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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.

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Comments (10)

kingbroly

3M ago

New Metroid game announcement incoming


pc2

3M ago

If Nintendo invested half the energy from copyright claiming their music into actually legally releasing it, everyone would be a whole lot happier.


kernal

3M ago

Thats a bummer. Normally I can be like "well, that's they're music so.. it sucks but it's within their rights" but covers and remixes? That should fall under some sort of protection.

Just.. Nintendo, if you're going going on this rampage make your dang music easily accessible!


smasher89

3M ago

Maybe this is just them testing the waters in what they can get away with copyright claiming, as article mentioned it should be transformative, but maybe the music used soundeffects or something from the games that themselves were copyrighted (just a uneducated guess).


mystikoi

3M ago

This really sucks, and beyond any bootlicking “they have the legal right to protect their IP” excuse, there is no good reason for this behavior. Fan works like remixes only don’t harm Nintendo’s ability to make money on their IP but actually very well might help it. Covers, remixes, fanart, etc. are an important part of cultivating a fan community that can help extend the reach of a brand and get more people interested and become eventual buyers. Think of how many people who eventually bought Undertale were first exposed to it through a fan work like a Megalovania remix. If Toby Fox had been this protective of his IP then I don’t think his game would have developed anywhere near the fan base that it has. I really hope whoever at Nintendo is making these decisions gets a wakeup call and stops shooting their brand in the foot through stupid crap like this.

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streex

3M ago

Next up, nintendo forces GoNintendo to change their name.


lucius6

3M ago

@mystikoi

Oh bet they do have the legal right to protect their IP and are completely in right with this music too. It uses way too many sound effects from the games.


mystikoi

3M ago

@lucius6

Having the legal right to do something doesn’t mean that it’s ethically right or even smart business to do so though. There are lots of game companies both large and small that have a much healthier relationship with fan content than Nintendo does, and it doesn’t seem to hurt their bottom line.


noxide

3M ago

@mystikoi

OK that's a weak argument right there. Retreating back to "it's not ethically right" has now sway as ethics are based on the individual. You don't get to decide how a companies relationship with their fans should be like. I prefer that Nintendo didn't do stuff like this but arguments like your make us all look like children who don't know how the world works.


mystikoi

3M ago

@noxide

You’re right, “ethically right” was a poor choice of words and blew the issue out of proportion especially considering the far worse things that many other game companies have done. I should have said something more like “laudable”.

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