With streaming games and “let’s plays” becoming a dominant force of influence in the gaming world, one of the sillier trends we’ve seen is video games coming out with “stream safe” settings that strip out audio content for which there is no broadcast license. We’ve talked already about how this sort of thing is not a solution to the actual problem — the complicated licenses surrounding copyrighted works and the permission culture that birthed them — but is rather a ploy to simply ignore that problem entirely. That hasn’t stopped this from becoming a more regular thing in the gaming world, even as we’ve seen examples of “stream safe” settings fail to keep streams from getting DMCA notices.
Well, if there were a perfect example of a video game that highlights the absurdity of all of this, it may well be the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy title. If you’re not familiar with the GotG movies, you should know that retro music plays a major role in the films. The game promises that retro music will be just as important as in the films. And that’s what immediately set off concern for game streamers.
One group that is wary of this heavy emphasis on pop music is the livestreaming crowd, who are concerned that it could make the game near-impossible to broadcast. This is because Twitch and YouTube creators are regularly hit with what are known as Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.
The game publisher of course secured the rights to the songs to be included in the game, but did not license the songs for rebroadcast. Because the world is an extremely stupid place, streaming a game equates to a rebroadcast of any music within it. And, also because the world is an extremely stupid place, Eidos-Montreal’s solution to this is once again to mute licensed music.
Newsweek contacted Eidos-Montréal to ask if they had made any considerations for Twitch streamers in respect to Guardians of the Galaxy’s music. Over email, a spokesperson confirmed that there will actually be an option to mute licensed tracks, if players want to be absolutely safe from potential DMCA takedowns.
And so a major thematic element for the franchise will be nixed in any live-streams of the game.