Hello everyone, 2 more weeks of active work have flown by, and you are reading the second Corsairs Legacy development diary (full diary video). Today we made a playlist on the Corsairs Legacy official YouTube channel, where we'll add new videos about the development, which will allow you to see the complete list of already available videos on the topic in a convenient format. We also made a playlist with all original game soundtracks, which we’ll be talking about later.
In today’s video, we’ll tell you about challenges that Twitch and YouTube content creators face, and why game developers should choose background music in their games more carefully, not only to capture the atmosphere, but also to avoid copyright issues.
If we hadn’t created the Save the Pirate channel, we wouldn’t understand all the troubles of making gaming content as a streamer. If you notice, streamers often play games with calm music in the background, instead of the original game soundtracks.
Game studios often purchase the license for using full soundtracks in their product. That license doesn’t include the right to use audio content for other authors on social networks.
Nowadays, big internet media platforms pay special attention to the legal aspect of published content. YouTube, Twitch, TikTok are checking every uploaded video’s audio track and making sure that audio is legally used. Most of the time, game developers don’t know about this aspect or decide to not purchase the license, thus not allowing players to freely use the in-game background music in their videos.
As game developers, we purchase all soundtracks and sound effects on special platforms and we haven’t encountered issues with right of use on YouTube. In February 2021 we released Save the Pirate: Sea Story for PC on Steam. By the way, you can download the game for free, for those who want to play it, we posted the link in the first pinned comment. One of the popular let’s players complimented our game, while pointing out the only flaw about background music. He had to turn it off – YouTube notified him that he had to own a license for the soundtrack that we used in the game.
At that time, due to large amounts of projects and tasks, we didn’t take that fact seriously. But, two months later, we faced the same problem on our channel. A week after our first stream on the Save the Pirate channel, where we showed the gameplay of the Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail, we received 2 copyright claims for the soundtracks that were playing during the stream.
Copyright claims can have 3 types of consequences:
- Author of audio content could get all revenue from your video’s monetization;
- Certain content on the channel could adversely affect its status;
- Access to the content could be restricted.
Major music portals with background soundtracks charge third parties for the ability to make content with purchased soundtracks. When developers buy a basic license, monetization of all videos with the game content goes to music portals. For let’s players and streamers, monetization is the main source of income, that’s why such restrictions make it very difficult to prepare the content and don’t allow to capture the game’s atmosphere without the original audio track.
Before the release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Project Red informed the audience about the special option that can disable all music that has license restrictions. This option only keeps the original music, made exclusively for Cyberpunk 2077. That allows players to freely make any videos on the game without the fear of being restricted by video services.
We carefully studied the claim from the right holders of the background music from Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail. Audio tracks are owned by AudioNetwork. After registering an account on AudioNetwork, we found the audio track from the claim in the database. When purchasing an audio track, the service offers a number of licenses, where a license with the ability to post content on social networks is significantly more expensive than a license with the ability to use track only in one product. It seems like the developers bought the basic license. We received the claim a week after we published the video. Apparently, AudioNetwork staff check every YouTube video that contains the music from their database manually, and make individual decisions about copyright.
Having dealt with the claim, we remembered a comment about Save the Pirate: Sea Story from the let’s player. We had to study the service’s licenses, where we were buying the music. It turned out that according to the standard license we have a right to make content only within our YouTube channel. Thus, streamers and let’s players faced a problem where an audio recording entity was taking all monetization from videos about Save the Pirate: Sea Story.
We uploaded all purchased audio files on YouTube and saw that all of them had copyright restrictions. Unfortunately, we figured that out 2 weeks before publishing a teaser for Corsairs Legacy. At that moment, there was already a draft of the teaser with one of the purchased soundtracks. And we already used the music for the Pirate Battleship section on the site.
We had to quickly decide what to do next. We didn’t want to restrict the ability to create content about Corsairs Legacy. So, it was decided to follow a path of Cyberpunk 2077 and make our own music that wouldn’t have limitations on the use.
Popular in the CIS countries YouTube blogger quickly make a soundtrack for the teaser and Pirate Battleship game on CorsairsLegacy.com. He made two soundtracks for the Pirate Battleship game, smoothly blending with each other. The first soundtrack is played when you place ships, and the second one starts to play at the beginning of a match. In the first days of the release, the game had another purchased soundtrack. We promptly made changes to the site, working on the functionality.
While preparing audio for the announcement, we started to work on background music for the game. We made 3 original quality compositions that will let players fully enjoy the world of pirate romanticism and to feel nostalgia from the experience in game battles.
We already used one of the tracks as a background music in devlog video №1, and it’s also playing in the background in this video. This soundtrack will be playing while you’re within the city.
This soundtrack will be playing when you’re in the jungle, we mixed it with another audio track of nature sounds that is already in the game.
Another soundtrack for battles is already made.
Did you like the soundtracks? Share your opinions in the video comments. If you have friends that like games about pirates – don’t forget to share this new video about Corsairs Legacy with them, we would be very grateful.
A video version of this devlog is available on YouTube by link.
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