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Developer forms group to fight YouTube copyright claims

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A new organization has been formed to help streamline the copyright process for makers of Let's Play videos on YouTube.

WhoLetsPlay is a non-profit group being formed by game developer Lars Doucet, co-founder of Level Up Labs, whose work includes Defender's Quest and Tourette's Quest. The organization is named after a Twitter hashtag, used during the recent YouTube copyright sweep that affected thousands of video game based video on YouTube.

WhoLetsPlay is seeking to centralize information about games companies and how they treat content creators who use video game footage to create reports, walkthroughs, reviews and Let's Plays for free distribution.

It is also working with legal experts to formulate a boilerplate copyright note for contracts that will alleviate the recent rush of music rights companies making bogus or erroneous claims against video-makers.

"WhoLetsPlay aims to solve these issues for the community," Doucet told Polygon. "We want to create standardized licensing terms that can be a stand-alone rider, or a paragraph of some sort you can copy-paste into existing music agreements."

Doucet has registered the WhoLetsPlay url and is looking for volunteers who can lend expertise or help.

"The website will have some standard legal language that will be available to everyone to use, and educate them on these legal minefields in a simple and clear way," he said. "We'd also like to create some badges, much like creative commons does, that go along with the license materials, which developers can use to advertise what legal ground they stand on, advertising that their music is safe to use."

Some music licensing companies like TuneCore and Indmusic have faced criticism for chasing advertising revenues for videos featuring music that they claim as copyrighted, but is not.

The website will also offer advice and will feature a "Known Bad Actors" list naming third party content licensors with a reputation for being aggressive with Content ID. "We can warn developers and musicians not to work with them," said Doucet. "It could be useful to know if doing business with someone is likely to get your fans in trouble."