Twitch under fire for replacing Metallica concert with 8-bit music to avoid DMCA

Metallica Blizzconline TwitchWikimedia Commons

Twitch has come under fire for replacing Metallica’s live performance during BlizzConline 2021 with 8-bit folk music to avoid DMCA copyright issues, although everyone can’t help but laugh at the results.

BlizzConline 2021 is underway, and fans from all around the world have been tuning in to catch all the latest news about their favorite games from Blizzard. It’s the first time the event has been held online, but that doesn’t mean it has been less epic.

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Like previous iterations, it started with an opening ceremony followed by a musical performance. Metallica rocked the BlizzCon crowd back in 2014 and returned this year, but with a twist. There were no crowds or gatherings. Instead, they performed a set list via live stream.

“Hey, thanks for having us! We’re Metallica!” said lead-singer James Hetfield. “Thanks for having us at BlizzCon 2014. We would love to be there this year, but obviously can’t be. Uh, so, here we are, and this is for you!”

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However, the stream featured a disclaimer down the bottom saying, “The upcoming musical performance is subject to copyright protection by the applicable copyright holder.”

And sure enough, it proved to be an issue on Twitch, which is no surprise given their controversial DMCA crackdown.

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Hilariously, Twitch’s official gaming channel eventually cut the audio and replaced it with 8-bit folk music, which is a far cry from Metallica’s usual sound. 

As a result, it looked like the heavy metal legends were powerfully strumming their guitars and bobbing their heads to a severely mismatched beat.

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Twitch also disabled clipping on the channel to save themselves the embarrassment. Fortunately, industry figure Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau was already on the case. His fingers were too fast, and he captured some footage and shared it with the masses.

It’s not the first time Twitch’s DMCA issues produced comical results, and it won’t be the last. Still, the incident came as a shock to unsuspecting fans who wanted to enjoy the show. 

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It was also a throwback to those who remember the infamous copyright infringement case between Metallica and Napster. The circumstances were different, but perhaps Twitch feared the worst and didn’t want to take any risks.

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