Twitch streamers have been warned by djWHEAT about DMCA bans after more and more creators have been streaming shows and movies on the platform.
The issues between creators and record labels have been ongoing since Twitch started handing out bans to streamers that were violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
After an influx of DMCA strikes, Twitch released tools that now help streamers identify copyrighted content. Eventually, the platform reached agreements with some labels to protect creators from strikes altogether.
However, while some streamers have refrained from listening to copyrighted music, many have begun broadcasting their reactions to TV shows and movies.
A tweet from popular Twitch creator CohhCarnage on December 26 put a spotlight on the issue of streamers reacting to TV shows and movies.
The creator noted that previously it’d never been fine to rebroadcast TV and movies: “Noticing a lot of streamers are watching shows and reacting. No shade, more power to them! But I mean, is this OK to do?”
Carnage continued in another tweet: “Also for all the people thinking I’m feigning ignorance here, that ain’t the case. Justin.TV got hammered for this when it changed to Twitch. Now people do it all the time.”
Also for all the people thinking I'm feigning ignorance here, that ain't the case.https://t.co/fKxMVL2yiy got hammered for this when it changed to Twitch. Now people do it all the time. I figured something had to have changed I just didn't know about to see if as much as we do.
— Cohh Carnage (@CohhCarnage) December 27, 2021
The series of tweets from Carnage got a lot of attention from the Twitch community, and even Marcus ‘djWHEAT’ Graham — Head of Twitch Community Productions — responded. He clarified that it’s not okay, and it’s never been okay, to stream shows and movies on the site.
“It’s absolutely not okay. Just like it has never been ok to stream music. This is just as DMCA’able as anything else,” Marcus said. “It’s hard to say why streamers have not been targeted, but just like music, it’s probably just a matter of time.”
It’s absolutely not ok. Just like it has never been ok to stream music. This is just as DMCA’able as anything else. Hard to say why streamers have not been targeted, but just like music, it’s probably just a matter of time. This is not an official Twitch take, just my own.
— djWHEAT (@djWHEAT) December 26, 2021
Former Twitch employee and streamer ShannonZKiller also weighed in on the situation: “It’s not ok and it’s only a matter of time before this DMCApocalypse kicks off too.”
It’s not ok and it’s only a matter of time before this DMCApocalypse kicks off too
— Shannon (@ShannonZKiller) December 27, 2021
“A very quick way to get three strikes also if a rights holder catches your backlog,” said the Video Game Attorney. “Highly don’t recommend doing this without a formal license.”
Very quick way to get three strikes also if a rights holder catches your backlog. Highly don’t recommend doing this without a formal license.
— Video Game Attorney (@Morrison) December 26, 2021
As stated by many creators and even Twitch employees themselves, it’s only a matter of time before streamers are hit with DMCA strikes for reacting to copyrighted content on stream.