08 October 2009

YouTube Partner Experiment

Since we first started created machinima using the Source Engine we began sending emails to Valve trying to clarify their stance on machinima and copyright issues.

We have sent multiple emails multiple times to every email address we could find on their website and...nothing. Never any response of any kind after months and months and many emails.

Well, to be completely truthful we did get a response two times. Both times is was an auto-generated response about how Valve is not able to respond to all their emails, or I guess you could read in that "Valve does not respond to any emails ever, but thanks for using our email links anyway!".

OK, so we tried, and tried. We described exactly what we were doing since the beginning and told them we wanted to be in festivals and other competitions and so on and although we see a lot of machinima out there doing the same we have never officially heard from Valve on the matter.

Now a new situation has come up in that YouTube has extended an offer of partnership for revenue sharing on at least one of our videos. So what do we do? Once again we dash off an email to Valve first thing to every one of their contact emails informing them of our offer and asking for confirmation that they are OK with the program. Guess what we found out...nothing.

So, I guess we take the plunge and hope for the best. Machinima is all over YouTube and is not being taken down. Machinima.com has a partnership with YouTube and they show Source Engine machinima and I have not heard of Valve complaining. And since all of our story line, characters, voice acting and music is original we are about as clean on the copyright front as a machinima could possibly be.

Once we push the accept button on the program we enter a waiting phase where either the program will be initiated on our video or one day it will just be deleted from YouTube.

Oh well, we don't have much of a choice but to find out first hand since Valve won't comment on the issue. I can't imagine there would be a problem with this but just thought I would share so if our video does disappear you know why.

Wish us luck! :)


  1. You're not alone; Valve has been ominously quiet to many a filmmaker over the years, and no one quite knows how to decipher that silence. I think your decision is really the only one available, save just wilting in fear. Good for you.

    Know that, if an "incident" should happen as a result of your move, you will NOT be alone there either. This I can promise.

    Best wishes, gentlemen!

  2. Thanks Overman. We just decided that we have to move forward.

    Even if our video is removed at least it will be some sort of answer...maybe.

    It is too bad Valve chooses to ignore machinima. Hopefully they do not choose to also squelch machinima pruducers attempts to make progress in this fashion.

  3. I think it's a good choice on your part. While their silence shouldn't be interpreted as consent (legally), I think you have covered your selves as far as trying to work with Valve and keep them informed. You might contact the EFF (electronic freedom foundation) for legal advise if you find yourself in a bind. They like dealing with this kind of thing.

    So strange that Valve is not responding. They have a high rep for responding to the community. Maybe they've simply made an internal decision to ignore machinima for the most part. Like Overman said, you aren't the first to experience this situation.

    Good luck to ya!

  4. Valve has been silent as the grave these past years. Maybe the people that respond to emails are socially awkward, or in a coma :) .
    But if they're quiet about legal issues, copyright, then they must have really bad customer support/reps. So if Valve tries to take the video down, say that they didn't warn you at all.

    Best of luck to your quest and the next chapter of Shelf Life!