Sega has moved to deny claims that it was responsible for a vast number of content ID matches being issued against Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay footage on YouTube this week.
With a fan backlash building momentum as the news circulated various fan forums and websites, the company took to social media earlier to reassure fans that the agency responsible for sending out the copyright claims was, in fact, not acting under its authorisation, and vowed to put an end to the matter.
YouTube user Yoshiller Bradley was hit particularly badly by the claims, with over 100 of his videos being claimed for his use of a five-second sample of Sonic music. While the content ID matches didn’t bring videos offline, they did render their creators unable to monetize them. Bradley was amongst the first people Sega responded to directly with regards to the issue:
After affected users had inundated Sega with angry messages via its contact form, the company replied with the following statement on Wednesday: “In North America and Europe we typically will not take action on YouTube videos or similar content. Monetization of Youtube videos is not something we consider, but we will demand the removal of any leaked footage as well as content that uses our properties in a malicious or inappropriate way.”
However, that statement prompted speculation that Sega of Japan may have been responsible for hiring e-License to act on its behalf, due to its exclusion of the company’s Japanese arm. That speculation was given some weight when Sega composer Tomoya Ohtani was quoted as saying that the company “had signed an agreement with e-License on digital music distribution”, and warned users not to use Sega music in their videos.
However, Sega’s tweet thankfully confirms that, despite whatever agreement they have in place, they had not instructed e-License to issue such claims en masse. The company also reassured video creators that it has their back over the matter:
Since Sega’s official statements earlier, a number of video creators have confirmed that their e-License content ID matches have vanished, with their videos eligible to be monetized once again.