A company by the name of Alloy Inc is claiming copyright on SWTOR videos, particularly those shared on YouTube and as such, creating a stir in the SWTOR community. Several users have posted in the forums and on Reddit about these claims of copyright ownership and there was no official word from EA/BioWare on the matter.
This leads to speculation and even more speculation which has some players believing it’s all a scam and others who think the company is trying to shut down user videos of SWTOR. Why would EA do this when the players are promoting the game for them (and for free)?
Well again, it leads to loads of questions but we also have to remember that if Alloy Inc is under legal contract from EA to handle marketing for sites like YouTube, then they may have reason to claim copyright on the videos since they can legally represent the copyright holder.
But then again, some of the reports are saying that said they are the copyright holder, not that they represent them and they are not asking people to remove the videos but rather they are claiming ad space on the videos since they say they own some or part of the content in the videos.
So is this a case of EA not asking for the videos to be pulled but actually looking for more money from the advertising on the videos that contain SWTOR content?
Still another point to consider is that in many of these cases, the messages are sent out automatically by YouTube and are based on similarly flagged content. In more than 99% of the cases, they are just letting you know, based on pattern recognition, not on the actually company manually flagging the content.
Really it seems the biggest problem is all the speculation and the fact that fans who are just trying to share their love of the game feel as if they are being reprimanded by a company that seemingly has nothing to do with EA/BioWare. It would be nice to get some official word on the issue.
SWTOR forum report
RT @WeeMadAggie: Uhm why is YouTube claiming my SWTOR screencap video is copyrighted by something called Alloy Inc? And how do I fix that?
— Josh Tarle (@joshtarle) April 28, 2012
About Alloy Inc
Alloy has its eye on the next generation. Through its Alloy Media + Marketing division, the company provides advertising and marketing services for online and print media, designed to help customers reach the attractive yet elusive youth market of people between the ages of 10 and 24. Its Alloy Entertainment develops TV shows (Gossip Girl), while its Alloy Digital broadcasts content online, including original, sponsored Web series (Private). In addition, the company’s Channel One TV network broadcasts daily newscasts and educational videos at junior and senior high schools across the country. Investment firm ZelnickMedia Corporation owns Alloy.Warner Bros. Television Group is buying Alloy Entertainment.
While it’s certainly possible and even probably that EA would hire a marketing company to handle their web presence and possible misrepresentation of such, this company doesn’t seem to be related in any way so it’s quite odd. The 10-24 year old range is not exactly the target market for SWTOR.
But there could be a connection that explains it all. One of the board of directors at EA, Geraldine Laybourne, is the chairman of Alloy Inc – “a private media company”. So it’s quite possible that EA did hire this company to assist with their marketing efforts and that this is creating the confusion.