Popular streaming platform Twitch was recently bombarded with DCMA notices, leading to an unprecedented number of streamer strikes and bans.
The leading video game-based live streaming service Twitch has been busy this past week, emailing notices to thousands of streamers regarding copyright infringement, particularly towards clips that contain copyrighted music going back as far as 2017.
Twitch’s rules about music have been in place for quite a while, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been policed as well as it should. This led to possibly millions of archived streamer videos containing copyrighted music.
Streamers are now in a frenzy trying to delete old videos to avoid strikes and possible permabans (permanent bans), but it seems the platform’s dashboard is also giving streamers a hard time.
📢 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
Fuslie airs out her grievances on Twitter
Renowned Chinese-American Twitch streamer Leslie “Fuslie” Fu was one of the more high-profile personalities affected by the DMCA issue, as she took to Twitter to explain her predicament.
The variety streamer was quickly issued two copyright strikes on her account within a week for clips that were over a year old. Furthermore, she was advised by Twitch that one more violation of copyright infringement would warrant the permaban of her streaming account.
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
Fuslie reached out to Twitch staff only to be told that her best course of action was to delete all of her videos which, according to the streamer, numbers in excess of 100,000.
What makes matters worse is that the Twitch creator dashboard wasn’t loading her old clips, making it difficult to clear out her old footage.
Ultimately, the veteran streamer managed to get rid of all her stored clips and is back to streaming again but urges the Twitch community to find a better way to handle these situations for content creators in the future.
The Twitch community’s uproar
Obviously Fuslie wasn’t the only streamer upset at how the streaming service was handling things, with many content creators taking their grievances to their social media platform of choice to make their voices be heard.
Edison Park—the world record holder for most hours streamed in a month—took a shot at Twitch’s infrastructure, making it known that it lacks the functionality to load older clips. He also called out the “delete all clips for the video” feature for simply not working.
Respected horror streamer AnEternalEnigma joined the fray, voicing concerns about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) having too much power, and calling for the reform of the outdated internet copyright law.
Copyright is still being governed online and Twitch careers are being affected by a law (DMCA) written 22 years ago when only dorks like me were on the Internet with dial-up connections. The record labels and the predatory RIAA have too much power.
REFORM INTERNET COPYRIGHT LAW.
— AnEtͭeͤrͬnaͣlEniͥgmͫaͣ (@AnEternalEnigma) June 8, 2020
The reason for the sudden slew of DMCA takedown requests remains unclear at this point, but Twitch will have to improve their way of transparency with their streamers about the platform’s guidelines, to avoid another fiasco.
Featured image courtesy of Twitch/Twitter