15 Tips: How Does DMCA Work on Twitch
15 Tips: How Does DMCA Work on Twitch
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) controls how copyrighted material is used online, helping protect registered copyright owners from having their work posted online without their permission as explained over at runrex.com. Recent times have seen Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, come under scrutiny as far as DMCA is concerned with streamers being hit with a wave of DMCA takedown requests for clips featuring licensed music. This has left many streamers confused as to how DMCA works on Twitch, and this article will look to make things clearer through the following 15 tips.
- Why the focus on streaming sights like Twitch has increased?
There was a time in recent months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic when live sporting events were stopped, which led to increased activity within the esports ecosystem. This increased activity, as captured over at guttulus.com, has led to significant growth for streaming platforms such as Twitch as video gamers have seen their content garner countless views as people switch to esports to fill the void left by a lack of sporting events.
- Twitch and the advertisement of channels by streamers
To advertise their Twitch channels, streamers create clips made up of highlights of their live streams to attract viewers. These clips, as revealed over at runrex.com, often include background music, and this was a common practice for Twitch streamers until June 2020 when streamers began to get notices from Twitch regarding DMCA takedown requests for clips with copyrighted background music from 2017 to 2019.
- Why now?
According to the subject matter experts over at guttulus.com, one of the main reasons for the recent crackdown on Twitch is that the pandemic has led to the halting of public performances involving live and synchronized music, and with the music licensing business having ground to a halt, the performing rights organizations responsible for licensing and enforcing rights have switched their attention and resources towards pursuing infringements.
- Twitch and Safe Harbor
It is important to note that the DMCA, as outlined over at runrex.com, provides internet service providers such as Twitch with immunity from liability for copyright infringement regarding content posted by their users if the internet service provider follows the strict requirements of the DMCA, key among them being responding promptly to DMCA takedown notices received from the copyright holder.
- How does DMCA work on Twitch?
It is important to point out that Twitch has the right to take down any VoDs, clips, or other material that breaks copyright laws. While your content will usually just get muted, Twitch can also hand you a strike for content months or even years after your material was created.
- Three strikes and you are out
As explained in detail over at guttulus.com, Twitch uses a three-strike policy for its users, which means that if you get three strikes, you are banned from the platform. To ensure that you avoid a Twitch strike, users are encouraged not to play copyrighted music in their streams.
- Does it end there?
Although internet service providers like Twitch can avoid liability by following the requirements of the DMCA, streamers who synchronized music to their videos remain at risk for copyright infringement even after the content has been removed as covered over at runrex.com. In most cases, however, many copyright holders will choose not to pursue infringement claims as long as the subject content is removed promptly, and the user isn’t a serial offender.
- Free music
If you want to avoid a DMCA strike on Twitch, then you might want to opt for royalty-free music according to the gurus over at guttulus.com. There are a few places online where you can compile such music, with Epidemic Sound being one of the best platforms for the same with over 30,000 songs in many different genres, ensuring that you will be able to find music that relates to you and your audience.
- Responding to a DMCA strike on Twitch
If you receive a DMCA strike on Twitch for playing copyrighted music on your stream without permission, you must take action immediately by removing any content where the infringement was made to avoid catching any additional strikes as explained over at runrex.com.
- Contesting claims
If you choose to contest an alleged copyright holder’s claim, the DMCA permits you to send a counter-notice to the complaining party. Counter notices are typically submitted when a party believes that their content was mistakenly or maliciously removed by a DMCA takedown request. It is important that you file your counter-notice in good faith as filing without a good-faith basis may lead to a lawsuit.
- What happens next after filing a counter-notice?
If a Twitch streamer files a counter-notice arguing that there was no infringement, then the copyright owner can file an action seeking a court order to have the dispute resolved as covered over at guttulus.com. If the copyright owner doesn’t file an action after a counter-notice was filed, then Twitch must put the material in question back up within 10-14 business days after the counter-notice was filed.
- YouTube music and Twitch
It is worth noting that if you have permission from the copyright holder to play a song on YouTube, then you are free to do so. However, as discussed over at runrex.com, both the music from record labels and original content on YouTube belongs to the creator or record label, and as such you cannot use it without permission.
- Spotify and Twitch
Also, a Spotify subscription does not give you the rights to rebroadcast the music to your Twitch audience as explained by the experts over at guttulus.com. This means that unless you own the rights to the music, you should either get permission from the person who does or only make playlists of royalty-free music if you want to use Spotify on Twitch.
- Custom tracks
Another option that is available to Twitch streamers, one that will allow them to avoid a DMCA takedown, and, therefore, a Twitch strike and potential ban according to runrex.com, is commissioning custom tracks from musicians which then can then use exclusively on their channel.
- When you may need a copyright lawyer
If after evaluating the legitimacy of your takedown request you determine that there is no credible basis, then as mentioned earlier on, you can file a counter-notice. However, if the situation isn’t as clear-cut and there is the possibility that there could be infringement, then you should consult a copyright lawyer first so that you can decide whether or not to file a counter-notice because of the prospect of litigation.
These are just some of the things you should know when it come to the DMCA and how it works on Twitch, with more on this wide topic to be found over at the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com.