Twitch has had a bit of an issue with DMCA as of late, if you’re out of ‘the know’.
Streamers have generally been playing any music they wanted to in streams, readily featuring well-known soundtracks that artists (and more importantly, record labels) weren’t getting their fair share of. This has largely been regarded as a ‘bad move’ on behalf of the streamers.
To be fair, Twitch gave a pretty hefty warning to all streamers that the DMCA boss was coming, warning users to delete VODs that featured copyrighted music before strikes started being issued out.
Then the DMCA boss arrived, and nothing really worked out as it was supposed to. Users that had deleted the VODs were receiving copyright strikes for VODs that were deleted (rumored to occur because VODs were saved outside of Twitch that the bots were combing through), and massive segments of Twitch history simply vanished.
Now, some Twitch streamers are beginning to report that DMCA strikes are being issued out for sound effects within video games that they’re streaming, and with it comes a whole other slew of problems for developers, streamers, and fans.
Bear in mind that Twitch has a three-strike rule: after those are used up, you’re typically banned from the platform lest an external force moves to your aid. Being that Twitch is easily the largest streaming platform, it can be difficult to start anew outside of Twitch if you’ve been removed from the platform.
I got a copyright claim on Hitman: Blood Money because of the bird and insect noises in A Vintage Year.
— Bad Creature (@SL128T) November 12, 2020
Should users mute their titles entirely to dodge the DMCA, or will Twitch intervene and attempt to make heads or tails of the ongoing DMCA streamer-slaughter? Streamers are becoming a bit more frustrated as their income is becoming challenged with very little recourse being offered to the streamers; is it expected for streamers to reach out to developers before playing a title to ensure that every sound effect included is the sole ownership of said developer?
To clarify I’m not even opposed to their suggestion but how the hell am I supposed to know what is and isn’t licensed? Im about to just mimic and make my own damn noises.
— fl0m (@fl0mtv) November 12, 2020
Considering that Twitch fails to have a platform without the streamers readily churning through titles for the enjoyment of millions of fans, you would think that Twitch Support would have a more readied response aside from ‘our bad’.
Some strikes are coming allegedly from sounds that sound too close like copyrighted pieces: a streamer working through Phasmophobia received a DMCA strike because he was whispering.
Its very cool that I had a VOD get muted during Phasmophobia, no music or anything playing, but I guess us whispering at a ghost sounded a lot like some meditation spoken word album lmao. This rocks! pic.twitter.com/dMJLjwCmdf
— HCJustin (@HCJustinn) November 12, 2020
Your frustration and confusion with recent music-related copyright issues is completely justified. Things can–and should–be better for creators than they have been recently. The next few tweets will outline our plan for being better partners to creators. https://t.co/Ebk1rFlBOM pic.twitter.com/fiFitaZgD5
— Twitch (@Twitch) November 11, 2020
Currently, all sides of the table are frustrated with the current state of affairs, and no one necessarily appears to be coming out ahead.
Twitch needs to figure out the apparently over-aggressive DMCA algorithm; an aspect, worth noting, that YouTube has struggled with immensely over the past years.