Over the last few months, many Twitch streamers have been haunted by DMCA strikes on their accounts. These strikes appear when streamers use copyrighted music in their streams without the necessary permissions. Recently, these DMCA strikes have forced streamers to delete thousands of their old clips which contained copyrighted music. Amidst all this, Twitch was obviously trying to put out the fires with thousands of DMCA strikes being handed out each week. Now, they have finally addressed the situation and have explained what exactly is going on.
In an announcement on the official blog, Twitch mentioned that they understand their ‘frustration and confusion’ regarding the DMCA strikes. The platform then went ahead to explain what exactly was going on.
Before May 2020, there were hardly any DMCA strikes related to music on different channels. Although, things changed drastically after May as they started receiving thousands of such strikes per week. In simple terms, the issue was that the streamers were using recorded music in their streams. Once the stream ends and clips are taken out of it, the DMCA comes into play and flags the content that contains copyrighted music. As a result, the streamers are forced to delete all the flagged content, no matter how old it may be.
Clearly, this was a frustrating situation for creators which is why Twitch has now weighed in. Although, their current advice may not be that insightful considering it is the most obvious thing ever. They said, “Most importantly, don’t play recorded music in your stream unless you own all rights in the music, or you have the permission of the necessary rights holder(s).”
Thankfully, they also mentioned certain alternative services streamers can use to play rights-cleared music. This also includes Twitch’s own Soundtrack service which was recently launched to help streamers avoid the DMCA strikes.
Furthermore, Twitch has also provided a roadmap for how they are going to tackle this situation. For starters, they are working on a mass-deletion tool that will help streamers delete all the flagged content in one go. Unfortunately, there is no way that the content can stay and it will have to be deleted.
Next, they plan to provide creators with a way to control what music shows up in the recorded content. This will help them avoid any unnecessary strikes and will safeguard their content as well. Lastly, they will also allow streamers to review the strikes and will enable them to contact the claimant (Owner of the copyrighted music).
In addition to this, Twitch is also speaking to major record labels regarding any licensing agreement that they can agree upon. This will definitely make life easier for streamers. Although, all these tools and possible licenses are still not ready and will take some time to materialize.
Twitch has also updated its FAQ page in case creators have any questions. Even though this may not be the immediate solution to the DMCA strikes, this is definitely a good start. The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one. Twitch has understood what they need to do and will definitely help their creators in every way possible.