A controversial new EU copyright law has been agreed and streamers will be affected by the proposed changes in a number of crazy ways.
Article 13 is part of the new EU Copyright Directive that deals with online content sharing services such as Twitch and YouTube and copyright-protected content.
It states that content-sharing services must license copyright-protected material directly from the rights holders. If this process is not adhered to and the material is used – the company or individual may be held liable.
Twitch CEO, Emmett Shear, detailed how the legislation could affect streamers in a number of ridiculous ways.
Shear stated that even something as insignificant as a poster in the background of a webcam could be flagged as copyright.
He stated: “The system could identify that poster in the background as being copyrighted,
“But is that poster fair use? If you’re walking down the street and music is playing in the background – is that fair use?”
Usually serious issues of copyright are dealt with in court, however, Shear added that Article 13 means Twitch will be forced to take down channels immediately.
“We would be obliged to take down that stream [containing copyright material],” Shear added. “That seems completely wrong to us.”
Copyright on Twitch is already a complex issue and Article 13 will only add further headaches for streamers in the EU if it becomes law in the next few weeks.