Two popular Twitch streamers have been handed DMCA strikes for playing a song by Bazzi over a year ago on their channels, prompting backlash from fans.
DMCA strikes are notifications of copyright infringement, issued when a user on a website allegedly posts or shares copyrighted material, typically music.
The site hosting that material, in this case Twitch, is effectively obligated to remove the infringing material, or risk facing further legal challenges for copyright infringement.
For Twitch specifically, this has become somewhat of a grey area, as streamers often play copyrighted music on live broadcasts with no repercussions, but record labels are still within their rights to file a DMCA takedown notification.
On September 24, two streamers, Lurn and AngelsKimi, who both have over 200,000 followers on the platform, posted about their DMCA strikes on Twitter, with both coincidentally having played music from the same artist, Bazzi.
Lurn said "just got my second DMCA for a clip that’s a year old. Fuck yeah," before directing her comment directly at the artist, saying "that's actually so fucked."
— Lauren (@Lurn) September 24, 2019
AngelsKimi explained that the record label had indeed filed the copyright claims, also showing her own DMCA strike notification from Twitch.
twitch reached out and said it was the record label that copystriked me :pensive: rest in pepperonis clean streaming record i feel like I just got an F on my straight A report card
— kimi :arrow_right:️ twitchcon-san :heart:️ (@angelskimi) September 25, 2019
Neither streamer has been banned, with the content simply removed from the channel, but both will have received a strike against their channel.
After a third strike, Twitch would typically suspend the account indefinitely, which for streamers who make their living from their channel could mean the end of their livelihood.
Confusion around these strikes particularly comes from the fact that the infringing material was played on streams in September and October of 2018.
It means that even if streamers are warier now, and ensure they avoid playing any copyrighted material, they could still be given a strike for an incident months, or even years, in the past.