Twitch reaches new agreement to protect streamers from DMCA strikes

Twitch Copyright strikesTwitch/Unsplash

Following a long battle involving DMCA strikes, Twitch has officially reached an agreement with the National Music Publishers’ Association to help curb accidental punishments against its content creators. 

Dexerto reported just a few days ago that Twitch was in talks with the NMPA with hopes to come to an agreement regarding streamers violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Now, we finally know the result of those talks.

Countless streamers on the Amazon-owned platform have been hit with DMCA strikes for using copyrighted music, with xQc being one of the biggest creators affected when he received a strike and short-lived ban from the platform back in August.

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Amazon-Owned Twitch is currently the largest live-streaming platform

Twitch’s agreement with the NMPA

In a September 21 email, Twitch announced seemingly great news regarding these strikes: “We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) to build productive partnerships between Twitch and music publishers.”

The email goes on to explain that they have a new reporting process in the works that allows music rights holders to opt into reporting certain uses of their music. Twitch claims this tool is “more flexible and forgiving” to creators who accidentally play copyrighted music on their streams.

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They will follow these steps when a creator receives a claim on their content.

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  • Similar to DMCA, the platform will review reports and check for completeness.
  • Unlike DMCA, they will give creators a chance to correct their offense by first issuing a warning:
    • VODs and Clips that contain unauthorized music will be removed
    • If a live stream involves flagrant music uses like rebroadcasting music concerts and pre-release tracks, the platform may also issue a warning or penalty dependent on the creator’s history of that kind of use.
Twitch NMPA EmailTwitch
Twitch detailed their agreement and new DMCA process in a September 21 email

Closing out the email, the platform issued another warning against playing music that you do not own the necessary rights to: “Doing so violates the rights of music creators and runs counter to Twitch’s mission of supporting all creators.”

While it’s still unclear how the rights holders will handle the new process, streamers can check out Streambeats, Pretzel Rocks, or Monstercat for alternative stream-safe music options in the interim.

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Update, Monday, September 27: Twitch has sent out an email stating that Warner Music Group has joined the NMPA.

WMG has joined the NMPA to allow them to use the process recently announced by Twitch.

This does not allow streamers to purposely play Warner music as of right now, but it should allow content creators to have less fear for potential DMCA strikes when it comes to music released by WMG. 

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