Does the Asset Store license cover usage in videos?

I’m looking into using Unity for Machinima production: films made using the Unity rendering engine. One example is “The Butterfly Effect”, the Unity demo video.

I’ve been looking at the Asset Store license, and it appears to only cover using asset store assets in games - not video. I can’t see any language that allows videos to be made incorporating Asset Store assets.

Obviously, that’s gotta be a problem not just for Machinima creators, but also for anyone who wants to make a YouTube video of their game.

So is there language in the Asset Store license that I’ve missed that covers this use case?

Good question, although I’m not sure you’ll get an authoritative answer on these forums…

Appendix 1, Section 2.2 states: “It is emphasized that the END-USERS shall not be entitled to distribute or transfer in any way (including, without, limitation by way of sublicense) the Assets in any other way than as integrated components of electronic games and interactive media.

I guess the question then comes down to whether creating a video of the content and uploading to YouTube counts as “distributing” it. Like you, I couldn’t find any mention of permissions to broadcast content anywhere but, given the ownership claims that various game publishers have made over LetsPlay videos in recent months, I wouldn’t be certain.

I chatted with a game lawyer recently and he made an excellent point - that almost all legal issues could have been resolved if there had been better prior communication between the parties. So, have you tried contacting the developers who made the assets you want to use and asking them directly? Since they are the copyright owners, if they give you explicit permission, the problem goes away :wink:

Unfortunately, if it’s not covered in the license, then creating a YouTube video does indeed count as making a “derivative work” of the original art assets, which gives the creator of those assets the same rights as over something they created themselves. In other words, your YT video is essentially owned by the asset creator at that point.

(IANAL, but I’ve written a book on this subject and worked in the field for almost 2 decades at this point.)

I have indeed considered contacting the developers of the assets and asking for direct usage permission - indeed, it’s my fallback plan if the asset store agreement doesn’t cover video works - but that adds a non-trivial additional time overhead to any production, particularly if I’m using 20 or so different assets, so I’d prefer to avoid it. Contract negotiation is a pain in the ass :slight_smile:

I’m new to Unity - I take it this isn’t the best place to ask for official clarification on this sort of thing?

I messaged the exact same question to the Support Team of Unity.
My question was if it is okay to create let’s play videos and then uploading on YouTube

Thanks for your continued patience on
this.
I have heard back from the store team. They have told me that
its perfectly fine for a user to
include music bought on the Asset
Store in their game, and then to
create a video of the finished
product and upload it to youtube.
If the user is using it as
“overlay” music and it is not
actually part of the game, that is
not ok. Oscar Kind Regards, Oscar
Customer Services Engineer

So it is fine to create Let’s Play Videos of the finished product and then upload it to YouTube but overlaying is not okay.

If someone is interested in my whole story and maze odyssey here you go
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/youtube/imkw_FdMkSY
me and my users got about 1000+ Copyright Claims and they were all wrong. So much about YouTube and their Content Identity Madness