Nintendo Creators Program: Copyright vs Fair-Use Law

We do NOT have a license to use Nintendo’s content in this video through the Nintendo Creators Program. This video is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, and thus our opinions of their products, or Nintendo itself as a company, are in no way skewered by the promises of potentially earning an arbitrary percentage of the video’s profits from those opinions. Advertising revenue will NOT be shared with Nintendo, as critiques and reviews are covered by Fair-Use Law.

As most people can tell you, nothing goes together like oil and water like Nintendo and the Internet. With the rise of YouTube, Let’s Plays, and Online Game Reviews, Nintendo has actively enforced their legal copyrights on their Intellectual Property by filing copyright claims on YouTube Channels, and going as far as claiming the ad revenue on YouTube videos using footage of Nintendo games and content. However, due to the blow-back, Nintendo has offered video creators an olive-branch, through the Nintendo Creators Program, and disclaimer where ad revenue can be divided between YouTube video creators and Nintendo. It turns out that that Nintendo Creators Program olive-branch was really a lock of poison-ivy, and it led to a rash of YouTube content creators renouncing the proposed regulations and the revenue split. From loose language in the Nintendo Creators Program terms and conditions, to arbitrary ad revenue splits, to long delays in Nintendo Creators Program partnership approvals, it’s no wonder why the Internet and YouTube creators are in such an uproar.

Most recently, Nintendo has altered the Nintendo Creators Program partnership policies to require that YouTube Channels affiliated with the Nintendo Creators Program be devoid of all non-Nintendo content; meaning that to become a part of “Big N” you have to either delete content from your YouTube Channel, or you have to create a new Channel from scratch. Additionally, the list video games approved by the Nintendo Creators Program is pretty damned slim, even going as far as excluding the entire Super Smash Bros series.

So the question of the hour: Is Nintendo simply legally enforcing their copyrights via the Nintendo Creators Program, and how will Nintendo’s stricter copyright policies effect creativity on YouTube and the Internet if other companies follow their example?

Where does Fair-Use Law tie-in to the latest Nintendo cluster-fuck?

Worse yet, given our long history of discontent with Nintendo and Let’s Players alike, where the fuck do we stand?

*This is only a discussion of law and policy by non-lawyers, and is not intended as legal advice.


A subversive excommunicated from [REDACTED] as a result of a failed coup d'etat, CineMax has miraculously managed to reach and find asylum in the Land of the Free. Here he spends his days working for Cheshire Cat Studios, all the while plotting his inevitable return to the motherland to once again foment the flames of revolution.


The loveable lunatic with the foul mouth and the iconic laugh, Laughingman is the founder of CCS. With more coffee than copper in his bloodstream, he's a full-time website developer by day, and a gamer, editor, and fiction writer by night.


Born in the stomach of a whale in a small fishing town in Antarctica, Kenny knew that his life mission would be to end world hunger, save Tibet, and finally learn how to dougie. Instead, he ended up studying law and writing the "Food For Thought" article series for One day, he hopes to become President of Brazil and blow up the moon.

2 Comments on “Nintendo Creators Program: Copyright vs Fair-Use Law

  1. Well, if you think about it there are three types of people in this world:


    There is a symbiotic relationship between three categories that can be mutually beneficial. I agree with CineMax’s statement on critics keeping a professional distance from creators to the benefit of their integrity to consumers who depend on their opinion. However, with Nintendo (and other companies) getting mixed up in this legal mess, I wonder if they are missing out on some valuable feedback/community building as a result.
    Part of marketing yourself (from a writer’s standpoint), is building a fanbase (therefore interest/money). Why would a creator deprive themselves of this, especially when fans provide free marketing through let’s plays and such? Constructive criticism is important as well. If you don’t want to listen to critics, listen directly to your fanbase by engaging them.
    The worst thing for a creator is to lose their consumer base.
    Also, consumers/critics who complain/give bad reviews are not always your enemy. They can be your best friend if they provide insightful perspective on an issue in your works.

  2. (afterthought): Hell, I am still figuring out the whole marketing thing as a writer. You either do it yourself or you pay someone else to do it for you. There is no middle road. To Nintendo, I say: “any publicity is good publicity.” As a video game giant, they have a highly loyal and invested fanbase. I think let’s plays and fan games will only be a benefit to the legacy they have created over the 30+ years they have been around.

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