A number of Twitch users – who do not stream themselves – have been given 24 hour bans on the website after using the ‘clip’ feature and clipping a moment which contained copyrighted content.
Twitch allows users to ‘clip’ moments from live streams, saving them as short videos up to 60 seconds long and making them shareable on other websites.
The feature is available as standard for all Twitch users and has become the number one way to share Twitch content around the web, capturing highlights (and lowlights) from streamer’s broadcasts.
Responsibility for the content contained in these clips still lies with the streamer themselves – that is until now, as multiple Twitch users have been sent emails citing DMCA infringements and subsequently being given 24 hour bans.
As one such user explains on Reddit:
Apparently clips are considered my content and are copyrighted material and can be DMCA and shut down my account. I got 24 hour suspension on my account that I’m subbed to 4 different streamers [on].
So basically Streamers can DMCA a twitch feature if they want to (removing clips is perfectly fine and fair) but shutting down viewers accounts for using a feature ? that is wrong on so many levels.
And later, others also reported having received the same emails, suspending their accounts. This post on the official Twitch Reddit shows the email which was sent to the account holder who had made a clip.
Update: Twitch Support has now clarified that these suspensions were in fact made in error, and that no strikes have been applied to the affected channels.
We have resolved an issue that was incorrectly notifying the clip creator of a copyright infringement, as opposed to the broadcaster. No strikes have been added to the affected clip creator accounts.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) July 4, 2018
The speculation currently is that these clips contained copyrighted music, which the streamer was playing. However, rather than the streamer themselves receiving the punishment, it has mistakenly handed to the account which made a clip.
These suspensions seem to be treating the account which made the clip as a ‘broadcaster’, rather than a viewer. They even link to the clip which they call “affected content”, although the clips are now removed, presumably due to the supposed copyright infringement.