The last remix is in captivity
YouTuber SynaMax has worked on a number of different game music remixes and covers over the years, some of which were related to Metroid Prime. Unfortunately, SynaMax has now removed their YouTube videos with these tunes due to contact from Nintendo.
SynaMax has noted that Nintendo’s lawyers reached out to them via phone with a request to remove 9 different Metroid Prime-related music videos. We’re used to Nintendo pulling straight rips of game music off of YouTube, but this was an instance of the Big N going after covers and remixes. Nintendo could have given the videos a copyright claim instead, which would have allowed them to stay on YouTube, but not pull in any money for SynaMax.
According to SynaMax, “a recreation cover, or just a cover in general or any sort of remix, unfortunately, cannot be done without compulsory licenses.” It does seem extremely odd that a cover/remix was the target of Nintendo’s takedown, as that seems like it would fall into the area of transformative fair use. That said, I am not a lawyer or an expert on the legal ramifications of this stuff, and I’m willing to bet Nintendo’s legal team has heavily researched this issue.