Now I don’t mean those creations where the storyline is tragic, or even those really bad creations which would make anyone sad, no I am talking about those wonderful innovative, visually stunning levels that ruin everything by slapping some tinny recording of copyright music over the top of it.
Mm have been very clear with their instructions on the use of copyright material. Dont. When you upload audio you get a warning that it better not be copyrighted. Doesn’t stop anyone though. When I started my pick of the week videos, I had a game in it that contained some music that sounded like it could have been made in Dreams, but turned out it wasn’t and I got a copyright claim. On the same video someone made a piano cover of the Game of Thrones theme, entirely in Dreams, and even that got slapped with a copyright claim. Now these were both claims on my advertising revenue. I don’t have any. So if I had left it, this video would have had adverts in it and around it. I don’t want ANY advertising anywhere near my channel. With the COPPA scare about advertising to children, I want to distance my channel from that sort of activity. Also, I was lucky that these were claims only, if they had been strikes, one more would lose me my channel. This would have been a disaster, and I don’t want to lose my channel because someone else broke the rules. That means I had to make the decision not to show any games that contained music that was not made in Dreams, and was not a cover made in Dreams.
There has, in the past been levels that I would have included on my channel if they hadn’t included copyright music in their levels. Bevis2 produces a lot of interesting visuals, but he uses samples, clips and copyright music throughout. I am surprised that Mm used his work in their promotional material, because I feel that it condones the very behaviour they have asked us not to do. There are a lot of really good horror levels – but they nearly always include music from horror movies like Poltergeist, Halloween, The Exorcist and a little known but creepy 1930s song called Close Your Eyes – none of which are in the public domain, and therefore could give my channel a strike. My stance on protecting my channel also meant that I had to disqualify really great looking levels from my LexiAwards. I shouldnt really be in this position, where great levels are compromising themselves by adding music they don’t own and risking removal.
Lately, there has been a rash of levels that are pretty good apart from their music choices. Funky Bones IV is an excellent platformer with a superb style, but it contains music from Little Big Planet, some jazz music that I do not believe was made in Dreams and have no information on its origin, and a song that I could identify was a recording from 2013 (so absolutely not in the public domain).The song has since been removed, but the other pieces remain, and I struggled to show in my Pick of the Week a sample of the game that didnt concern me, so I had to cut play short and mute some sections. I made an exception for this game because I believed the creator when he said he had removed the copyright material, but he was not referring to all the music.I am not making that mistake again, because it is too risky for me.
Morally though, is it right to make a recording of someone’s music and put it in Dreams? I say, absolutely not. Is it allowed in the Ts and Cs? No. Can there be any justification for it when there is tons of music freely available made by musicians in Dreams? I don’t think so. So these levels are still going to make me sad. And I am finding it harder to find really good content that doesn’t break the rules right now. When the IP owners descend on Dreams en masse, and start removing stuff left right and centre. Do not say I did not warn you.