If you’re a YouTube content creator hoping to share plays or other videos on EarthBound, the cult classic SNES RPG, you might want to think twice.
Over the past two weeks, reports have poured in from YouTube users who say their EarthBound-based videos are being copyrighted by Sony. In some cases, Sony is reported to have claimed advertising revenue for the video in question; in others, the videos appear to have been deleted entirely.
As is often the case with YouTube, the reason for this is the game’s music. While Nintendo still owns the EarthBound / Mother brand in terms of video games and the franchise as a whole, the game’s soundtrack has been released in as a studio album in 1989 under Sony’s CBS / Sony music label, which basically means that any piece of the music featured on that record can be claimed by the company.
Many YouTube users have taken to social media to express their displeasure with Sony’s decision to remove their content, in hopes of finding a way to restore their work. Videos will undoubtedly be flagged automatically, with the soundtrack being part of Sony’s catalog, so unless Sony decides to manually excuse affected videos in the future, it may be unwise to include in-game music. in any future content.
Thanks to Abdul for the advice!