Twitch streamer shocked by DMCA strikes over platform's own "safe" Soundtrack service - Dexerto
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Twitch streamer shocked by DMCA strikes over platform’s own “safe” Soundtrack service

Published: 6/Jun/2021 22:52 Updated: 6/Jun/2021 22:55

by Julian Young

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During another incident involving Twitch and music copyright claims, streamer Kevin Martin slammed the platform after receiving two DMCA strikes on his channel while streaming music via Twitch’s own service, Soundtrack.

After facing severe backlash over DMCA strikes in 2020, Twitch revealed a set of initiatives to provide creators with more protection for their channels. One of these safeguards was Soundtrack, a service created by the platform to provide streamers with copyright-free music.

This was originally seen as a step in the right direction, but streamers are now slamming the platform over Soundtrack’s confusing usage policies that have landed one creator with two DMCA strikes on his channel.

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Well-known poker streamer Kevin Martin revealed he had been hit by two DMCA strikes after playing music from Soundtrack during his streams. He slammed Twitch over the fact that his channel had been struck twice after using their service — one more strike and his account could be terminated completely.

Martin’s post quickly gained traction amongst the larger Twitch community, with notable industry figures and fellow streamers chiming in — the latter of which also deal with the threat of DMCA strikes looming over their heads.

Zach Bussey, a well-known commentator on the business side of Twitch, quickly pointed out that, at least in this particular instance, the streaming service did not appear to be at fault.

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While Soundtrack is meant to provide music for creators to use during their livestreams, it isn’t licensed to appear in VODs or clips, which according to Bussey’s analysis is where Martin’s issue appears to stem from.

Although Bussey and several others pointed out that Soundtrack appeared to have been configured incorrectly, leading to the strikes against Martin, this did little to quiet those who felt the platform still isn’t doing enough to help its creators.

One user remarked “[Soundtrack not being licensed for VODs and clips] shouldn’t even be a thing. It should be safe on and off stream.” Another account slammed the service for Soundtrack’s flawed implementation: “they killed Twitch Sings to pay for this music platform, costing a lot of streamers their livings.”

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Even creators from other platforms chimed in. Cory ‘Gothalion’ Michael, an ex-Twitch partner who now streams on Facebook Gaming, admitted that this case appeared to be avoidable user error, but lamented the lack of clarity that continues to haunt streamers when dealing with DMCA.

These issues are the latest in a long line of DMCA-related problems faced by streamers. While the situation seemed to have subsided since 2020, Twitch revealed in May that it had been hit with a new round of copyright claims that sent many streamers scrambling to scrub their channels yet again.

While this is certainly a sticky situation for Martin, the streamer appeared to be in good spirits. After his original video exploded on Twitter, he issued a follow-up statement, thanking the community for their support and hoping for a positive outcome.

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“I hope [at least one] strike will get removed because I just want to play cards and make poker shows,” he shared. It remains to be seen how Twitch will respond to this latest DMCA controversy, if at all, but we will make sure to keep you updated on any further developments.