Gameplay Videos, YouTube and and Copyright: FAQ

Hopefully, this article can help you make sense of the copyright issues related to the uploading of gameplay videos of YouTube. Let me know if I’ve missed anything important.

1. Do I have the right to upload Let’s Play videos?

Except in cases where 1) the terms of service of the game allow for this OR 2) you have received permission from the game’s developers, you do not automatically have such a right. If you are wondering about the principle of Fair Use,  there is a section at the end about this.

2. Is video game content protected by copyright law?

Video games are protected by copyright law and, in many cases, patent law and trademark law. For example, in a Batman game like Arkham Asylum, not only is the game itself copyrighted, but the character, name and logo of Batman have been trademarked (even the name Gotham City is trademarked), and many aspects of the game and/or visual design may have been patented.

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