Music Business

What Is Twitch Doing About Its Music Copyright Issues?

Twitch has developed something of a reputation for coming down hard on its users in cases of (or perceived cases of) copyright infringement. Finally, the popular streaming platform is explaining what’s been going on behind the curtain and the steps they’re taking to improve things moving forward.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Over the past year, Twitch has been particularly harsh against its users for past and present instances of copyright infringement. Creators have been, at the very least, frustrated. Twitch finally released an honest explanation of what’s been happening behind the scenes and what they’re doing to rectify the issue moving forward.

What Twitch Is Doing About Their Music-Related Copyright Issues

Here’s what you should know...

When a copyright holder thinks a streamer has used their content without permission, Twitch has a process in place for them to be able to request that content be taken down. — When Twitch receives a notification this, they have to process it according to official DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Guidelines.

According to those guidelines, they’re required to remove the content, share these details with the channel owner, track down the source of the allegation, and issue copyright strikes and/or ban the accounts of those who have infringed on said copyrights.

Back in June, Twitch announced they’d received “a sudden influx of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19″. When this happened, they panicked. In response, they started taking down accounts left and right giving little explanation as to why.

As you can imagine, this frustrated and angered many unsuspecting creators.

Now after all the chaos, Twitch has finally issued an explanation and apology via their blog. 

“Under these extraordinary circumstances, we recognized creators should have a reasonable chance to understand that content created in the past was being targeted as allegedly infringing and be given an opportunity to change their approach to music use before they got hit with strikes.”

“You’re rightly upset that the only option we provided was a mass deletion tool for Clips, and that we only gave you three-days notice to use this tool. We could have developed more sophisticated, user-friendly tools awhile ago. That we didn’t is on us. And we could have provided creators with a longer time period to address their VOD and Clip libraries – that was a miss as well.”

They also clarified that, “We continue to receive large batches of notifications, and we don’t expect that to slow down… This means two things: 1) if you play recorded music on your stream, you need to stop doing that and 2) if you haven’t already, you should review your historical VODs and Clips that may have music in them and delete any archives that might.” 

What happens now?

Moving forward, Twitch aims to be clearer about what’s going down behind the scenes and to give better notice of issues as they happen instead of after the damage has been done. In their post, they gives notes on how how to avoid these DMCA notifications, the newly implemented products and tools, and ways for creators to stay educated about copyright issues like these and learn to avoid them in the future.

Now, Twitch has published a FAQ page about copyright infringement on their platform and created a user forum around the topic as well.

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1 Comment

  1. My first reaction to seeing this post was “WHAT PROBLEM?” . .. their problem is not copywrite issues, its people trolling other people, complaining about anything that they possibly can just to take the person down because they compete with them online in some video game or something along those lines… WHAT MUSICIAN WOULD EVER POSSIBLY CARE UNLESS THEY WERE DOING SOMETHING TOTALLY OUT OF LINE??? The answer is NONE most definitely. I’ve been streaming and have had issues with them muting my videos because of playing music in them when I am CLEARLY SHOWING THE NAME OF THE BAND AND THE NAME OF THE SONG IN THE VIDEO WHILE PLAYING THE MUSIC!? I would even have links to the music so that people can buy it… much of the music was actually ABOUT ME or what I was doing, such as an album called ‘Moon Cracked Over Albion’ by my favorite artist who likes to spy on me and then release messages for me in his next record, knowing that I am his biggest fan… I can understand the REQUEST for the music that is played to be shown who it is and what the song is called so that people listening can purchase it but even doing that is asking for wayyy too much! I am a musician myself and just like my “heroes” . .. we typically do not make much money if anything at all?! Trust me in that EVERY MUSICIAN WOULD AGREE WITH ME IN THAT THEY WANT THEIR MUSIC PLAYED!!! They want people to hear it and don’t care about whatever delusions the twitch team might have pondered!? Maybe they just don’t know or never cared to put in the time to find out!? Probably just didn’t get around to it while having to deal with the CONSTANT THREATS FROM TROLLS who are jealous of another person streaming so they are trying to take them down with any excuse that they can get… THAT IS ALL THAT IT IS THOUGH! NOTHING BUT TROLLS! Its sad that they would give them any power at all… trust me in that NO MUSICIAN IS GOING TO SUE TWITCH… STOP GIVING THOSE TROLLS POWER AND GIVE ALL OF THOSE STREAMING NO WORRIES ABOUT COPYWRITE WHATEVER!?!?! Even if the song is not listed and the audience has no way of knowing what is playing… IF THEY HEAR SOMETHING THAT THEY LIKE the musician will be GRATEFUL and TOTALLY HAPPY EVEN IF THEY NEVER GET TO FIND OUT WHO IT IS… also the people watching CAN ALWAYS ASK THE PERSON STREAMING! I’ve been mostly playing my own music on there but when I do play music from another musician its 100% of the time because of trying to promote them… honestly, some of the better strategies for the musicians MIGHT BE not letting the people know who is playing or what the song is called so that when its a good one THEY WILL ASK AND FIND OUT WHEN THEY OTHERWISE WOULD NOT HAVE CARED TO!!! This actually might be HELPFUL TO MUSICIANS if you really think about it because the listeners are more likely to remember something that they had to ASK ABOUT rather than just simply read… they would like forget what played if they were able to read what it was that was playing… AM I MAKING ANY SENSE? C’mon Twitch… they are just trolls… IGNORE THEM PLEASE!

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