clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Are Let's Play videos from PewDiePie and others actually legal?

From the rise of Twitch to the creation of Let's Play superstars like PewDiePie, there's no doubt that videos of people playing games have become incredibly popular. But one important question remains mostly unanswered: Are those videos legal or not?

That's the topic explored in the latest episode of PBS' Game/Show. In the video above, host Jamin Warren explores the complicated issue of whether Let's Play videos could run afoul of copyright law or, on the other hand, whether they might be considered "transformative" in a way that would protect them.

Warren notes that thus far publishers and developers have mostly left Let's Play videos alone because they're often considered good for business. But that could change at any time, at which point both fans and creators of this type of content may need to prepare for a lengthy legal battle to finally help determine if and how these videos are protected.

Your favorite YouTube gaming stars aren't going anywhere any time soon, but this is definitely an important discussion to have, and one that's likely to be increasingly loud in the coming years.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon