In a statement that has both outraged and confused, Twitch has told streamers to simply mute game audio to avoid DMCA strikes on their channel.
In the latter half of 2020, several streamers have been banned for old VODs that feature any form of licensed music. The issue has affected big-name streamers including JakeNBake, LIRIK, and Pokimane to name a few. Some, such as Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel have even said that they’re willing to buy music to avoid the copyright strikes.
Much to the relief of streamers globally, Twitch issued a statement on November 11 telling streamers that their frustrations were “completely justified.”
“Things can–and should–be better for creators than there have been recently,” Twitch stated. “Moving forward, we’ll be more transparent with what’s happening and what tools and resources we’re building to help.”
In-game music on Twitch
While they are working on improving the matter, Twitch says that streamers have to stop playing recorded music, but claims to have paused any strikes for the time being.
In response to a detailed Twitter thread by the platform explaining the plan, one user asked “So what about music in-game? The biggest game is about to drop next month and we have to mute all music entirely and ruin the experience for the in-game!”
Twitch’s support account then replied, suggesting users play the game on mute: “We recommend reading through any game’s EULA, and utilizing any option to turn the music off if the game includes that option, or mute the game audio.”
👋 Hey there, thanks for reaching out. We recommend reading through any game's EULA, and utilizing any option to turn music off if the game includes that option, or mute the game audio.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) November 11, 2020
The Cyberpunk 2077 team has already confirmed that streamers will not have to worry about the heavy regulations as the soundtrack has been built from scratch. Nevertheless, Twitch users were still deeply concerned about how the rules would affect the streaming of other games.
User @SaiMorningstar wrote, “That’s an awful solution that implies ‘It’s the creator’s problem, not ours.’ Most streamers don’t have extensive histories in copyright law, that’s why the Twitch’s legal/economic/professional relationships are your responsibility. You’re equipped for it, creators aren’t.”
1) That's an awful solution that implies "It's the creator's problem, not ours."
Most streamers don't have extensive histories in copyright law, that's why the Twitch's legal/economic/professional relationships is your responsibility. You're equipped for it, creators aren't.
— Madame Scoville 🌶️ (@SaiMorningstar) November 12, 2020
They compared the process to YouTube, adding “Even YT has an appeal process and they’re just as bad with abuse of false DMCA claims and dismissal of fair use laws as you guys have been.”
Streamer JERICHO said, “I have no idea what the best solution is to solve this, but muting all game audio is not a sustainable answer for either Twitch or streamers.”
Lotta people shitting on Twitch in this thread for something they have no control over. I have no idea what the best solution is to solve this, but muting all game audio is not a sustainable answer for either Twitch or streamers. https://t.co/ipSgcFp7ze
— TUCKER (@JERICHO) November 12, 2020
Another user wrote, “Are you seriously suggesting playing games WITHOUT ANY GAME AUDIO? That is the most ridiculous, & excuse the pun, tone-deaf option I’ve seen proposed.”
Other users made light of the situation, joking about streaming Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution, which could not exist without copyrighted music.
Despite apologizing and claiming to take action, it looks as though the DMCA controversy still looms heavily on Twitch streamers.