Nintendo is targeting speedrunners and modders in a new round of YouTube copyright claims, issuing takedown requests to users who post footage from modified Super Mario World levels.
The mass deletion coincides with the upcoming launch of Super Mario Maker, a Nintendo-licensed level creation toolkit for the Wii U console. Removed videos feature unauthorized Super Mario World levels created using freeware tools, rather than Nintendo’s official level design software.
Nintendo’s recent copyright claims impact speedrunners who have spent years crafting and documenting unsanctioned Super Mario World mods. According to a Kotaku report, YouTube user “PangaeaPanga” states that their channel was “wrecked” by copyright claims, resulting in the permanent removal of many popular videos.
One of PangaeaPanga’s now-deleted videos showcased a playthrough of “Item Abuse 3,” a modded Super Mario World stage that many speedrunners describe as the “hardest Super Mario World level ever.” Other playthroughs of the same level remain intact at the time of publication.
Super Mario World enthusiasts frequently create custom levels designed to challenge veteran players. Many of these levels require the use of little-known glitches and quirks within Super Mario World‘s engine, adding a degree of difficulty not present in the original game. Creative application of Super Mario World‘s hacking utilities has also produced unique autoplaying levels, including tributes that link in-game sound effects to backing music tracks.
Under the terms of YouTube’s copyright structure, users who have their videos claimed by copyright owners lose the ability to earn advertising revenue from their creations. Copyright holders have the option of claiming ad revenue from content-matched videos. As part of its most recent round of copyright claims, Nintendo instead opted to delete targeted videos entirely.
“As the owner of the copyright in the games: Mario Kart 8, Super Mario World, and Pokémon, Nintendo has the exclusive right to perform the games publicly or to make derivative works based on the games,” Nintendo’s Anti-Piracy Team reportedly stated in a notice sent to PangaeaPanga and other users this week. “By making a derivative work using Nintendo’s IP, and then displaying Nintendo’s IP on your YouTube channel, you have violated Nintendo’s exclusive rights.”
Nintendo’s notice continues: “Nintendo’s intellectual property constitutes its most valuable assets, and the unauthorized use of these assets jeopardizes Nintendo’s rights. Because of this, we ask that you please remove the video in question from your channel, and confirm that you will not post any videos using unauthorized software or copies of games, distribute or continue work on the modification, or take any other steps that would infringe Nintendo’s rights.”
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