It’s been a few weeks, but Twitch has finally decided to address the elephant in the room. After taking down videos from hundreds of partnered streamers hit with copyright strikes, Twitch has updated their blog to finally discuss just what the heck is going on.
“Creators, we hear you. Your frustration and confusion with recent music-related copyright issues is completely justified,” wrote Twitch. “Moving forward, we’ll be more transparent with what’s happening and what tools and resources we’re building to help.”
Last month, Twitch began serving DMCA takedowns issued by copyright holders–primarily from the music industry. Twitch’s handling of the matter was seen as overzealous, to put it mildly. The streaming giant unilaterally pulled content without providing any warning or explanation to the streamers that suddenly found their past video libraries devoid of content. Some streamers even saw their streams taken down while they were live on the air.
Twitch explains in their blog post that they went from receiving a few dozen DMCA notices from copyright holders each week to a few thousand starting in May of this year. This has forced Twitch to take action, and that action was apparently to start removing content left, right, and center.
Twitch also has some advice for those planning on streaming with music in the future: “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.”
Responding to a Twitter user that noted this means that the vast majority of content on Twitch falls under these guidelines, Twitch had this to say: “We recommend reading through any game’s EULA, and utilizing any option to turn music off if the game includes that option, or mute the game audio.”
So Twitch’s advice is to stream games without music, sound, or both. I dunno about you, but that doesn’t seem like grade-A content to me.
On the other hand, some of these streamers have some real cash. There could be a real legal battle between music copyright holders and streamers coming, and it’s gonna be ugly.
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