Twitch Apologizes To Streamers For Recent DMCA Takedowns, But Is Still Scrambling To Come Up With Solution

Twitch has issued a lengthy apology to its userbase for its handling of thousands of DMCA takedown requests this fall.

In October, Twitch deleted a swath of old clips on the site in an effort to comply with a sudden influx of copyright notices. The move was highly controversial as it demonstrated Twitch had seemingly no plan in place to deal with the sudden influx of DMCA claims that began hitting the site in June. At the time, streamer Devin Nash shared a screenshot of the email he was sent by Twitch alerting him that his content was being taken down. The notice includes lines like:

We are writing to inform you that your channel was subject to one or more of these DMCA takedown notifications, and that the content identified has been deleted. We recognize that by deleting this content, we are not giving you the option to file a counter-notification or seek a retraction from the rights hold. 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.

The notice sent to creators was different from a typical DMCA notice, which normally identifies the offending content and the penalty the violator would face. The vagueness of the takedowns and the sudden enforcement of DMCA guidelines left streamers wondering which of their clips were in violation and for what reason, leaving a swath of streamers unsure of how they could comply in the future.

In the update posted yesterday, Twitch warned users to not play recorded music during streams and delete VODs and clips that have recorded music. They also announced a “Creator Camp” live session in which they will discuss and teach its userbase about copyright law.

This also poses a problem for gaming streams, as video games are not subject to the same DMCA scrutiny as licensed music in games. Game creator Wes Keltner posted videos on the topic shortly before Twitch updated its users on the DMCA situation.

At the moment, Twitch has stated that it has only issued “a handful” of takedown notices to game streams that violated copyright law.

Still, while Twitch is working to educate its users on copyright law and provide a working set of guidelines for streamers, it seems clear that they are currently in the process of working out a permanent solution, whether that be pursuing a deal with record companies or some other avenue, to address the situation.

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