About Who Let's Play
Those who care about Let's Plays coming together to protect and promote them.
Who Let's Play is a community of Game Developers and Let's Players coming together to create a single source of information regarding the legalities of creating Let's Plays. We are a community supported website, so please help improve and add to our information.
Currently we have an ever growing list of companies and their policies regarding Let’s Play content, however we have some big plans for the future.
The #WhoLetsPlay list
Our main project is the "Let's Play"-friendly developers Wiki. This tracks the stances developers have on Let's Play videos and monetization.
The wiki is NOT an authority in and of itself, it just acts as a handy directory that:
- Makes it easy to find permission statements
- Encourages developers to make their permission status publicly known
- Encourages developers to upgrade their permission from tweets to written official statements on their sites
The list serves as a shield against fraudulent Content-ID matches, because you can easily find out if a developer has actually given official permission.
However, there's more to it.
Dealing with Music
Right now, there's an issue with music. Many developers, small and large, license music non-exclusively. This means the musician owns the music, but gives the developers some rights (namely to use it in their game). This means that technically it's not legally clear-cut (again, I'm not a lawyer) that the developer has the right to grant permission for fans to make monetized videos that include the music.
Why this is bad: This encourages developers to secure exclusive rights to protect themselves. This is bad for everyone, because exclusive rights are more expensive for developers and less flexible for musicians. Youtube is currently recommending that LP'ers make videos without music. As Colin Campbell notes above, the problem is 3rd party music resellers. I'm currently talking to some legal folks about setting up some creative-commons esque licenses for music that developers can use with their musicians to make the "let my fans post this on youtube" rights more clear.
We might also start a second wiki for known "bad actors" in the music reseller space, to warn developers and musicians against using them for selling soundtracks, etc. I don't want it to turn into a vengeful witch hunt, though, so we might tread carefully there.
We Need Some Stinkin' Badges!
We need to make it clear and easy for YouTuber's to know where developers and their musicians stand. Right now it's a giant soup of ambiguous, unclear, and invisible rights. I'm imagining creating a badge system like creative commons has, where a developer can proudly display that their content is "Free to Let's Play", and also display a badge that certifies - YES, we have signed the proper licensing terms with our musician, so you can feel safe that the musician allows you to stream the video with music.