Twitch streamers have recently been facing takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). According to The Verge, he claimant was the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It appears that the RIAA is going after clips, some of which may have been created several years ago.
It appears that Twitch was taken by surprise by the takedown requests. Twitch Support tweeted: “This week, we’ve had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we’re working to make this easier.”
Twitch also tweeted: “This is the first time we have received mass DMCA claims against clips.” A third tweet included a link to Twitch’s Music Guidelines. Part of those guidelines state: You may not include music you do not own in your Twitch streams or VOD’s (Past Broadcasts, Past Premieres, Highlights, Clips and Uploads).
One option for streamers who don’t want to get hit with a DMCA claim is to delete clips that include music that they do not own the rights to. The problem is that Twitch doesn’t make it easy for streamers to delete clips. Streamers who have been streaming for years, and who have active fans, could have a huge amount of clips to dig through. It becomes a race between how fast Twitch’s system allows for deletion, and the rate at which DMCA notices arrive at Twitch.
This could result in some streamers quickly racking up DMCA notices faster than they can do anything about them. Your favorite streamers might end up banned as a result. It seems unfair, considering that Twitch itself didn’t foresee the speed at which the DMCA notices would start arriving.
The best advice I have for streamers is to stop playing music until this whole mess gets sorted out. You might also want to ask your fans to stop making clips.