Twitch takes steps to make streamers a little less terrified of the DMCA

While Twitch continues to pulverize upstart Facebook Gaming as the preferred platform for nine out of 10 esports fans, there is a drawback to the service. If you like music, and more importantly like setting your streamed content to music, chances are you’ve run into trouble with the DMCA. That’s short for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and watchdogs are constantly scouring the web for streams where music has been posted without the permission of the copyright holder.

And being flagged for violating a copyright is never a good thing for Twitch users. First the DMCA steps in with a cease and desist order, after which the ball is in Twitch’s court to ensure that a post is removed. Get enough copyright strikes and your account is terminated.

Twitch has today taken steps to streamline the process by which takedown notices are issued. It’s now easier for streamers to delete older videos where they weren’t aware they were violating copyrights by playing music.

As of today, DMCA notices will no longer be emailed to violators, but instead sent via notification on Twitch. There will also be a strike tracker that can be monitored through Video Producer.

Twitch has also taken a step to make it easier to delete individual videos containing music that streamers were not authorized to use. Previous manual deletion of clips was so difficult that many popular Twitch users chose to delete their entire back libraries rather than run into trouble with the DMCA. The main fear is, of course, being sued for copyright violation. And also of losing followers, with numbers sometimes in the hundreds of thousands.

While things will be a little clearer for Twitch users moving forward, one has to wonder why streamers who love music haven’t jumped to Facebook Gaming.

Last fall Facebook’s official gaming platform brokered a deal with Universal, BMG, Warner, Sony, and their various subsidiaries. Those providing free content on the new service were greenlighted to use songs from the major labels involved without having to worry about copyright laws. Facebook agreed to pay the major labels for the right to have streamers access their artists.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

Leave a Comment