In the past year Nintendo's made it clear that they want a piece of the cut for any Youtube content featuring their copyrighted games. A large number of videos featuring Nintendo's games received "Content ID Match" warnings, which either removed the videos forthwith or allowed them to remain up but with all revenue split between Nintendo and Youtube -- none to the content creator. Most Youtubers were left with no recourse, as Youtube provided no meaningful method of dispute.
That program of claiming Nintendo content and taking all revenue away from the creator, whether they be Let's Players, critics, speed runners and so on, will continue going forward. However, Nintendo announced plans today to supplement the program with its own affiliate program. Content creators must now request permission from Nintendo, the means of which have yet to be detailed, and if permission is granted then ad revenue will then be shared between Nintendo, Youtube, and the creator. The exactor percentages of the sharing are unspecific.
To summarize, Nintendo will retain the ability to have any video featuring their "copyrighted content" removed entirely from Youtube. Some content, again completely at Nintendo's discretion, will be allowed to stay on Youtube, but with all revenue going to Nintendo and Youtube. Furthermore, Nintendo can grant permission to some content creators to earn a portion of the revenue from their own work. Absurd, no?
Polygon received a response from Nintendo with the above described in their own words:
"Nintendo has been permitting the use of Nintendo copyrighted material in videos on YouTube under appropriate circumstances. Advertisements may accompany those videos, and in keeping with previous policy that revenue is shared between YouTube and Nintendo. In addition, for those who wish to use the material more proactively, we are preparing an affiliate program in which a portion of the advertising profit is given to the creator. Details about this affiliate program will be announced in the future."
Nintendo would argue that it alone owns the rights to the raw footage of all of its copyrighted games, the legality of which is as yet unestablished. Whether or not a player's personal choices actions makes ownership ambiguous is a decision that the court system may never hear. The fact is that publishers have money and lawyers, Youtubers (and potentially Twitch streamers in the future) do not and thus have little say in the matter.
The result is a level of control above content creators that can decide what is allowed and who gets to profit from it -- whether that content be journalistic, critical, or entertainment-based in nature. Censorship is already becoming an issue, and the process is only beginning.