Microsoft: We didn't know details about Machinima-Xbox One YouTube contracts

Microsoft is now claiming that it didn't know the details about a recently unearthed contract to promote the Xbox One on YouTube in a partnership with Machinima. A few days ago, the contract was leaked online, which revealed that Machinima offered its YouTube channel partners an additional $3 per thousand views if they showed at least 30 seconds of Xbox One gameplay footage.

The videos must not "say anything negative or disparaging about the Xbox One or any of its games" and the deal itself must remain a secret, according to the contract. Earlier on Tuesday, Microsoft and Machinima sent out a joint statement to media outlets claiming that the Xbox One promotion was a "typical marketing partnership" and that the company was not reviewing the content of the YouTube videos. Microsoft also said that the contract was not intended to keep the video creators from stating they were being paid to promote the Xbox One.

However, just a few hours later, Microsoft sent another note on its own that put much more distance between itself and Machinima on this matter. GeekWire reports that, according to the company's new statement:

Microsoft was not aware of individual contracts Machinima had with their content providers as part of this promotion and we didn’t provide feedback on any of the videos. We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising.

It would appear as if Microsoft doesn't want to be linked to this deal, especially if the Federal Trade Commission decides to investigate the partnership. Many people believe the Machimima contract could violate FTC regulations that require Internet content creators to reveal if they are being paid to promote products.

Source: GeekWire | Image via NeoGAF

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For god sake people. Read the full statement.

"This partnership between Machinima and Microsoft was a typical marketing partnership to promote Xbox One in December. The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content. Any confidentiality provisions, terms, or other guidelines are standard documents provided by Machinima. For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion."

Here is what you may of missed from the above.

"confidentiality provisions, terms, or other guide lines are standard documents provided by Machinima. For clarity, confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion."
(Gives clarity on the fact that confidentiality terms are standard Machinima practice, and refers to the contract its self.)

So. obviously some people did not interpret this well. so they made their point more clear with this, as well as info on how they are resolving the matter with Machinima.

"Microsoft was not aware of individual contracts Machinima had with their content providers as part of this promotion and we didn't provide feedback on any of the videos. We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising."

In case you missed what they are trying to clarify. let me help you.

1. "Microsoft was not aware of individual contracts Machinima had with their content providers"
(Gives clarity on Microsofts knowledge of the terms that Machinima set.)

2."We didn't provide feedback on any of the videos."
(states that they were not actively responding to or giving objection to the videos content.)

3. "We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising."
(states that Microsoft have spoken to Machinima about rectifying the problem.)

This does not look like a backpedal to me. It looks more like that they felt that their first statement needed to be revise to give emphasis on certain points that they wanted to make clear.

Also, here is the standered part of the contract that people are getting all uppity over.

5. CONFIDENTIALITY
You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement, including, without limitation, the Promotional Requirements, and the CPM Compensation, listed above. You understand that You may not post a copy of this Agreement or any terms thereof online or share them with any third party (other than a legal or financial representative). You agree that You have read the Nondisclosure Agreement (attached hereto and marked as Exhibit “A”) and You understand and agree to all of terms of the Nondisclosure Agreement, which is incorporated as part of this Agreement.

Yes. i actually have red the contract and followed the source trail.

Edited by Ad Man Gamer, Jan 23 2014, 5:04am :

Now people begin denying Microsoft's involvement completely, when it was just five minutes ago they were asking what the big deal was, accepting such behavior as not being a big deal.

What a load.

I'm just glad it's being resolved and they can continue with their campaign without being labeled as astroturfers anymore.

Meh.. I just assume everything on the internet is paid advertising/promotion.. That way you don't get tricked into anything..

This does not offend me at all.. Its good if they are giving money to people.. People can choose for themselves if they want to promote it. And I am glad they are getting paid for their review..

Lachlan said,
Meh.. I just assume everything on the internet is paid advertising/promotion.. That way you don't get tricked into anything..
I agree, and it's not just on the internet. Which researcher or scientist or critic or doctor or poll/survey company or .... is truly independent any more? Where do their grants come from? Who is funding them? What percentage cuts or perks or other considerations have they received?

Knowing what Machinima produces in their YouTube channel. I am really surprise that Microsoft joined this shady ass gaming organization.

first the sentiment was "everyone does it, it's ok if we do it", then it was "its just a form of marketing, its not shady", now its "we are shocked (GASP REALLY) to find out a deal we made became public, making us look shady as best". So typical.

MindTrickz said,
backpedal, backpedal, backpedal...

How is it backpedaling? They never claimed they did know the details, or made any statement at all about this promotion.

spenser.d said,

How is it backpedaling? They never claimed they did know the details, or made any statement at all about this promotion.

Even if you are an incredible fanboy, the proofs are irrefutable (Google it) and MS already admit it (Google it). Now MS is backpedaling but it is too late.

http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv5

Btw: EA did the same.

IMHO, this news is to so tragic, it's more fun than unexpected.

Brony said,

Even if you are an incredible fanboy, the proofs are irrefutable (Google it) and MS already admit it (Google it). Now MS is backpedaling but it is too late.

http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv5

Btw: EA did the same.

IMHO, this news is to so tragic, it's more fun than unexpected.

Uh, no they didn't admit it.

You can even see their noninvolvement in the very first section in the contract:

2.As of today's date, You (hereinafter “You” or “your”), have agreed to work with Machinima, Inc. (“Machinima”) to promote the Xbox One Gaming Console (“Xbox One Release”) on your main channel on YouTube.com ("Your YouTube Channel") in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement (the “Agreement”).

Nowhere does it state you're working for Microsoft or that Microsoft is even involved. Hell, Microsoft isn't even mentioned once in the entire contract. Its laughable to even think they were a part of it given that.

Brony said,

Even if you are an incredible fanboy, the proofs are irrefutable (Google it) and MS already admit it (Google it). Now MS is ...

Speaking of fanboy's, you realise you actually have no evidence that MS had anything to do with this and your blind accusations make you look every much the fanboy as the people you're talking about?

Yes, because random companies *love* doing free (unethical and potentially illegal) promotion work for other companies that they aren't connected to.... cough. Sorry champ, it doesn't pass the smell test.

See my reply to spenser. Are you trying to tell us that Machinima decided to undertake an unethical and perhaps illegal PR campaign on behalf of Microsoft (who else would benefit from the XBone fluffing?), and Microsoft had nothing to do with it? Really?? Trying to deflect attention from Microsoft with a ridiculous, unbelievable story is what a fanboy would do, no?

GumbyDammit said,
See my reply to spenser. Are you trying to tell us that Machinima decided to undertake an unethical and perhaps illegal PR campaign on behalf of Microsoft (who else would benefit from the XBone fluffing?), and Microsoft had nothing to do with it? Really?? Trying to deflect attention from Microsoft with a ridiculous, unbelievable story is what a fanboy would do, no?

No, ignoring obvious facts so you can trash a company is what a fanboy would do.

Its more likely Microsoft paid a PR company and said go do some PR, so the contract was probably written up between the PR company and Machinima.

You could argue MS should still have known, but its not really uncommon for PR companies to "go beyond" or use "shady" tactics without the company they're promoting knowing about it. You turn a blind eye until it goes tits up, pretty much how every company works for pretty much everything!

GumbyDammit said,
OK, I'll play along. Which obvious facts are we ignoring? Microsoft's denial?

What? The "It was a Machima hired PR company" fact, or the fact they were using a standard set of PR contracts? Either way, these are facts and it's been this way since day dot.

So standard contracts call for violating fair trade practices? Sorry. I've been following MS for more than 25+ years, and they don't have an ethical bone in their bodies. They were in on it.

GumbyDammit said,
So standard contracts call for violating fair trade practices? Sorry. I've been following MS for more than 25+ years, and they don't have an ethical bone in their bodies. They were in on it.

No they weren't, and if you think that, it's pure conjecture, not fact like you keep saying it is.

GumbyDammit said,
So standard contracts call for violating fair trade practices? Sorry. I've been following MS for more than 25+ years, and they don't have an ethical bone in their bodies. They were in on it.

So your made up assumptions are correct and every one else's (despite proof) are wrong? Sorry mate, not buying it.

Made-up assumptions? You'll forgive me if I don't give Microsoft, a company with a lonnnnnng history of anti-competitive abuse and shady dealings, the benefit of the doubt and that it wasn't aware of this latest shady contract. Sure.

You're confusing yourself. I don't believe standard contracts call for illegal practices, but thats what you seem to be saying in your never-ending defense of Microsoft.

GumbyDammit said,
You're confusing yourself. I don't believe standard contracts call for illegal practices, but thats what you seem to be saying in your never-ending defense of Microsoft.

Give it a rest. You're making random stuff up and masking by saying any one who disagrees with you is just defending ms. Also, illegal? Time to hit books and look that s*** up because it isn't illegal no matter how you try to paint it.