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Guinness World Records accidentally copyright claimed a bunch of Super Mario Bros speedruns

Guinness World Records seems to have gotten a bit copyright cuckoo this weekend thanks in part to YouTube’s automated Content ID system. A bunch of Super Mario Bros speedrunning videos were sent copyright claim notices based on a record holder’s speedrun that Guinness uploaded to their own channel. They say the spree of claims was unintentional and should now be fixed. Whoops.

About nine months ago, Guinness put together a video profile on Super Mario Bros speedrunner Kosmic including footage from his record-breaking warpless run. Now, Kosmic’s own video of the record and tons of other SMB speedrunners have had copyright claims made on their similar videos.

Guinness have now released those claims saying “sorry for causing concern, we know how distressing it can be to get these notifications,” signed by Dan. Ta, Dan.

This all came to a head after Kosmic says he got 40 copyright claims emailed to him simultaneously. It wasn’t just Kosmic’s own footage that was caught in the cross-hairs though. Fellow speedrunner Karl Jobst hopped on the case to rally everyone else who had been similarly affected.

As Jobst points out in his own video, speedrunning is such a methodical art that, by nature, a lot of speedrun footage looks very, very similar. Apparently YouTube’s Content ID system managed to mistake a bunch of other SMB speedruns for Kosmic’s and sent them copyright notices too.

It’s not quite clear exactly how the mistake got made. There’s probably some human error at work here, especially as this came up months after Guinness posted their profile on Kosmic. YouTube’s breakdown on how their Content ID works suggests that some intent is required to act on a copyright match made by its system. “Please be sure to use the Copyright Match Tool responsibly,” they say. Yes, indeed.

Funnily enough, even Jobst’s video on the subject initially got slapped with a copyright claim. Thankfully it sounds like Guinness have cooled their trigger finger.

Ta, Karl Jobst.

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