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Microsoft clarifies position on external content usage

"We're encouraging you to create and redistribute your Items"

Microsoft has issued a new set of rules governing the use of its content for external purposes, loosening some of the restrictions for YouTubers and Twitch streamers.

The new rules cover both commercial and personal uses, with the publisher explicitly encouraging the creation and proliferation of content which follows the newly established guidelines. Most notably, the terms allow for the use of footage for commercial gain, but only via the mediums of Twitch and YouTube ad revenues - no content can be used in paid apps or apps which generate ad money.

"Microsoft grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-sublicenseable, non-transferable, revocable, limited license for you to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for your personal, noncommercial (except as specifically provided below) use," the statement reads.

Content creators must also include a copy of a use agreement (see sidebar) and agree not to use the content in any video which breaches commonly accepted rules on vulgarity, hate speech and other forms of illegality. It must also be made clear that the content is not from a n official source. A separate set of rules exists for content from Minecraft, which remains unchanged.

Overall, the statement is a clear effort to promote the creation of content, largely framed in friendly terms around the necessary legalese. "We're encouraging you to create and redistribute your Items," an explanatory paragraph clarifies. "You may post the Items on your own site or you may link to a third-party site containing your Items if you'd prefer to store them there, so long as the third-party site does not break any of these Rules."

Microsoft's stance is a progressive one then, which recognises the viral value of content sharing, albeit with some reservations on the somewhat unrefined nature of those mechanisms. This stands in fairly stark contrast to the initial approach of Nintendo, since rethought, which came down hard on anyone who was making commercial gains from repurposing Nintendo content. Last year, Nintendo began issuing a wealth of DCMA takedowns to YouTube channels before settling on a program of revenue sharing - split three ways between Nintendo, the broadcaster and the video creators. Microsoft makes no mention of expecting any share of revenues from the usage of its content on Twitch or YouTube.

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