A new bill has been proposed in the USA to curb the online upload of videos of copyrighted content. While the bill is aimed at preventing the internet community from uploading music, TV shows and movies to services such as YouTube and MegaVideo, the rather loose wording of the bill has some rather nefarious consequences for the video game industry and the way in which video games are marketed today. In essence, uploading a video showing the craziest Minecraft creation or a game guide showing the location of all the hidden packages in GTA, would be punishable by a hefty fine and/or prison time!

In my mind, the worst part is that all existing material would also have to be removed from the interwebs, which is kind of like burning a public library in the literal sense. Minecraft's Notch had this to say about it: "If the bill passes, I suspect many game companies (including us) will add a special clause to the TOS specifically to allow posting videos of their games. A huge part of why Minecraft has grown so fast is the YouTube community."

The bill can be seen online here and there's a fantastic video on YouTube explaining exactly what the situation is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib7-vSrp6y8. In the clip, the narrator notes that game companies already have the legal power to take down game videos, but they don't because it's such good and free marketing. With any luck, those same companies will put their weight against this bill for exactly that reason.

It's a shame that so much legal ruckus in our industry is caused by music- and movie-industry problems, and by lawmakers a little too over-eager to apply blanket solutions.