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Tragic Life is Strange stream shows just how badly Twitch is handling DMCA

The result of strict DMCA adherence is already starting to negatively affect Twitch streams.
Tragic Life is Strange stream shows just how badly Twitch is handling DMCA

Over the last several months, Twitch has taken decisive measures to put a stop to the practice of listening to copyrighted music during broadcasts, and finally force the platform's content creators to comply with copyright laws.

As a result, we've seen situations where many streamers, big and small, have been forced to delete years of their VODs in fear of earning a dreaded DMCA strike.

Twitch DMCA life is strange
Twitch's enforcement of DMCA legislation has intensified. (Picture: Twitch)

It is not just playing music from Spotify, CD, or any other method, that can find you on the wrong side of copyright law. Games that featured licensed music, for example, GTA's eclectic collection of radio stations, have become a legal quagmire that has left streamers confused and fearful of what could happen if they aren't careful.

And this isn't just theoretical anymore with bans now being handed down to streamers that have been given at least three DMCA strikes.

That potential to lose your channel was too much for one streamer, who in an attempt to stay on the right side of DMCA found herself constantly muting the music during her Life is Strange session.

Life is Strange DMCA Twitch Stream
Life is Strange is full of licensed indie music (Picture: Dontnod Entertainment)

Dontnod's adventure game is praised for many qualities, and one of those things that make the game so perfect is its soundtrack consisting of many great indie songs.

These songs are carefully placed to accompany various emotional moments in the game and they are a crucial part of the experience when you play the game.

The problem is the music is licenced for the game and not to be played on someone's stream. That grey area resulted in a recent stream from "39daph" being frequently interrupted as the Canadian attempted to stop copyrighted music playing in fear of a DMCA strike.

As soon as the music started, 39daph would quickly pause the game, open the Menu screen in search for the music volume bar to mute it.

This obviously breaks the immersion for 39daph and her viewers, and there is no doubt that Twitch is a poorer place to watch games under the current regime.

Life is Strange DMCA Twitch Stream 39daph
Music is a major component of Life is Strange and integral part of the experience (Picture: Dontnod Entertainment)

In Life is Strange, key moments are defined by the silence of characters and music that follows their silence. In these moments, players would experience an emotional connection with characters through music, and reflect on things that were happening in the game prior to that point.

But instead of those enjoying moments, 39daph is left in fear of losing her channel.

One of the main problems for Twitch streamers is that is not clear if the music playing in-game will or will not earn you a DMCA strike, with the past enforcement of the law historically only further complicating matters.

A lot of games feature licenced music, including sports titles, and anyone who streams these games could find themselves banned for simply playing the game.

Twitch has made some efforts to better explain DMCA to streamers through Creator Camp sessions but surely a fit-for-purpose streaming license for music is the only way forward for streamers, Twitch, and the gaming and music industries.

Hopefully, things will get better soon because currently, we aren't experiencing games the way we are meant to, we aren't hearing the music, and streams are suffering.

No one wants to hear that.