An apocalypse is happening right now, and it’s involving gaming’s biggest livestream service and its plethora of users and their precious clips.
Over the weekend, Twitch.tv has declared that it will be issuing licensed music-related DMCA strikes on gaming channels that have clips and VODs that feature licensed music playing in the background. This is due to the mass influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips Twitch has been receiving from 2017 to 2019. That’s three years worth of takedowns.
📢 This week, we've had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we're working to make this easier.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) June 8, 2020
The most popular streamers have a habit of rifling through their Spotify playlist during a livestream without proper licensing. And Twitch.tv as a whole lives in its own bubble of copyright ambiguity. Which means a LOT of people on the platform will be served these effective right now and even have their channels deleted outright, or eventually if they haven’t met that fate yet.
Twitch streamers are currently doing a ton of spring-cleaning, deleting/personally archiving & saving VODs and clips that somehow have copyrighted music playing in them. This is to make sure they don’t get DMCA’ed and have their hard work taken down at a whim.
Deleting VODS and clips on twitch to prevent DMCA strikes is the modern version of drug dealers flushing coke down the toilet
— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) June 7, 2020
Didn’t have “delete every piece of content I ever made on Twitch” for my schedule today
But here we are
— Broman (@Professorbroman) June 7, 2020
For any who want to see the official Twitch guidelines. @Twitch is starting to strike and ban a lot of channels and I have the feeling it's going to get crazier. To all my Vtuber friends and streamers in general PLEASE be safe and remove all copyrighted clips and vods! Much love! pic.twitter.com/SfTAVRljSd
— (VTuber) ThatBoiRyan (@_ThatBoiRyan_) June 8, 2020
So it's been made widely known over the weekend that you can now get DMCA strikes on Twitch for copyrighted music played in CLIPS. 😬
Not defending clear copyright infringement like Spotify playlists running in the background during a stream, but damn this seems petty.
— John Wolfe (@JohnWolfeYT) June 8, 2020
We’re clearly not supporting acts of copyright infringement at the least, especially with licensed music that shouldn’t be playing in the background of a stream and also violating Twitch’s music guidelines. However, we do wish Twitch creates a less drastic workaround for currently archived VODs and clips, like an auto-mute system for copyrighted music ala YouTube and Facebook. These treasured moments like someone’s awesome Dota 2 teamfight clutch or Overwatch fails should not be purged.
Besides, this warning is only going to make some vindictive folks save their clips and republish them onto a competitor video-archiving service. Why would you hurt your bottom line like this, Twitch?