Updated: Twilight Eclipse: The 8-Bit Interactive Game, a popular series of interactive YouTube 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 the 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.
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