Dynames Productions

A blog to showcase my creative and technical work. Talk about what I like to talk about.

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UPDATE: Lack of Postings

Hey everyone,

This is just a quick update to let those that read on my blog know that I won’t be posting on here for a while.

I’m currently working on a little animation project for my YouTube channel. I may post updates about it here, but once I think it is ready to be unveiled, there will be a post about it here.



Are We Slaves? + Some Inspiration

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Found this interesting video on YouTube:



And one that has some inspirational and motivational content in it:


Thoughts? Put them in the comments below :).

~ Monty

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Are Reaction Channels the Bane of YouTube?

Are reaction channels the bane of YouTube?

Reaction channels are in my opinion quite a weird trend. They were extremely popular last year, some are still this year. But of course the fiasco with the Fine Bros. and how much Reaction channels have been called out, such popularity maybe seeing a decline. But they do seem to amount up a fair size of subscribers.

Now it has always been quite a curious thing to me, why would people want to watch other people reacting videos? But then I got the answer within context to these “YouTubers” specifically. Majority of the people are not watching the reaction, they’re watching the videos those people are reacting to. Basically in place of the original, they watch the content stolen by the reactors. Yes, I know I used the world stolen. Quite a heavy accusation I’m sure some of you may be thinking right now.

Let’s look at the effort that goes into making a reaction video:

  • Get a video to react to, or in most cases, steal it.
  • Record computer screen with a camera recording you live.
  • Play the video and react to it, or not as the case is with some reactors.
  • Put the original video in as a small box inside the reactor’s live recorded video. If they care about fair use at all, they may bother doing some edits to change things up a bit.
  • Post the video and watch them YouTube views and money roll on in.

Let’s look at the effort that goes into making an animated video:

  • Come up with an idea/concept.
  • Script and storyboard it out.
  • Draw out your characters, and any other concept art you need.
  • Start animating (a long and tedious process requiring great patience). Depending on the length and fluidity of the animation, as well as manpower, this can take anywhere from a couple of days to months.
  • Record and or download any sounds required.
  • Edit the animation together. Add in the sounds and do any other editing required.
  • Post up the video and hardly watch those views rise (unless you’re already big, in which case watch the views come in).

Compare the two, you can clearly see a lot more effort goes into making an animated video than a reaction video. Yet reaction videos get more views and more money paid out to the reactors. They get paid money to react to things that are created by other people. In most cases, reaction channels (Fine Bros. excluded) have taken the content of others without their expressed permission. This is downright content plagiarism/stealing.

These YouTubers make money off of someone else’s hard work. Would you like it if I did that to you? Probably not unless you just didn’t care about the potential loss in revenue. And believe me, there will be a loss as the viewer has already watched the video. What point is there in going over to the original content creator’s video? The only time you would want to do that is if you wanted to check out other videos by them.

From a publicity standpoint, it is a 50/50 bet. Some people may go over there, some may just be happy with watching that video one time and moving on. But then there is also that loss in view numbers that could have helped the original content creators. Let’s not forget, as I mentioned before, these channels don’t seem to abide by Fair Use as much as they believe they do.

In my previous post about fair use, one of the conditions was that the content has to be transformative. Reaction videos that don’t contain many verbal reaction aside from just facial changes don’t count under fair use. Again, people are not there to just watch your face, they’re watching the much flashier video playing in the corner.

Next point is, they use the original video in its entirety. So not only is the majority of their content stolen and not transformative, but also unedited. There really is a simple solution to this, edit the video to keep only the best parts in. You’re not showing the whole video, and you’re still able to show off your best reactions for that particular video. This is a far better method that can be covered under fair use.

Also as I said before, majority of the time no permission is acquired. Before I said Fine Bros. are excluded from this because they tend to license the material they want their staff reacting to. Meaning, there is legal work taking place in the background. It isn’t a case of just pick, choose and hope for the best. No permission, taking the content and showing it off in its entirety. Not to mention making money off of it. Not only is that rude to the original content creator but also potentially dangerous to their livelihood.

So are reaction channels the bane of YouTube?

Yes. Plain and simple answer is, yes they are.

They are a trend, and like all trends they will have to die out at some point. But for now, lets just say they’re setting a very low bar for quality entertainment. Why people enjoy these videos who genuinely watch it for the reactions is beyond me. But I suppose if they’re having fun, then more power to them. Me, I’m happy sticking to something more substantial as my choice of entertainment.

Thanks for reading! Hope you stick around for my other posts.

~ Monty



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Do Let’s Plays (LP) fall under Fair Use? #WTFU

Recently on Twitter I had a discussion of sorts with a Let’s Player regarding #WTFU within context to LPs. Now I love watching LPs, especially horror ones from one chap in particular, “Helloween4545”.

For those that don’t know what #WTFU stands for, it is: Where is The Fair Use.

An event that has started in response to the evidence of how easy it is for companies to abuse the copyright system of YouTube and get away with it. Not to mention how broken YouTube’s system is as it hardly does anything to protect its creators (unless you’re a big name and bringing in lots of revenue of course). But that maybe a conversation for next time, today we focus on fair use and video games.

Do video games fall under fair use? Yes, well no. Okay maybe they do, then again maybe they don’t.

So which is it?!

It is a muddy territory we get into my friends whenever we discuss fair use. Let’s first start by getting an understanding of fair use here. There are 4 terms (or questions) people must adhere to in order for their content to be protected under fair use. The terms are as follows:

  1. The purpose and character of your use
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount of sustainability of the portion taken and
  4. The effect of the use on the potential market

Source: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/

If you’re sitting and scratching your head, I wouldn’t blame you. Legal jargon never has made much sense has it now?

Let’s look at what we as consumers and the non-legal persons need to worry about. The material you used under fair use, is it “trans-formative” by any means? And what effect could your LP of a game have on the potential revenue market for the original publishers and developers?

What do I mean by trans-formative?

Simply put, does it change the content in anyway from it’s original experience? This can deal with things like the material being used for commentary, criticism and or parody purposes. I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones that popped up in my research.

In LPs, people normally commentate over their gameplay, whether it be during or after the play has been recorded. Now this one is 50-50 in how it would work. If you’re a quieter LPer, you probably can’t get away with this as majority of the base experience with observing a game is still there. If you’re talkative for the most part during your sets/videos, you’ll have fulfilled the trans-formative aspect of fair use (from my understanding).

What about the impact it could have on the original market?

This really depends on the game. If you are playing a game that is very story driven and extremely linear, it probably won’t have a positive effect unless your game is really good and recommended to others. But why is this so? Because a story heavy games primarily have their experiences woven into learning the story. So if you watch an LP of the game, what is the point of playing that game then?

Now if we have a horror game, or some other game that is based around inducing certain feelings out of the player (ie. Journey, Alien: Isolation), then the LP falls under Fair Use. Again, why? Because the game is not relying on something people observe to understand alone, the game itself is an experience that you’ll only truly understand once you play it for yourself. Games that give you “unlimited” freedom such as Minecraft also fall under Fair Use, because there is no linear narrative (aside from the story mode now, which does not fall under Fair Use to some extent) and you can go around building whatever it is you imagine. Minecraft is more about the experience of using your imagination within a game world to build something.

I’ll personally attest to wanting to get games that I saw were more experience driven than the story driven games. Most of my games library is composed of more experience driven games with an occasional mix of great story driven elements to them.

Whenever video games rely on story alone, such as TellTale games, I would wager they aren’t covered under Fair Use due to the impact they can have on their market. But when a game relies on something more than the story, it relies on the gameplay to provide an experience, to some extent your game and LP does fall under fair use. I say to some extent because no game is going to be 100% Fair Use material, game development does not allow it.

Plus one should keep in mind that basically all components of the game are copyrighted under an intellectual property. Meaning whenever you make a video of the game, you’re using their copyrighted work. But thanks to Fair Use, you’re protected to a certain degree.

Is Fair Use a confusing world to be in?

Yes, especially when you’re not a critic or a parody maker. LPers are probably in the grayest of areas, it all depends on what they play and how they choose to play it. Games with choices will fall more under Fair Use, compared to a completely story driven, with little gameplay and linear game.

At the end of the day, we can only do what we think is right from our understanding of Fair Use as flawed as it maybe. Fair Use after all has no set definition, there have been multiple variants of it over the year through court rulings.

What are your thoughts on this?

Comment down below if you’ve more to add to this or a counter-argument perhaps.

Thanks for reading!

~ Monty

Additional Sources:

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LightExistence App Blog

Hey everyone,

After finally finishing the free motivational LightExistence Android app, I prepared a new blog to help promote it as well as discuss some topics on there that I won’t on here.

The topics I’ll talk about on there will relate to mental health and motivation primarily as the goal is to help those who are in need of motivation. To help those who feel empty inside, find that they have difficulty again finding the passion they once had.

It would be fantastic if you would take a minute or two to pop on over there real quick and perhaps drop a follow. Not only will that help the blog grow but also help grow the awareness for my free app, and potentially help more people that way.

Link to LightExistence blog: https://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/


~ Monty