Twitch apologizes amid DMCA controversy and reveals planned changes

Michael Gwilliam
Twitch DMCA copyright logoTwitch

Twitch has finally has spoken up after a number of DMCA-related bans were handed out to streamers on the platform.

The DMCA drama escalated in the latter half of 2020, with streamers being banned for old VODs that feature any form of licensed music. This has resulted in suspensions for big-name streamers, and some, such as Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, even say they’re willing to buy music to avoid any copyright strikes.

On November 11, Twitch issued a statement telling streamers that their frustration over the recent DMCA copyright issues were “completely justified.”

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“Things can–and should–be better for creators than they have been recently,” Twitch stated. “Moving forward, we’ll be more transparent with what’s happening and what tools and resources we’re building to help.”

According to the Amazon-owned streaming platform, prior to May of 2020, streamers received less than 50 DMCA-related notifications each year. However, that all changed once representatives for the major record labels started spamming DMCA notifications.

Unfortunately, Twitch says they don’t expect the large amounts of notifications to die down any time soon. However, while they are working on improving things for streamers, they made it clear that they have to stop playing copyrighted music.

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The site claims to have paused the processing of strikes in order to give users the tools and information needed to deal with the problems.

“You’re rightly upset that the only option we provided was a mass deletion tool for Clips, and that we only gave you three-days notice to use this tool. We could have developed more sophisticated, user-friendly tools awhile ago. That we didn’t is on us,” they apologized.

The tools in development include ways to better detect copyrighted audio, control what audio will show up in recorded content and review “allegedly infringing content when you receive a DMCA notification.”

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While a lot of damage has already been done, at least Twitch is finally stepping up. That said, it remains to be seen how large of an effect these new tools will help make streaming less of a hassle.

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About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at michael.gwilliam@dexerto.com or on Twitter @TheGwilliam