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YouTube Takes Down Twilight Eclipse: The 8-Bit Interactive Game

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Updated: Twilight Eclipse: The 8-Bit Interactive Game, a popular series of interactive YouTube (s GOOG) videos that blended Twilight themes with 1980s 8-Bit graphics, has been taken down by YouTube based on a DMCA request by Summit Entertainment, the company that holds the motion picture rights of the Twilight franchise.

The Fine Brothers, who produced theĀ Twilight Eclipse videos, sent us the following comment via email:

“Really this is a poster child type of situation on how disconnected traditional media is to the value of content online, and… how web content at large is unprotected. This is clearly fair use/parody, we took no actual media from Twilight, everything was created from scratch, no different than South Park or Saturday Night Live — but on the web, a big company can just click a button and instantly have content removed with no protection … It’s disappointing for web video and creativity at large.”

Twilight Eclipse made extensive use of YouYube’s annotation feature to give viewers the option of choosing their own adventure. The game received rave reviews from Wired News, the Huffington Post, Kotaku and the U.K.’s Telegraph, among others.

This isn’t the first time YouTube has shut down popular viral videos on behalf of copyright holders. The video site has taken down a number of Hitler parodies that used footage from the 2004 film Downfall, even though copyright activists argued that the usage of the movie’s material is protected by fair use.

We contacted Summit Entertainment and YouTube but haven’t heard back; we will update this post once we do.

Update: Well, that was quick. We just got word from the Fine Brothers that Maker Studios, the company behind The Station for which Twilight Eclipse was produced, has been able to clear things up with Summit Entertainment. The game has been restored and can once again be be viewed / played at YouTube.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Live Event Coverage: Video Rights Roundtable (subscription required)

7 Responses to “YouTube Takes Down Twilight Eclipse: The 8-Bit Interactive Game

  1. You cannot blame YouTube here. They have to defend their safe harbor status. If a creator wants to take personal responsibility for their content they should upload it to their own server where they are legally responsible for their own content.

  2. I’m glad this got resolved. I hate Twilight LOTS and I welcome it’s absence from the social consciousness with open arms, but removing the clips for this game on copyright grounds is infinitely more despicable.

    In cases like these where profit is being generated, Youtube should give split ad revenue between the community members who create the content and the original sources. The reality is, even if it’s only pennies, it’s pennies the makers of Downfall for example would never have known existed before Youtube and it’s users arrived.

    Perhaps the next generation of media management will have a clue? Here’s to hoping…

  3. Copyright and Trademark (if you believe in such legal constructs) are a double edge sword. YouTube really had no option here if Summit made a claim.

    The real question is not whether or not it infringed but what motivated Summit to make such a move. But again, this just demonstrates that copyright can be used for GOOD, or it can be used for EVIL.

    You be the judge of how Summit used it here.


  4. You spelt YouTube wrong, you put YouYube.

    Also Twilight sucks even more now, the Fine Bros have also made excellent videos, without using copyrighted material.