Wii Music Copyright (Here’s what you need to know)

Copyright law is vital to promote new artists and artistic expressions as creators get an avenue that rewards their hard work. Therefore, whether Wii music is copyrighted or not, I understand it is a matter of concern that requires your attention.

So, is Wii music copyrighted? The Wii music is copyrighted. At the moment, there is no evidence showing that permissive licenses released by rightful owners allow free distribution and use. However, there is still some copyright-free Wii music on YouTube that vloggers use to create their content. On the other hand, there is evidence of some videos being taken down due to copyright issues. Most likely, Nintendo submitted a rights claim against such users.

Know whether Wii music is copyrighted is vitally important as using the music could lead to legal issues. Especially if you plan to use Wii music on Twitch and are not sure whether Wii music and other Nintendo game music can be used in this way.

Most content creators on YouTube use Wii music in their videos as background music. This raises a concern about whether Wii music is copyrighted and how these individuals get away if Wii music is protected by copyright.

While Wii music is copyrighted, Nintendo does not consistently enforce their rights on this music simply because they do not want to. In most cases, they receive much backlash from their fans when they enforce the copyright, especially on uses that do not make money.

The excuse is that either way, they will not get any pay from such users. Thus, instead of suffering from being bullies and losing their market, yet they are not getting anything in return, they prefer not to enforce their copyright.

If you are unsure whether a song is copyrighted and you want to use it, it is advisable to do a background check lest you deal with the consequences later after the owner raises a complaint. To check if a song is copyrighted, you can use YouTube, check the copyright trademark, PD, or hire experts to check for you. Alternatively, you can invest your time to understand the law, and you will get the answers you are looking for.

A copyrighted song does not mean that you cannot use it. Instead, you will follow some simple procedures to access these songs for personal use, including determining whether you need permission to use them.

Like finding out the owner and the rights needed and contacting the owner for negotiations where you need to make payment. If approved, it is advisable to have written permission, as this will serve as evidence of the granted permission in future if anyone raises a complaint against you.

The cost of using a copyrighted song will vary depending on the artist. Generally, an upcoming independent artist will charge less than $100, while a major track will cost thousands. In other instances, you will be charged a percentage of the revenue hence the need for good planning.

Is the Nintendo Game Music Copyrighted?

Nintendo is known for being overly protective of its content and IPs, a move that many online users term extreme. Therefore, whether Nintendo game music is copyrighted or not, as part of their protection, is a matter I will address and advise you accordingly if you are interested in using their music in your content.

Nintendo game music is copyrighted and using it without consent from Nintendo is illegal as it violates copyright laws. This is despite the fact that Nintendo does not have an official release of these tracks apart from the games. In fact, there is no official Nintendo music channel on YouTube or Spotify.

This leaves gamers who like Nintendo music on the dry as once blocked, they cannot listen to their favorite tracks. Things might even become worse if those unofficial playlists on Spotify also start to disappear.

Given its copyrights, if you want to use Nintendo music, it would be easier to buy from them, especially for music such as Mario, which Nintendo owns first-party developer rights.

Even then, you should also find out whether Nintendo has a USE license, and, if possible, contact the original author of the song to confirm the kind of license they gave Nintendo over their music. Alternatively, you can contact Nintendo’s Legal department for more details on the license.

Due to the high number of copyright infringements, Nintendo has a partnership program that enables YouTubers to use their property legitimately. However, the rates of utilizing this property is a little high, and most content creators are unwilling to share a percentage of their income with Nintendo. This results in a lot of copyright infringement, especially on YouTube.

In addition to the high costs from Nintendo’s partnership programs, most content creators on YouTube are self-published. This implies that they do not have access to a legal team to guide them on doing things the right way.

In return, most end up breaking the intellectual property laws with the hope of not ever getting caught. This explains why most continue using Nintendo’s game music for free even while the copyright is still there.

Another factor that boosts creators is the fact that safe harbor laws protect YouTube. These laws protect the creators on YouTube by shifting their liability when they infringe Nintendo’s copyright, as long as they perform DMCA takedown of the song when requested.

When you post a new video on YouTube, the companies representing Publishers of Music scan your posts. When they detect a match to the music in their catalog, it will pop a Copyright Infringement Notification. They will then pass this notification to the Poster through YouTube, and the individual responsible must respond.

Generally, the above responses are possible with Per Play money. This money comes from the ads that play in between the videos. When you post a video on YouTube, you have the option to allow ads to play or not. Allowing ads gives you the opportunity to earn from YouTube.

When a person posts copyrighted material, the publishing company will receive the payment instead of the person. This explains why YouTube still runs its ads on infringing content. If your video gets flagged, the “owner” should take it down and revise it while excluding the copyrighted content. If you do not, the revenue from the ads will go to the copyright owner. Also, if you posted a video and did not allow ads on the copyrighted content, YouTube will put ads anyway and let the rightful owner earn.

In a bid to protect its brand, Nintendo started a crackdown in 2019 on its copyrighted music. They began by issuing notices to YouTubers featuring its game music. Over time, Nintendo is blocking more of its soundtracks from YouTube, a move that affected most gaming channels resulting in some shutting down completely.

One of the famous channels affected by this move was GilvaSunner, launched in 2010. Even after amassing more than 860 million views, uploading soundtracks without a license made Nintendo issue a copyright claim against them. The fact that Nintendo does not offer alternatives for fans to purchase soundtracks and stream through legitimate platforms is a disappointment to most users.

This explains why most fans flock to channels like e GilvaSunner. However, some people still feel some other matters could have resulted in their shut down. Another channel that received a similar treatment is BrawlBRSTMS3 X, after receiving copyright notices from Nintendo.

With the above limitations, individuals can only hope that to control the increasing unofficial streams, Nintendo will eventually set up an official music platform for its customers to stream on Spotify or for downloads through iTunes.

Time will tell, but it is worth observing Nintendo’s guidelines to be safe in the meantime. Last year, Nintendo launched Nintendo Creators Program (NCP) to allow approved creators to use its music in exchange for a slice of their profit, but they closed this shortly after.

Can I play Wii Music on Twitch?

With an increase in DMCA takedowns and bans after the third strike, it is worth securing your channel by following the terms of service on Twitch. Sharing any copyrighted music or material on a live stream can land you in trouble which is why you should take caution.

Twitch requires you to play DMCA safe music, that is, any Wii music that is copyright free or you own the rights to play. Thus, some Wii music may not qualify on this platform. However, you can play copyright-free Wii music if you get a license from the owner.

If you do not have the rights, you can also get them from the proper sources. You can also play most of the instruments in Wii music on Twitch using simple motions with the Nunchuk controllers and Wii remote.

Without the above rights, a content creator or streamer risks their livelihood. As a prudent creator, you should monetize your channel without fearing that they might be taken down or demonetized in future due to copyrighted material.

Given that almost all music today is copyrighted, the concern remains what you are using the music for and whether you will get caught. For instance, playing 100 tracks without a license will result in a strike. This is because this music company wants payment and playing their music without a license is stealing.

On the other hand, if you play animal crossing, you are not likely to get a strike. This is because Nintendo’s purpose for the song was gaming, and they will view this positively. However, playing an unrelated Wii music on Twitch will result in a strike since Nintendo probably did not invest their money only for the song to play on a COD game.

Despite the above limitations, you can get your way by using labels such as Bensound and NCS. These labels allow you to play their music for free as long as you give their attribution. On the other hand, some sources do not care, and you can play their songs for free without getting a strike.

For instance, you are likely to get away with an old video game track even when you are not playing the game, as most of these companies tend to ignore these old games and focus more on the new releases. Even then, you should avoid playing remixes without permission. This is because the person who did the mix could copy strike you.

Finally, while you might get away with the above possibilities while playing Wii music on Twitch, it is advisable to stick to the rules. This is given that there is so much royalty-free music available on the pretzel, NCS, streambeats and Bensound that the risk is not worth it. Pretzel and Monstercat support you to ensure your music is DMCA safe without being disadvantageous to the musician who created it.

To access music on Monstercat, you will need to download their app and access thousands of songs plus a license to use them in your independent content. The Monstercat player also features a Monstercat Gold that allows an independent content creator on YouTube or Twitch to monetize their account while supporting the artist through the subscription.

On the other hand, the Pretzel music player gives users more than 5000 safe tracks to use. All you need to do is download the app, and your subscription will come with the Pretzel Premium. The money you pay will directly go to the artist and support them as you boost your content with their music.

Thus, while you may find the above options on Twitch to be a bit tasking, failure to follow the DMCA rules will limit your capacity to monetize your content and may cause greater losses in the long run. Other disadvantages include your videos getting muted, takedown notices from the music owners and account suspension.

Wrap Up

If you are a content creator, finding out whether the music you want to include in your content is copyrighted is vital for a successful career. Wii Music is copyrighted, but content creators can still use them, especially on YouTube. This is probably because Nintendo does not want to lay claims on such music.

On the other hand, the Nintendo game music is copyrighted, and before you can use it, you should contact them for rights. Equally, you cannot play Wii music on Twitch unless you have the right. Thus, to be safe, you should comply with DMCA standards to prevent them from shutting down your channel. Alternatively, use other options like Pretzel and Monstercat, which ensures both the song owner and content creator benefit every time the song plays.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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