Twitch Receives Another Batch of DMCA Takedowns - May 2021

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Creators on Twitch are becoming more familiar with DMCA takedowns. Last year, in 2020, Twitch received two large batches of DMCA takedowns, the first in March and the second in November. Many streamers were surprised with multiple claims, leaving some permanently banned from the platform.

Twitch has now announced that it has received another batch of approximately 1,000 DMCA takedown notifications. Like the previous batches, these notifications target VOD content, and predominently for the use of copyrighted background music.

And Twitch expects that more will come. According to their e-mail:

We recently received a batch of DMCA takedown notifications with about 1,000 individual claims from music publishers. All of the claims are for VODs, and the vast majority target streamers listening to background music while playing video games or IRL streaming. Based on the number of claims, we believe these rights holders used automated tools to scan and identify copyrighted music in creators’ VODs and Clips, which means that they will likely send further notices.

Although live content has not yet seemed to be automatically scanned in the way that VODs are, some streamers have received manual DMCA claims from rightsholders.

Twitch’s e-mail very importantly did not advise broadcasters that it would be safe to use the tools they provide to remove background music from VODs. Although this method does make it less likely that copyright holders will find infringing content, it is still a violation of copyright law to use unlicensed music in your live broadcast.

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