Twitch has received a number of takedown notifications in the past year: the first wave took place in May, with the second one arriving shortly after in October. A lot of streamers have fallen victim to copyright infringements — in the first wave, the streaming service got Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices with around 1,000 individual claims.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law related to the relationship between copyright and the internet that was passed in 1998. Most of the music that gets played during a stream is subject to copyright, meaning that the copyright owner can make a takedown request on the basis of copyright infringement. Twitch, receiving that notification, can remove and delete that content.
When the first wave of DMCA takedown notices hit, Twitch chose to handle the situation by giving its creators only three days to review and clear their videos and VODs that might be subject to copyright infringements. While the Amazon-owned platform chose to bulk-delete content in October and give out its own warnings to users — and received a lot of backlash for this — it also slowly began offering services that would solve these issues and rolled out Soundtrack, a Twitch royalty-free music tool that allows creators to play during their streams.
Still, even though Soundtrack was a step forward towards helping creators navigate the copyright waters, it wasn’t sufficient enough. Many argued that Twitch needs to start building relationships with major labels and music companies in order to license their catalogs.
On September 21, 2021, Twitch announced it’s teaming up with The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) “to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers.” However, this deal mostly benefits musicians, not the streamers since they still aren’t given the chance to play licensed compositions. As the company wrote in its email to creators, this partnership doesn’t change “how music can be used” on the platform. On the other hand, this does mean softer consequences when it comes to users who “inadvertently or incidentally” use copyrighted songs: instead of receiving penalties, creators will first be warned by Twitch.Copyrights, CreatorEconomy, Creators
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