“Super Mario Country” & Twitch Copyright Woes

I had heard from friends about issues with Twitch’s new policies regarding copyrighted music during streams, but when I did my Super Mario Country stream on September 15, I found out about it first-hand. The stream went well, though the game itself was very hard, but after I wrapped it up and then went into the Video Manager to take a look at the outputted video, I was surprised to see that at around 57 minutes into the video, the audio gets completely muted. And, it isn’t just one portion of the video that is muted, it is the rest of the duration of the stream!

This is where it gets tricky. The music that it flagged as copyrighted, I think, is music that was directly from Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, or another game with similarly appropriate music. During the first stream, there were no issues with copyrighted music at all, only in this video. Friends have told me that they’ve had issues too with in-game music getting flagged, despite the fact that in-game tunes were supposed to be allowed. Still, I guess this means these songs are falling victim to over-zealous copyright algorithms.

You can appeal these mutes of course, but with something like this, I’m not sure I’d win anyway. Super Mario Country is an innocent fan-game, but it does borrow official music from other games. Even though I flagged the video as Super Mario Land 2, whomever reviews the claim could look at it and say that the audio was still Nintendo’s property and the game wasn’t an official Nintendo product. Thus, I didn’t think that it was worth emailing them about to file a claim. However, if it had been an official, licensed game that got flagged (like in a few cases from friends of mine), I would definitely send them an email about it and see about getting it overturned.

Thus, this video will be the last Super Mario Country one I do and, as a result, I won’t be broadcasting the ending areas of the game. At this point, you’ve seen a lot of it (in fact, as of this video, everything but the final couple stages) and you know if it is worth downloading, and I prefer this to remain up as a testament to what happens with over-zealous copyright hunting. It’ll be a punishment for us all, and a lesson learned.

So, if you aren’t a fan of Twitch’s new policy – speak up! Let your voices be heard!

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Jessica Brown

Retro Games and Technology Editor. She'll beat pretty much every Mega Man game without breaking a sweat.

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