Greetings from Drillimation Systems.
If you recently saw on YouTube, many Touhou Project-related videos on YouTube have been hit with an increase in Content ID claims over the past few weeks. This article will teach you on how to get back into creating and monetizing videos based on Touhou Project-related material.
Why is this happening?
Content ID is a fingerprinting system used by copyright holders to scan for their content on YouTube. Content ID is mostly used to generate revenue or track selected videos. Recently, Team Shanghai Alice joined forces with Japanese music label Rightsscale to distribute the soundtracks of all Touhou Project games (including doujin creators) on iTunes and Google Play all in a single channel called the Touhou Doujin Music Distribution. As a result, many YouTubers who uploaded playthroughs of the games on YouTube were hit with a multitude of claims on their videos, primarily over the background music playing.
Just like Drillimation does, ZUN has a set of content usage rules in order to ensure everyone can have a happy experience with creating Touhou Project fanworks. The partnership is likely to enforce the rule that creators are not permitted to reuse assets (including the original songs) from the games. We have a similar rule for Chuhou Joutai as well too.
Tips for new creators
If you’re creating new videos using content from Touhou Project and looking to monetize on YouTube, remember that using music can be complicated because of the new rules. If you still want music from the games, we recommend you use a cover of a particular song, but remember that getting the rights to them can be complicated and different creators (us too) have different policies on how their content can be used.
Whether doing playthroughs, making music covers, or animations is your passion for the franchise, ZUN loves what you do, but he very rarely takes a look at actual fanworks. YouTube has designed Content ID to give individuals and businesses the opportunity to make videos and earn money. Remember that YouTube’s premise is to give everyone a voice. US Congress is apparently proposing a change to US copyright law to give people on social media and video sharing sites a better place to speak out.
Many people who get Content ID claims choose to dispute based on fair use rationales. But remember, Japanese fair use laws differ than the United States. In Japan, fair use of copyrighted material is allowed under the following circumstances:
- Artistic works are allowed to be freely reproduced by photograph or film, though licensing is required to publicly exhibit their work, including commercial purposes.
- Teachers and professors are allowed to make copies for teaching purposes, including examinations, though commercial distribution is prohibited.
- Fair use of material used for news broadcasts and newspaper articles is mandated, just like in the United States.
- Works can be performed or exhibited freely as long as the performer isn’t paid.
- Braille versions of printed material is allowed for lending but not commercial.
- Software can be reproduced for personal use only and any reproduction to any of the above rules must be cited.
According to a few comments, you can still dispute the claims if your video meets any of the following criteria, such as if your video is of gameplay or is a cover video of a song. However, takedowns can still occur if your video doesn’t adhere to his rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
How come Drillimation’s Touhou Project-related videos never got claimed?
Drillimation actually used their own covers of the songs for use in the Touhou 1: The Highly Responsive to Prayers NES Demake. Doing something like this is allowed under his rules. Remember, Content ID can still detect covers, but ZUN has confirmed cover videos meet the criteria.
Why isn’t the demake available on Steam?
Licensing reasons is the reason why we can’t distribute the demake on Steam. Although everything used in the game is licensed under Fair Use, we simply don’t want to make any profit from them.