Nintendo's cracking down on speedrunning and ROM hacking videos


Say goodbye to your videos

Nintendo really, really hates YouTube, doesn’t it? The policy of using copyright strikes and ContentID matches against videos of their games are draconian, and now it’s targeting speedrunners and ROM hackers under the guise of “anti-piracy.”

Speedrunner PangaeaPanga was the creator of the popular “Hardest Super Mario World Level Ever” video, which had amassed over a million views while it was up. He also regularly uploaded speedruns, many of which were tool-assisted and so required the use of a ROM and emulator to play. In his own words, his entire channel has been “wrecked” by Nintendo, which has taken down multiple videos of his.

Well, YouTube just wrecked my channel. RIP me.

— Panga (@PangaeaPanga) September 4, 2015

Nintendo also sent PangaeaPanga an email, explaining that it believes it owns the exclusive rights to playing its games in a public space like YouTube:

We wish to inform you that the videos in question infringe Nintendo’s copyrights. 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. 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 understands that its fans are the reason for its success, and we are always happy to see people share their passion for Nintendo’s games. At the same time, 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.

Nintendo encourages fan engagement on YouTube through the Nintendo Creators Program. Under the program, participants are granted a license to use Nintendo’s characters, games, and other intellectual property, subject to the Code of Conduct included with the agreement. However, please note that this Code of Conduct prohibits you, among other things, from posting any content using unauthorized software or copies of games. This includes videos featuring tool-assisted speedruns, which require making a copy of a game’s ROM file, and running the copied ROM through an emulator. If you are interested in learning more about the NintendoCreators Program, please see:

Thank you for your understanding.


Nintendo Anti-Piracy Team

Upwards of 80% of PangaeaPanga’s videos have been removed by Nintendo. YouTube has become a main way for speedrunners and ROM hackers to share their work. If Nintendo is now cracking down on them, that could spell bad things for that community.

One day Nintendo will stop being awful about YouTube, and simply not care about it like most other publishers. Unfortunately, that day isn’t today.

Creator of ‘Hardest Super Mario World Level Ever’ Says Copyright Crackdown Gutted His YouTube Channel[Kotaku]