YouTube’s broken copyright system is nothing new.
We’re all well aware of how ContentID is an overzealous automated system that flags content regardless of circumstance, sometimes to the point of claiming somebody’s original music on behalf of an unrelated company that has NO claim to the original work. We know how the “takedown” system allows companies to silence critics and abuse DMCA rules for the pursuit of grudges.
It throws open the floor for a lot of debate. What classifies as Fair Use? Do copyright laws need updating? At what point does gameplay footage qualify as theft of intellectual property? Should it ever?
The irony of these discussions is that they focus almost entirely on Let’s Plays – videos that feature a personality playing and commenting on whole segments of games. In my experience, it’s rarely the Let’s Play material that gets claimed, but the stuff that is even easier to argue as Fair Use.