Twitch has sent out an influx of DMCA takedown notices in an apparent move to tackle unauthorised copyrighted material being used on its platform. The content, most of which is dated from 2017 to 2019, was issued with a DMCA takedown notice, meaning that the copyright holder sent the takedown to Twitch who were forced to comply as part of their adherence to DMCA. Repeat offenders could see their channel banned. The move could heavily affect DJs who have migrated to the platform since lockdown began, due to the global pandemic, largely favouring it over Facebook and Instagram for its lack of takedowns, among other things. Twitch's terms and conditions have always made it clear that uploading or streaming content containing copyrighted music that you don't have the right to is not allowed.
In a tweet on June 8th, Twitch explained: “This week, we've had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips.”
This week, we've had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we're working to make this easier.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) June 8, 2020
Though the takedowns have mostly been focussed on content from a two-year period, they could result in channel bans for repeat offenders and are the biggest sign yet that Twitch, and its copyright owners, intend to step up its fight against copyrighted music being used on its platform.
I’ve been issued 2 copyright strikes on my channel (both from clips over a year old) in the past week and told that if they find one more violation in my clips, my twitch account will be permabanned. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/y8pft3spdq
— fuslie (@fuslie) June 7, 2020
A Twitter thread from Twitch user Fuslie outlines the email she received explaining the DMCA takedown and that Twitch’s advice was simply to delete everything. Fuslie later tweeted: “On top of it being near impossible for me to delete >100,000 clips, the creator dashboard isn’t loading any of my old clips. How am I supposed to protect myself here?” Copyright is never simple. We’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops.
However, if you think your audio has been incorrectly muted, you can appeal the decision here. Read our article on how dance music producers are using Twitch to connect with their fans here.