Xbox rules were recently clarified by Microsoft to ensure no one will go beyond the boundaries of copyright laws, and to make it in line with the current usage by the gaming community. The Xbox owner updated the rules of its Game Content Usage so that the fans who participate in partner programs would earn ad revenue legitimately.
There is now a growing popularity of Let’s Play videos on YouTube, as well as on the Twitch streaming platform, making it possible for gamers to stream their play times over the Internet, building audiences as well as revenue streams. Twitch, a leading community of gamers, is a video platform with more than 45 million gamers meeting to watch, chat and broadcast every month.
Game play videos are becoming popular. However, the problem is that game broadcasters do not own the content they feature, which can infringe copyright laws.
While game streamers and their expansive followers are hardcore gaming fans, the real game owners are trapped between protecting their property rights, which will alienate their audience, or just letting go as it affects their revenue. Several companies have recently made a stance on game streaming. For instance, Twitch launched a music library so streamers will avoid copyright violations, while Nintendo introduced an affiliate program for the video makers.
Likewise, Microsoft released Xbox rules for the streamers with a warning that those who violate the rules will be shut down. It said that using Xbox games in the title of videos and to tag on social media is fine, as long as the title indicates that the video is produced by a fan, and not an official product. Microsoft’s update of its Game Content Usage Rules created confusion in some of the video makers who misconstrued the rules as not allowing them to use the names of the games in the titles of their videos.
Redmond, Wash., the official base of Microsoft, has responded and made it clearer, clarifying that Xbox rules say that the fans’ video titles should not give an impression that Microsoft is the source or endorser of the item.
The title, Halo 5: Covenant Strike, is an example of something that creates an impression that it is one which Microsoft licenses or produces. It sounds like an official product of the game and Microsoft does not want confusion for the consumers. These sample titles for videos are fine: Halo 5 Strategies and Tips, Operation Chastity, Let’s Play Forza Motorsports 5 or Blue versus Red.
The software owner, however, said that it is not searching Twitch and YouTube for offenders, and admits there is no rampant abuse of its policy. It simply is putting out the Xbox rules to protect itself from abuse. It expresses its appreciation of the passionate gamers who love its products and the facet that the fans may go ahead and create amazing works.
With Xbox rules now clarified by Microsoft, game enthusiasts can continue streaming on Twitch or YouTube. They can even go on earning revenue and building and growing an audience as long as they do not violate copyright rules of the game owners.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Microsoft Sweden – Flickr License