Some Twitch Streamers Are Getting Takedown Notices Just For In-Game Sound Effects
The struggle for Twitch streamers has never been more real. Starting in October, music copyright holders started throwing “thousands” of DMCA takedown requests at Twitch, prompting the streaming platform to start removing videos by the truckload.
Twitch offered no warning, no explanation, and no appeals process before videos were removed. Some even had their livestreams taken down due to copyrighted music in the background.
Naturally, Streamers were upset. When they asked Twitch how they could actually play games if seemingly everything was copyrighted, Twitch offered players the option of turning off in-game audio entirely as a solution.
Clearly, a silent stream save for the streamer themself isn’t nearly as entertaining as a streamer speaking over a livestream broadcast of their game. And yet, Twitch seems to have sided entirely on the side of copyright holders and is taking little to no action to help content creators.
Case in point, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that not only are streamers and videos receiving copyright strikes for music, they’re also receiving takedown notices for in-game sound effects.
The publication notes that Twitter users say they’re getting DMCA strikes for a variety of sounds, such as wind effects, a grandfather clock, bird and insect noises, and even a police siren.
Not that copyright holders are going after sound effects too, basically no audio for any game can be played without receiving a DMCA strike. This tracks with Twitch’s response to questions stating that streamers should broadcast without any in-game audio, but it’s baffling that Twitch isn’t even considering pushing back on copyright holders.
One Twitter user suggests the obvious solution is for Twitch to work out a deal with copyright holders where they get paid for their copyrighted materials while streamers are protected from lawsuits and are able to operate as they have for years. The fact that Twitch has entirely taken the side of copyright holders is extremely confusing given the fact Twitch is backed by Amazon, the third-largest company on Earth.
DMCA strikes don’t seem to be widespread enough to affect overall Twitch viewer numbers yet, but perhaps if viewers leave the platform Twitch will finally see this as the existential threat to its business that it is.
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