Microsoft Game Usage Rules Could Impact Evo, FGC Streams


Microsoft recently substantiated their copyright rules, for those interested in doing Let’s Play or streaming content, on their Xbox website. A lot of it makes basic sense; make sure to credit Microsoft, don’t sell access to the content commercially and don’t try to actively promote breaking the game or its engine. It’s mostly fair, as Microsoft does have a reputation to maintain with its titles. However, one oversight may need special treatment or re-wording in order to be fairer to the fighting game community.

As noticed by Shoryuken, certain stipulations in the Microsoft copyright rules may have a deep cut on the fighting game community and its competitive gaming streams, both popular and not.

"Except as described here, you can’t sell or otherwise earn any compensation from your Item, including through advertisements in the Item. This means you  can’t charge money in exchange for your Item, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees to view the Item, or post it on a page you use to sell other items or services(even if they have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft). You also can’t use Game Content in an app that you sell in an app store.You may make your Item available on Youtube or Twitch and participate in programs on those sites that allow you to earn revenue from ads displayed in connection with your Item.If the Item you create and distribute is a free app, then you must distribute it for free (you can’t charge for it), and you also can’t earn any money from advertising in that app."

More from Microsoft

Their interpretation of this points to the fact that Microsoft now has in writing that partner-specific Youtube and Twitch programs are the only way the games company will let users gain revenue from their games. Unfortunately, tournaments like Evo and major weeklies often get publicly-displayed advertisements that intend to sell gaming products, which would be in contradiction to the newly-minted rules. Most FGC streams are already in violation from Microsoft by not getting authorization in the first place, but now there are further violations that could complicate things.

Furthermore, while it’s not absolutely required to view content, Twitch subscriptions could be considered charging money for viewing content that includes Twitch chat, adding a further problem that may be affected. However, it’s up to Microsoft whether or not to enforce these rules. They are there for liability’s sake, and with the Xbox 360 being the official console of choice for Evo 2014, it’s not like Microsoft and the FGC are strictly on bad terms.

The hope is that the changes are intended for Let’s Plays and regular streamers, and not as a pre-emptive counter to Sony and their Street Fighter partnership with Capcom.

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