Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker Levels
Rocket News 24’s Casey Baseel reports creators are being met with an unsettling disclaimer before they share their custom levels. It reads:
Notice regarding course uploads
Please be aware that after a fixed period of time, courses with low popularity will be automatically deleted from the server.
Nintendo reserves the right to use uploaded courses and related data, either as-is or with alterations, for either commercial or noncommercial purposes without compensation to the uploader.
Nintendo is tapping into talent, crowdsourcing level designs and, potentially, using users’ hours of effort and branding it as the company’s own. Unsettling to say the least, but you’re using Nintendo’s platform, software, and servers to create this content — they can do with it as they please, apparently. This means taking what you make, as well as trashing the levels they don’t want taking up space.
Reactions to the terms have ranged in emotion. Some people have called Nintendo’s message, “cold” and “inhuman.” One questioned if the company had lost its way since the death of Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata. Others feel the idea to delete content is a brilliant idea, one commenter wrote, “Fine by me. Saves me the trouble of sorting out the boring ones.”
Others took more offense to the second warning, as one user wrote, “Using [user-created levels] to make money is just greedy.”
Nintendo isn’t the first to enter into user-generated content.LittleBigPlanet, a series that has thrived off of user-created content, doesn’t seem to claim users’ content as their own, or make a buck off it. The servers have continued to hold levels, even when the numbers have grown to around eight million. To my knowledge, the only levels that have been removed infringes on other copyrighted material or contains inappropriate content. Likewise, I’ve never heard of user content being taken and used for profit. These sharable levels move up through the ranks via user reviews and sharing what they’ve found with other players. Though, it should be said, Nintendo’s disclaimer doesn’t seem to have stopped users from uploading levels.
Two very different approaches to handling user-created content, which do you prefer?