasn't happy that I got stuck on a couple of occasions. I tried explaining that it was a blind LP, I wasn't reading a walkthrough so obviously there's a risk of getting stuck. Just like any other player might get stuck.

No, he didn't like that. Could I change it? Well, I could edit some parts down I suppose. This irked me since none of my other LPs were edited, but fine. All was well and I was going to post it. Then he asked me to not show the alternate ending that I stumbled across. Ahem, that was in the middle of the LP. I found it by mistake. I'd have to re-record hours of video to avoid leading up to it. Yes, that's what I should do.

I refused. So then he unceremoniously revoked his permission and told me he'd file a copyright strike for each video of his game I'd post. Alright then, that's fine since I wasn't planning on posting the LP after this debacle. Apparently that isn't what he wanted to hear, next he's saying he's going to start filing copyright strikes on my other Let's Play series, out of spite I suppose. Because he "had the power to get my youtube account shut down". Awesome.

The thing is, he does. Any random person can file a claim for just about any video. The way Google has set up YouTube to avoid any and all risk on their part you're pretty much screwed against trolls. I've gotten flagged before, many times. Somehow I always managed to work it out and never got a strike.

Then the automated content-id system was introduced and wham, I was getting my videos claimed because the games included music that third parties had (illegally) claimed was their own. Great. Still, it didn't matter to me since I'm not running ads on my LPs. Claiming $0 out of $0 is fine by me.

But I've got things planned for my YouTube account. I find it very gratifying to help people figure things out. Maybe find a helpful application. How to solve a problem. Thus it would be a disaster if I did get my account shut down because I was making Let's Plays of games people don't know, that hardly anyone watches and that I don't make any money out of but that still get illegally claimed.

Am I a coward for running? Probably, since I love the Let's Play scene. But it's just too much of a hassle these days. So screw it. I'm done.

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