Twitch Streamers Under Fire For Copyrighted Music Use – How Can You Keep Your Channel Safe? — Mubert Blog Twitch Streamers Under Fire For Copyrighted Music Use – How Can You Keep Your Channel Safe? — Mubert Blog

Twitch Streamers Under Fire For Copyrighted Music Use – How Can You Keep Your Channel Safe?

You’ve likely heard that many Twitch streamers have been hit with DMCA copyright strikes for music that they’ve used in broadcasts over the past few years. As Twitch follows in Youtube’s tracks with its strike policy system, the situation begs the question: How can I protect my Twitch channel if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong?


The main issue with these copyright strikes is that they often hit users who aren’t aware they’re doing anything that goes against the platform’s policy. What makes this situation even more challenging is that up until last year, thousands of streamers were freely streaming videos with copyrighted content because they had no idea they couldn’t!

When music protected under copyright gets used during a stream, the original author of that piece of music has a couple of options. They can:

  • Decide if the streamer can use their music,
  • Decide if the legal conditions apply to anyone using the song,
  • Ask the streamer for financial compensation.

If you have a Twitch channel or are considering making one that you want to add music to while streaming, there are a few important things to note.

Twitch Copyright Strikes – Am I In Danger?

DMCA Claim

You’ve spent precious time on your Twitch content. The last thing you want is for your content to be blocked or deleted due to some copyright issue you weren’t even aware of.

And no, just because you’re not one of the top streamers out there doesn’t mean your videos are safe from copyright strikes or deletion. It’s pretty simple actually:

If the music that you play while streaming is copyrighted, you cannot play that music unless you have the right to do so.

When choosing music that you want to use on Twitch, you need to know what music you can legally use. There are plenty of instances of Twitch streamers using copyrighted music in their streams and receiving either third-party notifications, DMCA copyright claims or Notices of Regulatory Violations.

What Is The DMCA and Why Should I Care?

The DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) penalizes those who infringe on copyright, meaning the production and distribution of technologies that do not comply with copyright protection. Newly proposed U.S. laws are in the works to hit Twitch streamers with felonies for broadcasting materials protected under this act.

In other words, to share music on the Twitch platform, you must first obtain the rights to use that music.

Many Twitch streamers, especially those new to the platform, believe that they can play music online for their followers if they have purchased a CD or MP3. Similarly, Twitch users who use streaming services such as Apple Music or Spotify believe their subscriptions provide them with the legal right to stream the music.

However, music that you are not the author or owner of, as well as karaoke performances, playbacks, or representations of copyrighted songs, cannot legally be played over a Twitch stream. Instead, you must use music that is your property, music that you licensed for streaming or Twitch Royalty-Free Music.

The question then becomes,

Where can I find “royalty-free” music?

Finding Copyright-Free Twitch Music

Twitch DMCA Strike

The Twitch Music Library is a massive and constantly growing library of royalty-free songs that streamers can use during their broadcasts. A few independent labels support the library, including Monstercat, Spinning Records, Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, Rhymesayers and OWSLA.

In addition to these labels, Twitch opens its library to any artists who want to collaborate and add their songs to broadcasts.

Twitch FM in Spotify

Another excellent option for those seeking royalty-free music for Twitch streaming is Spotify’s Twitch FM station. There are over 2500 songs on this station and plenty of playlists with authorized music that can be used during broadcasts.

Twitch YouTube Playlists

With so many copyright problems stemming from live broadcasts, several Twitch users found a way to utilize YouTube to get the music they want when streaming. Users can search for ‘Music for Twitch’ to pick from various videos and playlists with copyright-free stream music.

However, the main problem with acquiring music from these sources is that they do not necessarily provide protection from strikes, as they don’t give the user a ‘license’ to use the music. As we’ve seen, media rights can change quite suddenly, meaning you would be much better off using properly licensed royalty-free music by paying for a subscription service.

This is where specialized music licensing websites come into play.

Specialized Music Websites

No Sound Icon DMCA

All streamers are different, meaning their tastes and preferences in music are different too. Streamers often look to create unique elements within their broadcasts, and one way to do this is with unique music.

Many reputable Twitch streamers are starting to look to specialized music websites, which give them access to legitimate, royalty-free music for the cost of a monthly subscription.

Essentially, you pay a monthly subscription fee, which can range from $10-$20 depending on the service, and get access to thousands of tracks that you can download and use freely without needing to worry about purchasing a license.

When searching for a royalty-free music website to use, there are a few things you should look for:

  • A searchable music library,
  • Royalty-free music,
  • A wide range of tracks and genres to choose from.

The site should be easy to navigate so that you can find the music you are looking for quickly and should have a universal license that grants you the right to use the content in any country.

Final Thoughts

Music licensing is a very serious matter, unfortunately, most people are unaware of the rules, especially when it comes to something as relatively new as streaming. As a Twitch user, you probably wouldn’t be happy if another streamer downloaded your broadcast and played it elsewhere without getting your permission.

The same thing goes for music creators.

By spreading this kind of information, Twitch can begin moving towards a more legitimate and legal status, all the while protecting creators who work tirelessly to create the music we know and love.

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