In the wake of a massive hype wave following the latest The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer, Nintendo has seemingly ratched up the number of rogue copyright claims it puts out against content creators on Youtube, and at least one of them is hitting back. In his latest video, Eric “PointCrow” Morino pleaded with Nintendo to leave his channel alone after it recently issued dozens of additional claims against his videos.
“Please remove these strikes and claims or at least start a dialogue with us so we can all move forward with the excitement I’m sure you would love to see about your future games,” Morino said in a video to Nintendo posted on YouTube on April 14 that he said was vetted by his lawyer. The request comes after the Switch manufacturer apparently doubled down on issuing copyright claims and strikes against Morino’s channel, increasing the total number to 28, including ones against older videos that had nothing to do with Breath of the Wild, like one about Wii Sports.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Nintendo first began targeting the Zelda speedrunner’s YouTube channel on April 6 after he uploaded footage of a Breath of the Wild multiplayer mod he commissioned and released to the public. Despite making videos featuring challenge runs and other modded content for years, it appeared to be the first time Nintendo signaled it took any sort of issue with the content. Morino posted about it on Twitter at the time, criticizing the move and calling on the publisher to reverse its decision.
He now says Nintendo has done the opposite, proceeding to copyright claim over 20 additional videos spanning his entire content making career. While most of them included the word “mod” in the title, at least one contained just vanilla gameplay with commentary. “These takedowns may have started with modded content, but they’ve spiraled into something else entirely,” Morino said in his latest video.
On April 23, another Zelda Youtuber, Croton, said 10 of their streams and two of their videos were “nuked” from the platform. “No answers, no context, just a copyright removal,” they tweeted. “And one of these videos has literally nothing to do with mods and was simply a Zelda challenge run.”
In his own video, Morino accuses Nintendo of flouting its content creator guidelines to target him, and defends his modded Breath of the Wild runs, which have collectively garnered tens of millions of views and helped maintain excitement around a game that’s now six years old. “To be clear I have never encouraged piracy of Nintendo’s games,” he said. “The mods I’ve commissioned are not being sold, and all of the code is custom, meaning they are free of Nintendo’s assets.”
At the exact time when many content creators are gearing up for a massive influx of interest from fans and viewers ahead of the release of Tears of the Kingdom next month, Morino’s now weary of making content for the game at all, lest the arbitrary copyright claims continue. “This is a little scary because the precedent that they set with this case may apply heavily for their upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” he said. “As per their decisions to take down challenge and gameplay videos alongside the modded content it will be difficult for any content creator to post creative concepts without having the fear of Nintendo exercising their copyright over video that is in line with their own policies.”
Morino initially planned to appeal the copyright claims, defending his videos on fair use grounds, but he now says those legal efforts could cost millions and could jeopardize the future of his over 1.6 million subscriber YouTube channel. He recently tweeted, “it’s hard to become excited for Tears of the Kingdom when the Zelda community is being nuked off YouTube.”