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Is it OK to post long gameplay (playthroughs) captured videos on YouTube, of games such as: Outlast, Outlast 2, WoW, Among Us, Cattails, Dead Space, etc.

Or are these videos going to be removed from YouTube and the channel penalized?

Or are some games/companies OK with people posting playthroughs, while other games/companies are actively against it? And if so, which ones are OK with it?

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    I hope you don't plan on doing a 100% playthrough of WoW... – Polygnome Mar 16 at 17:10
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YouTube, in short, will not penalize you for uploading gameplay videos, except for a few exceptions:

  1. The video or description violates one of YouTube's Terms of Service, which you are required to follow (rules on abuse, hate speech, etc).
  2. You have copyrighted music playing. The YouTube AI will automatically copyright claim your video if it has music playing in the background that is protected by copyright laws. (examples include GTA radio or cutscene music)
  3. You are openly plagiarizing another video. It's pretty self-explanatory, just don't steal other people's stuff.

But other than those basic rules, you should be free to post nearly any game you want on YouTube.

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    Note on #2; this can be triggered from any in-game music that was not made specifically for the game (and even then)... So if recording something like GTA; best to turn off the radio, and/or turn off music in the game's options (cutscenes with music may still be problematic) – Trent Hawkins Mar 15 at 19:37
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    "YouTube, in short, will not penalize you for uploading gameplay videos" Unless you count being demoted to "Youtube Gaming" on the Trending Tab as a penalty. It's possible that you might get demoted by the algorithm in general, for that matter. – nick012000 Mar 16 at 4:13
  • Rule #2 is utterly detrimental to enjoying a video of THPS2 :-( – MonkeyZeus Mar 16 at 12:26
  • @MonkeyZeus Yup, it stinks, but we can’t change it so might as well live with it. :/ – OKprogrammer Mar 16 at 13:43
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    A major problem with YouTube's DMCA policy is that it fails to provide any means by which posters can claim good-faith belief that the conduct represented fair use, and give copyright claimants the choice to either accept the claim (material is taken down without a strike) or contest it (giving the poster the right to sue the claimant for tortuous interference if a jury finds that the use was fair). The DMCA grants venues considerable latitude with regard to what policies they implement for habitual offenders, and while a three-strikes policy would be appropriate for... – supercat Mar 16 at 16:01
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OKprogrammer describes the current status quo: most companies are okay with playthroughs being posted online. However, I do want to point out that this does fall into a legal gray area that has not to my knowledge been tested in court yet. Game companies may make copyright claims over playthroughs posted online, and have done so in the past:

Odds are that you will be fine, as most studios recognize the promotional value of Let's Plays, and would not want to face a backlash from gamers for being seen as (ab)using copyright. I'm not aware of any studios that actively prohibit playthroughs. I just want to point out that the risk, while very low, is not zero.

Further reading:

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  • Basically its that Video game companies would be in their right to take down videos of their games, and some did try. But it is, for now, a PR suicide to do so. The only ones that really tried hard was Nintendo, the company that can't seem to have bad press and is eternally loved by gamers, and even them had to back down following the backlash. – Fredy31 Mar 18 at 18:41
  • @Fred31 Thank you for providing this angle. The question was originally prompted because a playthrough video apparently disappeared from a friend's channel, and it wasn't clear whether it had been taken down, or what. – MMazzon Mar 20 at 12:36

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