Earlier today, Capcom took to social media to announce that they had made new rules to their content creation and streaming policies.
While this doesn’t take away anyone’s ability to stream or make content, it does give add caveats to what Capcom can see as abuse of its intellectual property.
Here’s a step by step breakdown of the new policy and some explanations, Capcom’s official text will be in italics and our break down will be in normal typeset.
NOTE: This is not meant to be viewed as all-encompassing or legal advice, just our interpretation of the guidelines given by Capcom. Please do your independent research to make your own judgement calls on the content you create.
Capcom Video Policy
• Creative Content: You may make walkthroughs, tutorials, Let’s Play, speedruns, reviews, reactions, instructionals, and other “commentary” style videos using our game footage to be shared on YouTube, Twitch.tv, your website, or other video/streaming sites. The associated step-by-step commentary should be tied to the live game play being shown, and should provide instructional or educational value, or other benefits.
BHd: Basically, you’re free to make content using game footage in a variety of uses provided the commentary is tied to the gameplay being shown.
• Game footage posted online: You should not share game footage online without adding your own video or content unless the game console or device permits sharing of game footage. You may not split our game content into components (visual, vocal, in-game elements, etc.) and distribute such components as separate content.
BHd: Unless your limited by your console or device, do your best to add commentary or your own elements to the gameplay footage used.
• Not Official Capcom Video: Fan content may not be promoted as official Capcom content.
BHd: Pretty simple, don’t promote your fan content as official Capcom content.
• Only Capcom Music: Please note that some game soundtracks or songs may not be owned by Capcom, but instead are licensed from an artist or another group. As this varies from game to game, please be aware that music may trigger content flags and potential removal of the video. Game soundtracks may not be posted or distributed separately and apart from game footage.
BHd: Not all music in Capcom games is owned by Capcom so if you use it, you might have to check with other holders of licenses. Also, don’t share soundtracks unless it’s with game footage. Which probably means the actual sections of the game where said music is.
• Audience-Appropriate: All fan-created content should be appropriate for the audience of the Capcom games. For example, if you take game content for younger audience and make it objectionable, we reserve the right to take it down.
BHd: Make age-appropriate content for the specific game. Resident Evil and Devil May Cry can probably elicit some “f-bombs”, but probably not the same is true of something like Ace Attorney.
• Spoilers: Any posting or other unauthorized disclosure of game content prior to a game’s official release is strictly prohibited. Even after an official game release, spoilers can ruin a fan’s experience and we always aim to avoid them. Please be respectful of others and do not deliberately push plot reveals on people who are actively avoiding learning about them; otherwise please offer spoiler disclaimers as a courtesy.
BHd: This is pretty ambiguous as it also speaks on spoilers after a game comes out. Prelaunch spoilers make sense (Dumbledore Dies!), but what counts as a spoiler after release, seems to be up to Capcom’s discretion.
II. No Commercialization
• Non-Commercial Use: We do not allow Capcom content and other materials to be used to make money or to gain any other financial benefit except through permissible monetization described below. You may not limit to paid access, sell, or license your content that includes our game content to others for payment of any kind. In particular, we do not allow you to create new content using our game if a paid subscription is required for people to access our specific content.
BHd: You can’t put Capcom content behind paywalls or use it to make money except in the cases described in the following ways.
• Permissible Monetization: You may monetize through partner programs and/or advertising from YouTube, Twitch, Facebook or other video sharing services. Collecting voluntary contribution, such as through SuperChat on YouTube and Bits on Twitch, is permitted as long as your video is also available for free to the public on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter or other video sharing services.
BHd: You’re free to accept Bits, Super chats, Stars and have Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch supporters, as long as your content is free for public viewing. So no paywalled content, which might be an issue for Twitch streamers that put their VOD content to subscribers only. Also, this may effect Patreon users since most things on Patreon on locked behind tiered paywalls.
III. Impermissible Uses
• Pre-Release Content: Any posting or other disclosure of unofficially released, unauthorized, or leaked video and other leaked content of any kind, in any format, is strictly prohibited. Any publishing of in-game content from sources such as, but not limited to, leaked copies of a game prior to its official release date will be removed. We may authorize pre-release content to a select group for media review or other agreed upon business purposes, accompanied by strict guidelines for any content released prior to the official release date.
BHd: Unless explicitly given permission by Capcom to share before official releases, the sharing of leaked videos, demos, assets, etc is prohibited and said content can (and most likely will) be removed by Capcom.
• Unauthorized Usage: We do not allow usage of or promotion of third-party programs (including hacking, cheating, etc.) or devices that circumvent intended protection of Capcom titles. Additionally, we do not allow Capcom content to be uploaded to a platform for which rights have not been granted (such as in the creation of Twitch emotes featuring Capcom content.)
BHd: This seems to focus mostly on actual hacking and cheating mods for games and not cosmetic mods (which are spoken more on in the next section). They specifically call out using official Capcom assets for Twitch emotes here, but this probably also rings true for Facebook, YouTube, and Discord emotes as well.
• Inappropriate Content: Using Capcom titles to create video and other content, including mods, that is illegal, racist, sexist, prejudicial to sexual orientation, sexually explicit, disparaging, promotes hate crimes, or is otherwise offensive is not tolerated. On a case by case basis, Capcom reserves the right to take down content that is found to be inappropriate or objectionable, at our discretion.
BHd: Pretty self-explanatory, if you make mods or content, be careful with how sexual you make it and don’t be a shithead with topics surrounding your content.
• Video Capture of Capcom Publication: Any posting of video capture of printed or digital books and other printed or digital materials published by Capcom or its licensees, such as but not limited to comic books, game strategy guides, collector’s edition art books (“Capcom Publication”) is prohibited. However, you may use Capcom Publication in unboxing videos provided that no specific content inside Capcom Publication is displayed in the videos.
BHd: This is a weird one honestly, Capcom doesn’t want officially licensed books and materials from them in videos, unless it’s an “unboxing” video. Even in “unboxing” videos, you’re not supposed to show the contents of the materials, just the outsides.
• Reservation. Failure to abide by these video content guidelines may result in Capcom taking action to have your video content removed. Capcom reserves the right to change these policies, at any time and for any reason. Please note that this policy is not exhaustive, and we reserve the right to object to any use of Capcom materials and to remove such objectionable content at our sole discretion.
BHd: Standard legal jargon, this can change at any time, failure to follow the guidelines can run you afoul of Capcom, and they have the final say to remove something they feel misuses their property.
• Effect of Video Policy. Please note this policy is a guideline for using game footage of our titles. It is not intended to be, nor should be considered as, express permission nor an official license or authorization for you to create mods or derivative works of Capcom titles or content.
BHd: This is Capcom not giving anyone expressed permission or a license to use their property, just that if you use game footage this is what you must follow.
• Link to Video Policy. Also, please note that we are unable to address individual requests for clearance, so feel free to share the link to this Capcom Video Policy (https://www.capcom.com/video-policy) with anyone requesting details on our policy. If you receive a violation claim from Capcom directly or through a video/ social media platform and believe this is in error, please submit a notice to the applicable video/ social media platform disputing the violation and we will investigate on the backend.
BHd: Share far and wide so others are aware, if your video is flagged and you haven’t violated any of the policies above, use the platform your on’s appeal feature and Capcom will review.
All in all, most of this is pretty standard as far as the use of IP is concerned, but it does raise some questions from members of the content community and even us here at BHd will have to thoroughly review these policies, do our research, and make decisions on certain content accordingly.
If you’re also a content creator for Capcom IPs we highly suggest you do the same. To read the document for yourself, it can be found here.