Twitch streamers threatened with permanent bans over copyrighted music

Brent Koepp

UPDATE June 7 10:00PM PST: The official Twitch Support Twitter account has expanded on the latest copyright infringement drama. While they assured that the streaming platform’s “guidelines for music have not changed,” they drew attention to clips from 2017-2019 in particular.

“This week, we’ve had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests. This is the first time we have received mass DMCA claims against clips,” they explained. Twitch employees are currently working on new ways for creators to control their clips and avoid any future issues. For the time being, however, they advised all streamers to “remove clips” if they’re unsure about potential copyright infringement.

Original story below…

On June 7, a wave of popular Twitch streamers including Fuslie and Jakenbake were stunned to find out their channels received music copyright strikes on videos – with some being over a year old.

A handful of Twitch’s top streamers received warnings as the platform appeared to be hit with sweeping DMCA claims across the board. Curiously, many of the alleged infractions happened over a year ago.

Distraught, many personalities took to social media to reveal that the strikes against them were for music they played during past broadcasts.

Twitch streamers hit with DMCA strikes

On June 7, popular streamer Fuslie made a string of posts on Twitter where she revealed her Twitch channel was being threatened with a permanent ban. The personality explained she felt “helpless” and would do anything to resolve the issue.

“I’ve been issued 2 copyright strikes on my channel (both from clips over a year old) in the past week and told that if they find one more violation in my clips, my twitch account will be permabanned,” she tweeted.

The streamer said she had been in contact with Twitch, and claimed they suggested her best option would be delete all of  her clips. “Have talked with multiple Twitch staff all telling me my best option is to delete all of my clips ever. I feel so helpless right now. I’ve built this channel up for 5 years and to potentially lose it all so fast to something like this would be devastating,” she continued.

The popular Twitch streamer was distraught over the warnings.

Her story echoed that of other streamers, such as IRL broadcaster ‘JakeNBake’ who revealed he had been given a similar warning. He also expressed the difficulty of having to go through all past clips and remove them. “I can’t go through 1000,000 clips and delete anything that has some music in it. Scary,” he said.

During his June 7 broadcast, Twitch personality ‘Masayoshi’ revealed that he had been warned for playing a music track by Lil Uzi Vert. Though, in the clip, he is listening to circus music while juggling items.

“I thought it was a prank, so I emailed Twitch and they said “No, that is our DMCA team.” So I got suspended for a day, and I now have a strike on my account for doing this,” he said.

Based off numerous tweets from streamers, it appears the most popular music tracks that are being flagged are Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings and 50 Cent’s In Da Club. While most of the clips being struck are from 2019, some go as far back as 2017.

It should be pointed out that Twitch has no choice but to react to DMCA takedowns from outside companies. However, some personalities have been critical of the platform for not doing a better job explaining what they can do to fix the situation. There has also been confusion as to why the offending sections can’t just be muted.

Ultimately, it’s the music companies that have decided to flag content from older broadcasts. Why they are choosing to go after this content now is anyone’s guess. The abrupt wave of warnings going out is a scary reminder of how careful streamers have to be when playing copyright material while going live, as even past content can now land them in hot water. Twitch has yet to address the situation at the time of writing, but Dexerto has reached out for comment.