It will soon be a year since Twitch acted, for the first time in its history, in response to the claims received by record companies and rights managers. It was, as we already told you at the time, a particularly controversial performance, since it occurred without prior notice, on a platform that until then had been quite lax about it. Many streamers felt attacked by the platform, not for chasing protected content, as this is understandable, but for the sudden 180-degree turn.
Undoubtedly, Twitch learned from that experience and has since taken multiple steps to avoid a repeat of a similar episode. For example, it launched the Soundtrack by Twitch service for live shows (although audio tracks should not be kept either in recordings or clips), it has enabled tools with which creators can delete their recordings if they think they have employee protected content and also frequently reminds streamers of the risks of using protected content.
However, despite the fact that it is undoubted and indisputable that the platform has made a significant effort to prevent these circumstances from recurring and, incidentally, to remove some of the pressure to which it is subjected by the rights managers. I’m not saying that I did everything right, for example the company should have managed Soundtrack so that the audio tracks could be kept in the recordings. However, just as I am quite critical of Twitch in other respects, such as swimming pools, at this point in particular I think they have acted quite well.
Despite this, and it is enough to take a quick look at the platform to verify it, there are many streamers that today continue to use music protected by copyright in their direct, exposing themselves to claims based on the DMCA. And at this point it is important to remember that, unlike the sanctions that depend exclusively on the platform, for not complying with its rules, the sum of three claims for protected content translates into the permanent expulsion of the streamer from Twitch. Unless the streamer can demonstrate that they are authorized to use that content (and this is practically never the case), it will be the end of their channel on Twitch.
During all these months Twitch has been looking for a way to manage these situations, something key since according to the platform, the volume of claims based on the DMCA has not stopped growing. And as reported today by The Verge, today it has sent a communication to streamers warning that a new wave of strikes is coming, and granting a margin of time so that they proceed to eliminate all the content of their video libraries that may contain music protected by copyright.
It is not clarified, in the communication, when the sanctions will start to occur, but most likely this will happen in a very short term, in a matter of a few days and it is that surely the record industry and rights managers are not at all in agreement with these grace periods. Therefore, if you are a streamer and have used copyright-protected music that is preserved in the recordings in your live shows, the most sensible thing is that you take advantage of this margin of safety that Twitch has offered you to avoid sanctions.
And, if you accept a personal advice, Take advantage of this moment to rethink the use of protected content in your live shows. Whether you’re broadcasting as a hobby or with professional pretensions, discovering overnight that your channel has been removed is a particularly frustrating feeling. Twitch this time around is protecting streamers more than you might expect, but all the countdowns end at some point.