Some fans have really taken a liking to the animated Sonic Boom television show, which launched hand-in-hand with the games on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Well, Sega had some interesting things to say in regards to those uploading full episodes.
Over on the Sega blog they made a short post explaining that they appreciate the Sonic fandom, but those uploading full episodes of Sonic Boom's television cartoon will be contacted about it. They actually do a nice job of not coming across as legally threatening to fans, saying “Don't panic!” and that they aren't bullies who want to strike down their fans' YouTube accounts.
Community manager Ruby Eclipse explains...
In the short term, we'll be sending some letters to people who have uploaded full episodes of Sonic Boom TV Show content, so that they can remove them without needing to worry about getting a copyright strike on their account. Users who don’t remove them on their own will have them taken down.
Ultimately you'll want to remove any full episodes of Sonic Boom from your YouTube channel. Apparently hosting small clips or certain scenes may still be allowed, and it sounds like Sega still wants to keep that community fostered and growing, but they also don't want to lose out on potential viewers and revenue by allowing people to post up entire episodes wholesale.
The community manager also makes it known that this mandate only applies to the Sonic Boom television show in particular and not the video games. They seem to be okay with people posting up full videos of the Sonic Boom games in all their glitchy glory.
One interesting thing that's mentioned right at the start of the comment section is that one viewer who would watch the shows on YouTube mentioned that he doesn't have access to the Cartoon Network and the show isn't available for streaming in his region within Canada, so the only way he can watch the latest episodes is from YouTube. The user says he would be willing to buy the entire season on DVD/Blu-ray but they aren't available yet.
It's an interesting conundrum that goes back to one of the biggest issues that Valve addressed in the digital gaming space. To paraphrase Gabe Newell, piracy is usually a service issue, not a consumer issue. I'm pretty sure if Sonic Boom could be streamed globally from a simple digital distribution hotspot then there would be little need to upload entire episodes.
In fact, Sega needs to take cues from Bandai Namco, who has already made use of Valve's implementation of streaming video content by uploading Naruto flicks and content to Steam. I'm pretty sure a large portion of the Sonic fan base has overlap with registered Steam users. Uploading the episodes to Steam is like an instant opportunity for massive sales. Right now only a few publishers have taken advantage of Steam's ability to host movies and streaming media content, and maybe it's something Sega needs to look into, assuming their deal with the Cartoon Network would allow them to do that.
For now, Sega will allow Sonic fans to upload some small clips of the Sonic Boom TV show, but full episodes are completely off the table.