Animal Crossing is a pretty wonderful series, and the newest addition, ‘Animal Crossing New Horizons’ may just be the greatest AC game yet.
Part of what makes the Animal Crossing series so incredible is just how relaxing and immersive the game can be. It is almost as if you’re pulled into a completely different world, where the problems and stresses of real life no longer exist.
A huge aspect of this experience is Animal’s Crossing unique soundtrack.
Nintendo is known for creating games with incredible soundtracks, and the diverse set of music available in Animal Crossing New Horizons is quite an achievement.
Is Animal Crossing Music Copyrighted?
You may be wondering when and where you can legally use Animal Crossing music in your publications.
We’ve heard this most commonly from YouTube video creators and Twitch streamers, wanting to use Animal Crossing music in their videos or their livestreams.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes – Animal Crossing music is in fact copyrighted, and using the soundtrack without a license constitutes copyright infringement in most cases.
That being said, it appears that Nintendo has opted not to include any of the songs into YouTube’s content ID system, and other people are getting away with including this music in their videos or Twitch streams.
This of course, does not mean they are doing so legally, and these people may be at risk for DMCA takedowns and video removals at best, and legal action at worst.
Here’s What Nintendo Has To Say About It
Thankfully for us, Nintendo has spoken out about this issue directly, and has issued a set of guidelines about what is and isn’t around regarding their intellectual property.
Most notably, they state the following:
We encourage you to create videos that include your creative input and commentary. Videos and images that contain mere copies of Nintendo Game Content without creative input or commentary are not permitted.
So, it would seem that the use of Animal Crossing music is allowed, provided you are actively playing the game and commentating while you do it.
This seems to clear the use of Animal Crossing music (and other Nintendo soundtracks) for uses such as most ‘let’s play’ videos as well as most Twitch streams.
However, they want to avoid people simply using their tracks as background music, or ripping them and uploading them directly to YouTube without any gameplay footage.
If recording a cover of an Animal Crossing or Nintendo song, you may be required to be issued a mechanical license (for audio only), or a sync license (if recording it and uploading to YouTube, even if the footage is only a blank screen.)
If you’d like to make your own music in the style and theme of Animal Crossing, there is nothing stopping you from doing this. There is even a neat K.K. Slider VST that has been made available for free!
Can you use Animal Crossing music in your videos or livestreams? Yes, but only in certain cases.
For more information on Nintendo’s policies, you should read their game content guidelines by clicking here.
We are not legal professionals and nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. Animal Crossing is a registered trademark of Nintendo, who we have no affiliation with. We do not speak on their behalf, and the information on this page is for informational purposes only. We are not to be held responsible if it is outdated or incorrect. Always check with Nintendo before using any of their intellectual property.