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DMCA takedowns hit thousands of Twitch streamers

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Thousands of streamers recently found out that Twitch had taken down their content. The reason? A music industry group lodged complaints with the Amazon-owned streaming platform for copyright infringement.

It seems that a number of streamers have had videos taken down due to copyrighted music in their content. Rather than issue warnings, Twitch simply deleted the offending videos.

Here’s more on the situation from Kotaku:

Something similar occurred with claims from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) back in June, but this time, Twitch isn’t taking any chances. Instead of simply informing streamers that they’re skating on thin ice per the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and allowing them to take initiative—which could include disputing specific copyright claims—Twitch has straight-up deleted offending clips. In a mass email sent to streamers who, at some point in the past, had broadcasted copyrighted content, the company did not specify what it had deleted.

“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,” reads the message Twitch sent to streamers. “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 holder. 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.”

So basically, Twitch is cleaning house and doing its best to get streamers to finish the job. This is not ideal for streamers, whose VODs and clips represent the totality of their work. Just like that, some of that material has vanished forever, and though Twitch has released new music tools to aid with future streams, the company’s email encourages them to delete additional content—up to and including using a new tool to unilaterally delete all previous clips.

Streamers are understandably upset. This means that hours upon hours of work essentially goes down the drain. Of course, streamers who actually added unauthorized music to their streams are clearly in violation of copyright law. But what about streamers who inadvertently included a short clip of music going on in the background? What about in-game soundtracks? Why is there not a dispute process in place?

If you’ve been affected, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below or send us a tweet @vgstreamers!

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