Stop me if you’ve heard this story before…A YouTube channel that featured music, covers, or remixes of classic songs from popular Nintendo games has been forced to remove content after being contacted by Nintendo’s army of lawyers. Well, it’s happening again. A new channel now claims to be the latest casualty of Nintendo’s ongoing war against some of its most dedicated and passionate fans.
As first reported by VGC and spotted by NintendoLife, the newest member of the club is SynaMax, a YouTube channel dedicated to music. The user behind the channel, who says in the channel’s bio that they have been creating music since 2004, had previously uploaded high-quality recreations and covers of some Metroid Prime songs. However, that seems to have attracted the attention of Nintendo and its legal team.
In a video uploaded yesterday, the channel creator claimed he was contacted by Nintendo lawyers on May 31 and told to remove nine videos that featured Metroid Prime music covers or remixes.
“I’m really disappointed in Nintendo that they would force me to take down these videos because they want compulsory licenses,” SynaMax said in the new video.
They further explained that while these videos are now gone for good; his research videos about Metroid Prime’s soundtrack and other similar videos are safe, as they don’t contain copyrighted music. Further, they are unable to create any more covers or remixes of Metroid Prime or other Nintendo game music unless they acquire a “compulsory” license from the company.
Kotaku has contacted Nintendo and SynaMax about the removed videos.
SynaMax acknowledged that these songs are owned and copyrighted by Nintendo and that the publisher has “the legal right to take this content down.”
However, they questioned why the company becomes aggressive instead of just demonetizing relevant videos and letting fans continue to produce and share Nintendo-inspired creations. SynaMax said he would not mind losing that revenue; they just want to share their songs with other fans. SynaMax, his frustration evident, wrapped by saying that they’re done making any more Nintendo-related content “for a very long time.”
We’ve seen this same scenario play out again and again over the last few years. Nintendo fans work hard to create new, interesting content related to the games, or provide other fans with easy ways to listen to Nintendo music that the publisher doesn’t make accessible, and the “Big N” responds by sending legal threats to some of its most passionate and dedicated fans.
Just earlier this month, Nintendo sent over 500 copyright claims to one channel, forcing the creator behind that YouTube channel to remove all Nintendo-related music. In the process, many of the songs they had uploaded to YouTube have become much harder to listen to, which is a real raw deal for passionate fans who just want to re-experience a bit of their childhood or celebrate a game they particularly love.
Sure, Nintendo has every legal right to do this. But the thing is, many other game companies these days are working with fans and creators to allow them to make cool stuff in a legally safe way. Many publishers even offer interested players legal, easily accessible ways to play their back catalogs. As we’ve said before, Nintendo doesn’t have to do this. And yet, it keeps doing it, making it harder and harder to celebrate and enjoy the publisher’s long history and beloved franchises.