Ep. 304 - Genre-Paul Sartre, with Ash Parrish

@“Hunter”#p132604 You‘re right that this kind of playstyle would work great with tennis-styled gameplay, but I think it’d be interesting to see that in more contexts beyond being strictly tennis-themed. It makes me think of Reverse Woman of Human Ball, where it‘s like an extreme version of the “keep up” game kids play with balloons at parties or blow-up balls on the beach. Having to similarly navigate a space while guiding the ball with tennis controls – and indeed, not “defeating” but “reacting” to enemies who interfere as a tennis opponent would, or otherwise utilizing them to help navigate the ball in ways you couldn’t do alone – I feel like there's an exciting, realistically interesting game in this

This may not be a popular view, but I think it’s totally ok if someone who has created a work wants to prevent others from using it in their own ‘content’. Monetised or otherwise.

As someone who makes money from things you might see / hear / play, I have felt personally irked on the (admittedly rare) occasions when some “content creator” has used my work out of context as part of something that is presented and perceived as _their_ work. Even when I’ve been given credit. Even when it’s not a money thing. Make your own stuff.

I’d be 100% fine if YouTube et al banned all works that were not 100% original (unless explicit permission has been given for any lifted or re-purposed work). Wouldn’t happen but I’d support it.

@“billy”#p132632 Not a fan of early De La Soul then?

@“tomjonjon”#p132643 If this ‘De La Soul’ person (whoever that is) has ‘sampled’ any of my works, please let me know so that I can inform my legal team.

Good ep! I liked the energy going on there.

I had been thinking myself of how you would create a non-violent (or maybe non-combat) game set in Elden Ring and was trying to think what would be ideal. I think it would be very cool to have an RPG running around in there but you get to "talk to the creatures"¹ instead of kill them. I haven't come up with anything good yet tho! I'm just very onboard the non-combat game train cause its weird fighting is the default. Basketball would certainly mechanically be there and pretty cool!

[size=4]the tim thing obvs. He's not the only one to think of non-violent games but he's better equipped to explain it! [/size]

@“billy”#p132632 Definitely a hot take which I always appreciate even if I can't get on board!

I think one of the only interesting (to me) things going on in YouTube is the ability to create thorough representative critical/historical/etc. analysis of visual works. While it's possible to talk about a movie or a game using only the written word, when it comes to close examination it's so much more efficient and effective to be able to demonstrate what you're talking about as you're talking about it. It's one thing to say, "this is one of the most beautiful shots in film" and then describe the shot, but it takes it to a whole different level to be able to say "this is one of the most beautiful shots" and then show people what the shot looks like and then discuss why you think that.

This also works very well for music. I don't know almost anything about music theory but I am trying to learn and [one of my favorite YouTube channels](https://www.youtube.com/@12tone) is about taking popular songs and then breaking down individual parts/instruments to analyze why they work, what they do unexpectedly, etc. This would technically be possible via writing everything out, but it's much harder to grasp if you're just trying to play the song on your own and read along and put the two together.

Also, I suppose, as soon as you start drawing lines when it comes to Fair Use it can get pretty sticky as to where the line should be. Like, even for literature, would it not be allowed to quote passages from a book that you're attempting to do a close-read analysis of? Or even if you don't sample a song or show a clip from a movie, would it be all right to quote a lyric from a song or a line from a movie to discuss why you think it's good? If this is allowed, why that and not the more direct examples?

But of course I'm biased here. I've never made a video game, I can't write a song, and almost the only movies I've made were short films for assignments in film school. But I have written and read thousands and thousands of words analyzing media and watched who knows how many hours doing the same. And what I've read and watched has enriched my appreciation in ways that often far exceed the experience I had in the moment.

Although I do think there's an interesting argument to be made about what constitutes analysis. If No Commentary Let's Plays of an entire game were on the chopping block (as mentioned in the ep), I think you would be hard-pressed to make any kind of Fair Use justification for their existence.

@“Coffinwarehouses”#p132653 I’m not saying this type of content shouldn’t exist, just that any work that piggybacks on someone else’s should be subject to permission from the original creator. If you use someone’s work in a place they don’t want it used, it’s fair if they ask for it to be removed.

Example: I made a thing for a well-known media organisation on the basis that every time they use the thing, I get some money. Without this agreement and this specific context for its use, the work wouldn’t exist. I don’t work for free. The media organisation agreed and the quality and value of the thing were such that when it gets used, I get paid.

The thing I made then became popular with YouTubers for a little while. They all made money, grew their audiences and improved their reputations based on works that included my thing.

I spoke to them and asked for my work to be removed. Some did so immediately without issue. Some argued that removing my work would require them to re-write, re-edit and in some cases would completely invalidate their work. I said that was the point. One tried to use a rambling fair-use/journalism/archival justification for his bullshit meme prank video.

Some of these streamers and YouTubers think they’re making real, important stuff when more than 50% of what you can see and hear in their work has been lifted from others without their knowledge.

@“billy”#p132659 I think that a big issue with your solution is that I think negative criticism is also extremely valuable in forwarding artistic development. So if whether or not something could exist depended on the creator‘s permission it would very quickly turn into a thing where the majority of creators would allow works that talked about how good what they did is to stay up, but anything negative would get taken down. And then the whole thing sort of falls apart again. Right away everyone knows that you’re essentially “not allowed” to say anything negative about a piece of media, so the authority of anyone who makes analysis is inherently suspect (“but is that how they really feel?”). Then pretty much everyone would stop doing it, because even if you really liked a thing the fear that you put a bunch of work into something thoughtful, thorough, etc. only for the people (or, worse, the distributing company) who made it to decide what you said wasn't positive enough and then make it disappear.

@“Coffinwarehouses”#p132665 Isn’t that kind of what already happens? If I made a YouTube video full of Hypothetical Media Property clips talking about how it stinks and how the people responsible are terrible, isn’t it more likely that I’d receive a takedown request than if I made a video talking about how great it is and how I love everything about its creators?

Also, if I made a TV show about how _Hypothetical Media Property_ sucks, I’d still need permission to use footage from it.

People are free to make all the _content about content_ that they like, but if they want to use parts of the content itself (outside some kind of genuinely important journalistic context), I strongly feel that the creators of that content should be allowed to veto the use thereof.

@“exodus”#p132456 Trebek was bilingual. His mom was a Franco-Ontarian. I think he knew full well it was ridiculous in English, but did it nonetheless to please his French side.

There is “veto” and then there is “pursue a prison sentence because somebody spoiled the ending of a game released in 2011”


@“billy”#p132671 Also, if I made a TV show about how Hypothetical Media Property sucks, I’d still need permission to use footage from it.

Isn't this textbook fair use, meaning you would not need permission, though? Fair use is covered by use that is limited and transformative, and I think criticism of stuff, especially in video form, is usually used in a pretty limited fashion. Taking capture footage of a movie or TV show and putting bits and pieces of it in your video essay doesn't, like, actually represent that movie or TV show, it's just being shown as an audiovisual aid to enhance the viewer's experience.

Criticism is really more alike in purpose to journalism in the sense that you are entering something into the public record, even if what you're entering into the public record is kinda just your opinion about something.

I might even go so far as to say that parody can be harder to justify as fair use than criticism, since parody often by its nature is hard to argue as limited and/or transformative.

I think it's probably the case that, yeah, copyright holders probably do dole out takedown requests against criticism that is negative, but, I think it's also fair to say that this is an intentional bad faith abuse of the takedown request process, not a legitimate expression of a copyright holder's lawfully defended intellectual property rights. So the point is kind of moot.

...that being said, I'm only nitpicking about this one particular aspect of what you said. I have little love for intellectual property law, but, in the context of modern day capitalism, it's something small independent artists such as yourself absolutely depend on, and the examples you gave certainly do not sound like their use of your intellectual property was limited or transformative. And, I'd say, using something within fair use for the purposes of criticizing it should imply that the media you're creating is primarily focused on being criticism, and even about criticizing the particular things you're using under fair use, for it to be considered fair use. Like, if they took a moment to talk about how your song sucks in the middle of their meme prank video, that doesn't even being to get close to qualifying as fair use, just because it was momentarily critical of what was being argued as "fair use." Or maybe a more complex angle, if you made a video essay about criticizing music of a certain genre, and carefully identified the specific subjects of criticism that receive the most attention in your critique, but you neglect to do so for music you use as intro or outro music, it doesn't count as fair use, just because it's contained within a larger body of criticism that is only indirectly about it because it's about its genre.

I suppose in a far more ideal world, the livelihood of artists would not depend on their works being seen or heard beyond a certain threshold, or it would not be possible to oneself disproportionately benefit from the work of other people. But, we don't live in that world, so, I don't even think your point about your intention straightforwardly being to invalidate the work of people who hijacked your work, is a harsh one.


@“MovingCastles”#p132415 When Pacifist Dark Souls was mentioned my brain immediately conjured a game where you’re at a large family gathering and you have to dodge and parry extended family members or else they lock you into awkward small talk.

north american redneck thanksgivings are exactly like dark souls too

  • - blighted, decaying setting where you explore each room for shortcuts to exit
  • - parry political conversations
  • - spec into endurance to avoid food poisoning damage (or play as Deprived aka vegetarian)
  • - heal by sipping busch lite from your estus flask (in a camouflage coozie)
  • - stain your pants on pine resin
  • - save by shooting off bottle rockets in the backyard
  • [URL=https://i.imgur.com/Poph5K4.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/Poph5K4.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    It'd be great if copyright law actually encouraged collaboration and the dispersal of credit where it is due and profit sharing, rather than stifle all of that.

    I myself had a near, half-sort-of run-in with intellectual property rights. I was once a graduate student in music composition, and part of completing my Masters involved writing a substantial work for a large/major ensemble. I wrote a piece for a large contemporary chamber ensemble, which was based on the school's contemporary music ensemble that year, so it was a rag-tag bunch, including two extremely talented sopranos.

    So, I took some poetry that I thought was evocative and suitable for the kind of piece I wanted to write, and went about setting it to music. I put a lot of thought and energy and emotion into it, and felt that I was writing something that was deeply intertwined with the poetry. What I'd done is write a piece that was kind of like, two contrasting pieces that drifted in and out from each other, dove tailing, clashing, then crashing together at the end. Each of the two sopranos was the soloist in their own "piece" within the piece, and because of that, I used two different poems.

    I was more or less done my Masters thesis piece when my composition coach suddenly realized I had a serious problem on my hands: the poems I picked were by Sylvia Plath, and they had just then remembered that, Sylvia Plath's works were _not yet_ in the public domain. As well, even though it _was_ entering the public domain, it would be the year _after_ I was submitting the thesis. Furthermore, even though it _was_ for a non-commercial purpose, apparently the Plath estate can be _very_ protective of her work, they or some publisher or something might try everything they can to not let it go into the public domain somehow anyway.

    My professor didn't exactly force me to do this, but, he made it exceptionally clear that there was an inherent risk to my academic or even artistic career to putting on a public performance of music with text written by Sylvia Plath. Even if the chance was truly remote, it could have caused problems for the school if someone from her estate somehow found it based on some program notes that ended up on the faculty website, or something.

    So... one of the last things I did while writing that piece was to literally just keep the music the same and just re-write the poems myself lol. Intellectual property crisis averted, I guess.

    whoah, last year my whole family was sick for a week and while my wife and kids were watching all of great british bake off I was playing mario picross. I’ve only ever played that game while watching that show.


    @“Gaagaagiins”#p132799 It’d be great if copyright law actually encouraged collaboration and the dispersal of credit where it is due and profit sharing, rather than stifle all of that.

    Music works more or less that way - you can record and release a cover version of any song if you pay a set licence fee and share the proceeds according to a pre-defined scale. You don’t need permission at all, although you generally still ask for the original songwriter’s blessing as a courtesy. They can’t actually stop you though.


    @"gsk"#p132769 There is “veto” and then there is “pursue a prison sentence because somebody spoiled the ending of a game released in 2011”

    This is true and I don’t disagree with it, although I’m not sure how Japanese law works. Are the penalties set in stone, and does pursuing a copyright claim automatically open the accused to any penalty the court sees fit, whether or not the copyright holder specifically pushes for it? Genuinely don’t know. If this _is_ the case, it kind of sucks for both sides.

    _edit: reading the original japanese article suggests that the prison term is a suspended sentence, meaning the person won’t actually go to prison if they don’t commit another crime within five years. a lot of the english language reporting seems to skip over this part._

    I'm listening to this episode as I play Picross, as I do nearly every week, and the discussion on the pronunciation of Picross gave me enough shivers that I made a mistake in a puzzle then wrote this post to express my sadness.


    @“billy”#p132808 edit: reading the original japanese article suggests that the prison term is a suspended sentence, meaning the person won’t actually go to prison if they don’t commit another crime within five years. a lot of the english language reporting seems to skip over this part.

    That's interesting. Westerners might be more familiar with the term probation than they might be with the term suspended sentence, for what it's worth.

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p132827 aaaah. suspended sentences are pretty common in the uk too. it never really occurred to me that it was the same as probation in the us.