Nintendo and its lawyers had a very busy 2020 in terms of defending intellectual properties, especially when it came to Super Smash Bros. However, with Ultimate being the celebration of gaming that it is other studios are now filing similar claims on the same grounds.
In the past Nintendo has spread its legal efforts to pursue action against almost everything it considers to be copyright infringement, from ROM sites that facilitate playing old emulated games, work done by my modders and even Super Smash Bros. tournaments. Of course, music is another realm in which Nintendo is overly zealous to defend its property rights.
Now it looks like other game companies are starting to borrow a page out of Nintendo’s playbook, as Square Enix and Atlus have filed for similar strikes against the YouTube channel 31 Horas Music. The channel, which happens to be one of the most popular uploaders of Super Smash Bros. music, recently made a post explaining that their Final Fantasy 7 and Persona videos in the channel would now be hidden, though not removed, due to “Copyright issues.”
On their YouTube site, 31 Horas Music goes further in explaining the situation which dates back to 2018–even before the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate–when the previous channel was closed for sharing music from the game. In the past, both Square and Atlus’s have also resulted in several YouTube being permanently closed, though the post clarifies that this is not enough to force the channel to shut down under new YouTube policies.
If there is one point in favor of Square Enix and Atlus’ stand on this situation, it’s that these two studios have at least made it easier for fans to enjoy the original soundtracks of popular franchises like Final Fantasy and Persona by uploading them to Spotify and other popular music streaming services. Nintendo on the other hand remains reluctant to do this in any way, shape or form, instead having most of its beloved music locked away in rare official releases.
Finally, it bears saying that the 31 Horas Music YouTube channel is still almost fully operational featuring a vast collection of video game soundtracks, even from recent titles like Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Despite all this the channel warns more copyright claims could follow in the future, because just like the Phantom Thieves one truly can never see them coming.
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