If you are a streamer who acts on the Twitch stream platform, today you must have woken up with a certain fear of being punished or even banned from the platform for simply using copyrighted music.
Such fear aroused in the community after several reports of DMCA notifications were posted on Twitter, being one of the most commented topics on the social network today (05/08/2020).
In fact, the Twitch itself manifested itself through its support profile, claiming to have received a sudden flow of requests to remove content for copyright infringement.
To make the situation even more worrying to streamers, requests are being made not only for streams, but also for VODs and clips, including those published several and several years ago (since 2017).
This means that many streamers have hundreds or even thousands of content that may be infringing some copyright, and thus putting their entire channel on the platform at risk of being penalized.
Precisely for this reason Twitch recommends that you delete any content that you are not entirely sure you have the necessary rights or licenses to use.
She also recognizes that this is stressful for affected streamers and complicated for those with larger projects, and claims to be working on solutions to facilitate this whole process.
And as usual, on social networks there are plenty of users complaining about what happened, be it the affected streamers or even Twitch users who say that the platform is acting in the wrong way.
So, in order to clarify this whole situation that took many by surprise, check out our complete analysis of this event below:
DMCA – The law responsible for the problem!
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States law passed on 12/10/1998 that basically extends the rights of the author and criminalizes infractions related to theft of intellectual property on the internet or digital media.
Although their jurisdiction is not global, most technology companies used by content creators are either American or have servers in the U.S., which requires them to follow the law.
Other countries also follow the same model as the DMCA in their legislation, which also motivates major content platforms to adapt globally.
In summary, this law makes the platform that hosts copyright-protected content without authorization becoming responsible for it, so it can be processed by the owners.
So the easiest way to avoid this problem is to remove these contents, which can be done automatically by the platform itself or at the request of third parties.
And that’s exactly what Twitch is doing now, in order to avoid prosecutions for violating the DMCA. Something that YouTube and Google have been doing for years on their video platform and web search engine.
There is no point in appealing to fair use in this case!
This is a legal concept widely used as a defense of content creators for copyright claims. However, it is not legally valid under US law, and may conflict with the DMCA.
Furthermore, following its logic, it would not be possible to apply fair use to Twitch content, as it is not a use for explanatory, critical or educational purposes, for example, but for commercial use.
This is precisely why many youtubers still suffer from the DMCA, especially the niche cinema channels, for example, which often use portions of films and series in small quantities, and are still penalized.
The streamers knew this could happen!
Long-time youtubers are already well aware of the punishments they can receive because of the DMCA, ranging from loss of monetization, restricted viewing of videos, or even a permanent ban on the channel.
However, streamers, especially those operating on platforms other than YouTube, noted that the DMCA punishments were much less rigid than on the Google platform.
Twitch, for example, limited itself to eventually cutting some parts of the audio into VODs and clips, in order to remove copyrighted music. But films and series, for example, went unpunished for a long time or were deleted.
Other internet life platforms, especially those in China, do not even do any serious work in this regard, which further favored the idea that there are no problems in using protected content in internet streams.
Of course, many thought that this would not happen because most of these platforms of streams do not apply these punishments until now. Which had a strong impact on streamers who were breaking these rules over the years.
The solutions to this problem
The situation caused in the Twitch community due to problems with copyrighted content exposed a major problem with the platform: Almost all online content today has something that violates the DMCA!
Whether in gameplay, chatting, or walking around the world streams, there are copyrighted songs being played live, or that are then saved on VOD and clips.
This brings to streamers of all formats an enormous operational insecurity, since it is often impossible or even impossible to avoid these infractions, thus putting their projects at risk.
But then, what would be the solutions to this problem? Here are some useful tips for you who are streamer:
- No more use of copyrighted content such as music, videos and images
- Avoid public places with music or videos showing
- Disable music in games and videos
- Opt for content banks for free use or public domain
- Erase any content that violates the DMCA
For Twitch and other live platforms, we have some suggestions for actions that can be taken to mitigate the damage and limitations to their content creators:
- Offer a bank of copyright-free music
- Leave the infringing contents hidden, with the possibility of editing them to remove the protected parts
- Close partnerships with copyright holders to ensure safe use on the platform
- Offer a more fair and transparent reporting system to streamers
Finally, in the legal sphere, it is also worth opening a series discussion about the DMCA and its effectiveness. In times of creating content for the internet and social networks, the law is backward and hardly compatible with the current reality.
Updating it can be a great way to develop a better market for all sides, ensuring legal certainty for those who need it and punishments for those who really deserve it.
The news that Twitch will remove streams, VOD and clips with copyrighted music may have taken many by surprise, but it was always predicted to happen, as it did today.
Those more experienced professionals who did not ignore the rules, even though it is a clear disadvantage for their project, today they are calm by this decision.
For those who have been penalized, this is an important lesson, acting in the long run is essential when working as a content creator. An action today can result in your success or failure tomorrow!
As for Twitch, the platform is not to blame, it is only doing what is best for it. And that is entirely within her rights, as she owns the “rented land” that you streamer or viewer use on the internet.
Did you like our opinionated content? Do you agree or disagree with our position? Comment below and share your opinion with us and the community.
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