Twitch apologizes for its amateur handling of new DMCA notices - The UpStream

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Twitch apologizes for its amateur handling of new DMCA notices

posted Sunday Nov 15, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Twitch apologizes for its amateur handling of new DMCA notices

Several weeks ago, Twitch streamers began receiving vague emails that videos had been deleted. It followed a statement from Typhoon Studios (a Google Stadia studio) Creative Director Alex Hutchinson claiming that Twitch streamers should be required to acquire a license in order to stream games. While there was speculation that these two events were connected, the smart money was on the Twitch community's complete disregard for copyright law.

In particular, Twitch streamers have gotten very comfortable using music in their streams that they do not have the rights to use. For years, RIAA has generally left these streams alone, but it turns out that it was not to stay that way. RIAA seems to have decided that Twitch is not immune from the law and has begun heavy enforcement on the platform. Streamers using music in their videos that they cannot use have seen those videos completely deleted from the platform.

The word deleted is important, because it leaves these streamers with no recourse when a claim is filed. In the case of RIAA claims, it is unlikely that the streamers would have a leg to stand on. However, anyone who has a lot of public media content known that unfounded DMCA notices are common. Some companies even use them against news organizations when they have been embarrassed by their own behavior. Under those circumstances, it is essential to be able to file a counterclaim to prevent the takedown.

Unfortunately, because Twitch has ignored the law for so long, it had no process in place for proper handling of these notices. That is what resulted in direct deletions as opposed to the more appropriate response of suspending the content. Twitch has promised that they are aware of the mistakes they have made and are working to implement more appropriate responses to DMCA notices. The question, of course, will be whether these moves will be rolled out in time to save the reputation of the platform.


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