Nintendo has long been known for its wide range of high-quality, nostalgic tunes, creating everything from the curious piano sounds of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild until the heartbreaking sensational leitmotifs found throughout the soundtrack of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. Although Nintendo sometimes releases official soundtracks for its games, much of their music can only be found in the games themselves, which makes it difficult to listen to a favorite song. To fill the void, some creators have taken it upon themselves to upload songs, soundtracks, and entire Nintendo music collections to platforms like YouTube for easier access by fans.
But another thing Nintendo is known for is its ruthless copyright protection tactics. Uploading game music on YouTube is no exception as many creators have dug into it over the years. The recent rise in copyright claims and takedown notices has many creators questioning how fans can access the hard-to-find soundtracks and songs they often need to kickstart consoles. your controller.
If the company is determined to keep YouTube and other sites music-free, it must make them more readily available to eager fans — not just for money or nostalgia, but for conservation.
Nintendo creators and music enthusiasts have been uploading the company’s music to YouTube for others to listen to for nearly two decades. These videos are sometimes monetized, which means creators can monetize YouTube’s advertising program, but sometimes not. Some creators upload individual songs they like, while others create playlists with Nintendo music or upload entire game soundtracks for easier access. A single search for “relaxing Nintendo music” brings up more than eight million results on Google, many of which are compilations or YouTube playlists designed with relaxation in mind.
Nintendo explicitly forbids users from uploading its game soundtracks to platforms like YouTube in Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platform, regardless of whether the content is monetized or not. In the site’s FAQ, the guidelines state, “Only copies of Nintendo’s promotional trailers, tournaments, soundtracks, gameplay sequences, and art are beyond the scope of the Guidelines.” Creators can also run into legal problems when they upload these tracks, especially when they re-upload them after receiving a takedown notice or copyright strike.
YouTube creator and Nintendo music uploader GilvaSunner found this the hard way. On January 30th, they reported that they had received 1,300 takedown notices from Nintendo, resulting in the removal of much of the content on their channel. Three days later, on February 2nd, Nintendo removed 2,200 more videos from GilvaSunner’s channel. In response, GilvaSunner deleted their channel and Twitter account. One of their last tweets read: “I want to thank you for your 11+ years of support (or more if you followed me before this account) and the many kind messages you share with us. I. It’s really amazing to see the VGM scene grow so much! Please continue to support the composers and the community! ”
GilvaSunner isn’t the only content creator stuck in a quagmire of takedown notices. “I think [Nintendo’s takedown efforts] went up even more,” said ShadowAtNoon, a Twitch streamer and Nintendo playlist maker, in an interview with Digital Trends. “For me, it happened in December.” [of last year] and January. Like, half of my channel is gone. Shadow explained that some of her friends, who also upload Nintendo music, have been affected by an increasing number of copyright claims and takedown requests over the past few months.
Shadow has switched to streaming on Twitch and has publicly stated that she won’t be creating playlists as often as she used to. “When I first started using Twitch, [the takedowns] not that bad,” she said. “Obviously Nintendo wouldn’t let me monetize that content, but the takedown didn’t really start until after I did Twitch. … Nintendo didn’t hit it until last year or so, and then it always had a bunch of, like, 20 or 30 videos at a time. Today, Shadow’s YouTube channel contains only a fraction of the playlists it used to contain: Videos with titles like “Nintendo’s smooth jazz to sip your coffee” and “Thoughtless, headless.” empty || Nintendo music” along with other gaming content.
The removal of these videos doesn’t just affect YouTube creators and users. A decade ago, game developer Brian Lee created Hourly animal crossing music page, a website that plays music from Nintendo’s life simulation game series based on the user’s system settings. While Lee doesn’t upload the soundtrack himself, his site uses embedded YouTube videos uploaded by other creators to provide the music. Animal Crossing is unique in that it has a different song for each hour of the day, which inspired Lee to create the site. “I think the game has a special quality when you’re busy and relaxed at the same time, which is great to use as background music to get you into that mindset,” he told Digital Trends.
“It’s an ethical gray area, but I think it’s amazing how people can save and share this content from decades ago that would otherwise not be ‘legitimate’ accessible.”
Lee also noted that takedown requests appear to be more common for newer soundtracks. “It seems that videos for older games often disappear because the uploader’s account is disabled, while songs from newer games are more likely. [removed due to] request to take down due to copyright infringement,” he said. While Lee has never received a copyright claim or a takedown notice from Nintendo – “which I attribute to the way I implemented the site [with] YouTube” – everytime Mule The soundtrack video was removed from YouTube, he had to find a new video himself and connect it to the site.
Miniature live streaming
With Nintendo’s soundtracks removed from YouTube, it’s become increasingly difficult to listen to the company’s music, especially when it comes to older or lesser-known titles. Nintendo does not upload its tracks to Spotify, YouTube, or other popular music services. It will occasionally generate soundtracks, but these are rare and usually exclusive to Japan.
One of the few exceptions to the company’s music business is the debut of Pokémon DP Sound Library, a web-based archive of all tracks and sounds from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The site, announced days after GilvaSunner received their first 1,300 takedown notices, allows users to listen to and even download nostalgic tracks from the fourth generation of Pokémon. Notably, content creators may also use the library’s audio and music for non-commercial purposes, including background music in non-monetized YouTube videos. There’s a lot of legal jargon on the page, and it’s not all clear-cut, but this is one of the first times Nintendo has officially allowed fans to download and use music from some of its games.
Announcement Pokémon DP Sound Library! 🎶
All the music you love from the original Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games is now available to listen to AND download for use in creating personal videos and music.
& mdash; Pokémon (@Pokemon) February 2, 2022
The web player isn’t ideal, though. It’s pretty buggy and it’s not great at what it does. It’s worth noting that most people don’t go to specific websites when they want to listen to music, just as most people don’t download individual songs and tracks anymore. Streaming music from Spotify and Apple Music has taken over the music industry over the past few years. The Pokémon DP sound library is full of oddities, so it’s disappointing to see that Nintendo still wants to enforce a restraint on the way their music is accessed.
Grooves for the future
Both Shadow and Lee expressed a desire for Nintendo to make its soundtracks more accessible to the average listener. “People who upload Nintendo soundtracks don’t make money from them. We just want [them] available on a public platform. Obviously there is a market for this,” said Shadow. “Their music is so popular, and that’s part of the nostalgia. I’d say more than any other franchise. I don’t understand why they don’t offer their music”. Many creators do not monetize their uploads. Instead, they want to share music and playlists that bring them joy.
“It’s an ethical gray area, but I think it’s amazing that people can store and share this content for decades that would otherwise not be ‘legitimate’ accessible,” Lee said. There’s no good way to listen to many of these songs without launching their games; In some cases, certain tracks cannot be accessed after the game is completed, preventing you from listening to old favorites. Some of these older games are also being lost to history, leading some to see uploading Nintendo music to YouTube as an act of conservation.
When asked if Nintendo would ever do anything to help content creators and playlist makers, Shadow was hopeful, but she was skeptical. “I have been scorned in the past,” she said. “They have a reputation for not being nice to their community. I hope, but not hope. ” She doesn’t mind when other creators re-upload her playlists to YouTube as long as they give her credit.” [the playlists] Free and available to everyone. I didn’t monetize it, so all is well.”
Nintendo has a huge music catalog, and listing it all on a streaming service like YouTube or Spotify is sure to take a long time. However, if single creators like GilvaSunner can sift through them all and upload thousands of their own tracks, then Big N can certainly do the same. Know The glacial speed at which Nintendo operates and the company’s philosophy of replacing old, “withered” technology to create new steps, it’s likely we won’t hear the tunes of Mario or Zelda on consoles. streaming service for a while.
The video game music community is a strong one. It’s a group that has fueled countless music uploaders like GilvaSunner, remixers and record labels like GameChops, content creators like ShadowAtNoon, and developers like Brian Lee to create exciting, creative content based on Nintendo’s unique nostalgic tunes. Fans around the world feel strongly about the company’s music, and it’s a shame there isn’t an easier, more comprehensive way to listen to it. That’s the message I get the most from Shadow and Lee: Nintendo, do something.