Twitch DMCA takedowns over copyrighted music are once again in the spotlight after a number of streamers, big and small, reported receiving bans for infringing copyrighted content.
THIS STORY AND MORE ON THE BREAKDOWN
Two weeks ago it was reported that Twitch had started issuing “final” warnings to streamers who were violating music copyrights laws. Streamers like T1’s Sonii, Lirik, Nickmercs, pro-CDL player Scump, and plenty that don’t have a platform to be seen by millions of people reported getting emails saying that they are subject to the DMCA takedowns. The majority of streamers decided to delete YEARS worth of their own back catalog of content, all in the hopes that they would be able to avoid being removed from the platform entirely, but as Devin Nash shares, just removing the content that you’ve already posted isn’t going to save anybody.
Just yesterday, a fair number of Twitch streamers were PERMANENTLY BANNED from the platform over DMCA violations, a seeming first for the website, and other streamers were hit with what were the true final warnings in these salvo shots. One streamer who is a fairly small partnered streamer named Bucklington posted on Twitter that he was permanently banned after Twitch determined that they would treat him as a “repeat infringer of conduct.”
Another huge name streamer, Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda, a pro Rocket League player, was also banned which started this massive #FreeSquishy Twitter campaign that was eventually lifted after a few hours of the ban. Even Clix, one of the largest Fortnite streamers in the world, was hit with his SECOND DMCA violation, which if he receives another, he will be removed from the platform entirely and lose his 2.5 million followers, and his $70,000 a month in paid subscribers as well.
Twitch is on a full-blown transformation into what streamers have refused to believe they truly are: an actual business. While it’s been cool for some time to believe that Twitch is this magic place where the rules are all community enforced and it’s just a bunch of people who really like video games, but honestly, this is a multi-billion dollar enterprise owned and operated by Amazon. And the RIAA (or Recording Industry Association of America) wants to collect money for the times that music is played on stream for thousands of viewers, and the most likely solution is that Twitch is just going to remove streamers instead of paying the millions of dollars in fines on top of the money they are already paying the industry to keep them from shutting the site down.
Doom and gloom aside, there is an easy solution to this problem: stop playing music you don’t own the rights to on stream. But, in all honesty, it’s not THAT easy to avoid copyrighted music, and we are going to have to hang tight and see what the next step is going to be if Twitch streamers don’t start complying with the new rule enforcement.
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