Fair Use Question for Warriors with a Video Game Site

by Joshua Uebergang 7 replies
What reactions have you gotten from gaming companies when you've published, or wanted to published screenshots, video guides, and in-game content?

I'm about to start making a video game guide to sell on Clickbank and curious to hear your experiences. I know the default-legally-correct answer is to "consult a legal adviser". Done that and he said, because it's for teaching purposes, according to fair use it's okay. Even so, I hear others say it isn't okay leaving me confused with what to do.

A plethora of game guides have been created on Clickbank using in-game content: https://www.clickbank.com/mkplSearch...atFromNav=true
#main internet marketing discussion forum #fair #game #question #site #video #warriors
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    The default-legally-correct answer is:

    Contact the particular publisher of the video game.

    Some will not allow it and some will not only allow it but support you like mad.

    Just ask!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      I've been back and forth with the publishing company and they're against it... So sad to hear :-( They're aware of other video guides for their game and commercial streams of the game - and they acknowledge it's against fair use - yet they may or may not act on it in the future.

      Certainly won't be going back to that solicitor who advised me otherwise.

      Never been so disappointed about a project in my life...
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  • Profile picture of the author DallasK
    Though the gaming companies "official policy" might be against
    any use of their content for outside promotions, when times
    are good, they will nearly always look the other way.

    For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which was released
    last week became the best selling game ever with sales of $775
    million in just 5 days, breaking the record from last year with
    Call of Duty: Black Ops selling $650 million in 5 days. Times are
    good in the gaming industry, very good.

    Contrast that with the music industry who have seen their sales
    plummet, and to a smaller extent the movie studios, who have both
    turned on the consumers and started biting the hand that feeds
    them for any violation of their copyrights. And while I won't disagree
    that a copyright is what it is, and should be enforced, I think most
    of us will agree they've gone about it in a way that only fostered
    even more dislike of the RIAA and record labels.

    I know of a couple of marketers who make good bank by promoting
    gaming guides via Clickbank where they've used video from the
    publishers web site. As long as the gaming industry continues to
    grow, it's unlikely that you'll see them sending out warnings to
    marketers that use content from their sites. And if they didn't want
    the content to be used, they would lock it down better to make
    it harder to pull down.

    So as long as they're pulling in millions of dollars, you're basically
    their friend and silent partner in helping them to continue to promote
    their games. But when/if things take a downturn for them, we have
    to hope they're not lead by fools who will turn against their own
    customers like the music industry has.

    Of course, proceed at your own risk...

    Dallas...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      People toss around the term 'fair use' - but it's not that simple. The fair use doctrine is to allow some content, under some circumstances to be used for educational and news purposes.

      "Fair use" is not "what I think would be fair". It's what a court defines it as for each case. IANAL but there are many legal sites explaining what fiar use is...and isn't. For the most part, it doesn't apply when used to make money for the person using the content/images.

      I know of a couple of marketers who make good bank by promoting gaming guides via Clickbank where they've used video from the
      publishers web site.
      BUT - you don't know if they got permission or bought right to use certain content or images.
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      • Profile picture of the author DallasK
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        BUT - you don't know if they got permission
        or bought right to use certain content or images.
        I'll make a pretty strong assumption that both of them did
        NOT have permission based on their actions.

        One guy is a marketer here in sunny California and I bought his
        course since it was described as video marketing via YouTube
        and my background is in video so I thought it was a good fit.
        But after seeing the videos were going to be geared towards
        doing the Clickbank affiliate grind, my enthusiasm waned. In his
        video based course he showed you the Firefox plugins he used
        to pull the videos down from the publisher site, how to edit the
        video to put a scrolling text link across the bottom of the video,
        post it to YouTube and then place another link in the video
        description section. He never once talked about getting
        permission from the publisher and said that they post those
        videos so people will pull them down and then spread them
        around to show how cool the games are. He insinuated that
        we were helping them market the games, henceforth why I
        intimated the same premise in my post.

        The other guy I met in the forum for this course and we
        exchanged email since we were local to each other, so that's
        why I'll assume he didn't have permission either since he paid
        for the course just as I did. And he didn't seem to be in any
        financial position to pay for using the publishers content. He
        was willing to send people to some sketchy looking Clickbank
        sites and I wasn't. He said he was making several hundred
        dollars a month in his first two months. I passed and
        unfortunately for me it was just another lesson learned.

        Again, I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying there are a lot of
        people out there doing it.

        Dallas...
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        • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
          Interesting comments.

          It is disappointing to see what happened to the music industry. Gaming could very well turn to that direction with publishing companies currently turning a blind eye to gamers profiting from company content with things like YouTube promotional partners.

          There are enormous amounts of WoW guides using "copyrighted content" on Clickbank with Starcraft, BF3, and MW3 recently following. I guess the companies just don't care at the moment.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            I'll make a pretty strong assumption that both of them did
            NOT have permission based on their actions.
            You are probably right. If those people are called out - it's nothing to you.

            Assuming it's ok to do something because someone else seems to be getting by with it - is dangerous to YOU. It might indicate companies aren't enforcing copyright or could be they just haven't been noticed yet.

            Point is - "George did it and nobody said anything" isn't going to save you if you do have a problem.
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