Back in June, Twitch updated its Terms of Service and streamers started getting DMCA strikes and suspensions even for some several-years-old Twitch clips from their channels.
Given that a lot of content creators are streaming and listening to their favourite music live on stream, this was something that created a lot of turmoil and chaos in the streaming community.
People didn't know how to react and what to do, and some were even trying to find some quick solutions and workarounds, but in the end, the consensus was that if you just delete VOD with the copyrighted music, you should be fine.
But it looks like that will not be the case anymore.
Earlier today, Twitch started sending messages to streamers who had issues with DMCA, warning them that streaming with copyrighted music will not be tolerated in the future and that they should delete their VODs with copyrighted music as soon as possible.
"In consideration of this, we have processed these notifications and are issuing you a one-time warning to give you the chance to learn about copyright law and the tools available to manage the content on your channel, " says in the message.
This ominous "final warning" created a state of an absolute confusion amongst streamers, since apparently everyone is getting these messages and no one understands clearly what they mean and what they should do.
And while Twitch has recently created a blog post called Copyrights and Your Channel to try to help streamers to better understand what they can and can not do, in this situation it clearly doesn't help, and a lot of streamers are unsure what are their next moves and are even afraid that they will get banned.
Even the biggest names in the community are getting these DMCA strikes, without exactly understanding what is going on
Got hit with a DMCA on twitch and no idea what it was that did it.— Lirik (@LIRIK) October 20, 2020
DMCA IS THE STUPIDEST THING EVER. WE ARE PROMOTING YOUR MUSIC FOR FREE. HELLO? We aren't claiming shit, its actually hella annoying. Get ur shit together— TSM Emad (@EmadGG) October 20, 2020
Got hit with that DMCA warning and I haven't played music in months. dang.— Seth Huntsmen (@scump) October 20, 2020
"It is INSANE that Twitch informs partners they deleted their content - and that there is more content in violation despite having NO identification system to find out what it is. Their solution to DMCA is for creators to delete their life's work. This is pure, gross negligence," says streamer and Twitch partner Devin Nash.
In an effort to makes thing more understandable for their content creators, Twitch Support will host a Creator Camp event on Wednesday, 21st October at 2 pm PT/ 5 pm ET / 11 pm CET.
The focus of these "live learning" sessions will be to "provide an overview of our Music Guidelines", and to answer any questions and to clear ambiguities over these new strikes.
It is clear that music industry is forcing Twitch to take strong measures against Twitch streamers who are freely using copyrighted music during broadcasting, and that this will eventually lead to the complete removal of unauthorized use of copyrighted music in streaming.