Another possible ban wave may be kicked off by DMCA claims on Twitch very soon. On Twitter, esports analyst and consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau shared an email from the streaming service. According to the email, Twitch has received a massive 1,000 DMCA claims from music labels. More specifically, the claims are “for VODs, and the vast majority target streamers listening to background music while playing video games or IRL streaming.”
Filing 1,000 DMCA claims is no easy feat, and Twitch believes that some music labels “used automated tools to scan and identify copyrighted music in creators’ VODs and Clips.” If this is true, it’s not looking too hot for streamers on Twitch’s platform. With a tool that can scan through creators content, a song that even briefly plays from years previous can lead to a DMCA claim. This is exactly the case for Sneepsnuck, who claims to have received a DMCA strike on a VOD from 2019 because Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams was playing.
The last time another massive DMCA claim wave hit Twitch, the streaming platform suggested its users delete every single clip and VOD in their library. Which is less than helpful.
That being said, Twitch is trying to work with music labels and rights holders to figure out a solution. “We are actively speaking with music labels about solutions that could work for creators as well as rights holders,” a section from the email states. “This is our first such contact from the music publishing industry (there can be several owners for a single piece of music), and we are disappointed they decided to send takedowns when we are willing and ready to speak to them about solutions.”
The threats of the DMCA takedowns has also impacted game development. Due to the importance of streaming in the game’s marketing, developers have are careful to ensure that streamers will be safe playing their games on Twitch. More games are being shipped with toggle options to turn off the music that may be subject to DMCA claims. However, this doesn’t always work, as proven when a wave of DMCA issues hit for Cyberpunk 2077 streamers.