“It’s finally happening: Twitch is taking action against copyrighted music — long a norm among streamers — in response to music industry pressure,” reports Kotaku.
But the Verge reports “there’s some funny stuff going on here.” First, Twitch is telling streamers that some of their content has been identified as violating copyright and that instead of letting streamers file counterclaims, it’s deleting the content; second, the company is telling streamers it’s giving them warnings, as opposed to outright copyright strikes…
Weirdly Twitch decided to bulk delete infringing material instead of allowing streamers to archive their content or submit counterclaims. To me, that suggests that there are tons of infringements, and that Twitch needed to act very quickly and/or face a lawsuit it wouldn’t be able to win over its adherence to the safe harbor provision of the DMCA.
The email Twitch sent to their users “encourages them to delete additional content — up to and including using a new tool to unilaterally delete all previous clips,” reports Kotaku. One business streamer complains that it’s “insane” that Twitch basically informs them “that there is more content in violation despite having no identification system to find out what it is. Their solution to DMCA is for creators to delete their life’s work. This is pure, gross negligence.”
Or, as esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau puts it, “It is absolutely insane that record labels have put Twitch in a position to force streamers to delete their entire life’s work, for some 10+ years of memories, and that Twitch has been incapable of preventing or aiding streamers for this situation. a total failure all around.”
Twitch’s response? It is crucial that we protect the rights of songwriters, artists and other music industry partners. We continue to develop tools and resources to further educate our creators and empower them with more control over their content while partnering with industry-recognized vendors in the copyright space to help us achieve these goals.
Of course, the money raised by these music companies doesn’t really go to the artists much – it’s basically swallowed up by the music companies themselves.