The Twitch DMCAs Just Keep Coming

The Twitch DMCAs Just Keep Coming

Illustration for the article titled The Twitch DMCA Just Keep Coming

Image: Twitch / Kotaku

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the music industry is aim for Twitch, this time to the tune of “about 1,000 individual complaints”, according to the company. Twitch’s solution? Second verse, the same as the first: Delete, delete, delete.

In an email sent to streamers earlier today, Twitch explained that “all of the complaints are about VOD,” and he believes music publishers have used automated tools to locate them, which means “they’ll likely send more notifications.” Just like the other times this has happened, Twitch recommends that streamers eliminate any content that may contain offensive material. For some streamers, this is a big part of their professional history.

“If you know you have unauthorized music or other copyrighted material in your previous VODs or clips, we strongly recommend that you permanently remove anything that contains that content,” Twitch wrote. “For your remaining VODs, we recommend that you use the ‘Unpublish All’ feature and scan any content for unauthorized music or other copyrighted material.

Twitch went on to say that it is working to mitigate this problem more holistically, with solutions that include “educating creators and providing resources to understand the rules and risks surrounding the use of the music on Twitch as well as the creation of new product features (such as the ability to unpublish VODs, view your warning count, warning notifications in the creator dashboard, multitrack audio support for OBS etc.), invest in proactive detection and muting, and work with rights holders on longer term solutions.

The problem with many Twitch solutions so far is that, from a music industry’s perspective, they represent loopholes or ways around restrictive music rights. Twitch and the music companies remain stuck in an impasse, each using their respective creators as bargaining chips. In an open letter published last year, several major US music organizations, including the RIAA, have found Twitch’s solutions unsatisfactory and said that for songwriters and performers, “fair royalties on a growing platform like Twitch can literally be a matter of life. or death – difference and homelessness and having access to health care or not being insured. Meanwhile, in today’s email, Twitch attempted to pose as the creators’ only ally in this dispute: “This is our first such contact with the industry. music publishing (there may be multiple owners for the same piece of music), and we were disappointed that they decided to send withdrawals when we are willing and ready to talk to them about solutions, ”the company wrote.

The problem with this rationale is that both Twitch and the music industry are the ones making the rules here, and if they actually did not want creators to suffer, they could prioritize compromise on their way (or they could at least better pay their respective creators instead of acting as if “life and death” matters were out of their hands).

At this point, streamers are fed up with the DMCA-tastic status quo.

“Just received a DMCA strike on a VOD on ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ playing a video from March 2019 that no one except filthy music companies can access,” Minecraft Sneegsnag Banner said on Twitter. “If they can come in and see it, I should be able to do that too.” This system is catastrophic.

“So I got another email from Twitch reminding me of the DMCA takedowns that are happening right now, which means I’m going to delete all my clips and VOD again.” Twitch partner Shenpai said. “I am so angry.”

DMCAs on Twitch are rooted in more than just music, despite Twitch’s music-centric posts on that front. At the end of last year, streamers reported receiving automated notifications and audio muts for VODs containing in-game audio and other sounds that are not, strictly speaking, music. Others have reported receiving live DMCAs– that is, withdrawals that occur before a stream even ends – on TV and movie related content. Kotaku has reached out to Twitch to inquire about how he handles live DMCAs that appear to be from a different industry, but he hasn’t been able to provide any additional information at this time.

After nearly a year of DMCA woes, streamers don’t really believe Twitch is going to do what they want anytime soon – or, indeed, it can be done as long as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act remains the law of the land. .

“Streamers and YouTubers should unite and bribe politicians (lobby) to change these ridiculous and archaic laws,” famed WoW streamer Asmongold said. “It’s embarrassing that the Internet still follows a law written in 1998.”


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