Twitch Streamers Face DMCA Takedowns

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Twitch, the live-streaming giant run by Amazon, has started to inform its users across the platform of a massive jump in Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) takedown requests forcing a large number of its users to either delete the questionable content or face a possible deletion of their channel. Twitch is a Live-Streaming platform founded in 2011 by Justin Kahn. The website has amassed a massive following over the years with 3.8 million unique broadcasters and 140 million monthly users, (Business Of Apps 2020).

Twitch users are scrambling to download all of their livestream videos, clips, and highlights before the timer to deletion runs out. These issues have arisen from the use of copyrighted background music by a majority of the Twitch community. Since there was no way to issue a DMCA takedown against live content like Twitch, it has resulted in one large lawsuit against the mega corporation.

Twitch’s attempt to fix the DMCA takedown notices was comprised in an email sent to its partners saying: “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,“ (Twitch 2020).

Several Twitch users have complained about the new DMCA takedown notices. Hundreds if not thousands of hours of content have been automatically deleted without any notice and now with the new policy in place, a majority of the rest of Twitch’s creators will be forced to delete the remainder of their content from the platform.

With no ability to combat requests and no real options other than compliance, everal Twitch streamers have come out against Twitch saying things like “Im, Sorry guys but everything ive done for the past 2 years is gonna be gone by tomorrow,”(Distant Coder 2020). One Twitter user, @SoloPfl, said, “In times where more and more mainstream artists become content creators there should be realistic way to obtain a license for use on social media.”

The future is unclear for Twitch creators. Will there ever be a time where they can purchase a license to the music they are using similar to a Spotify subscription or will DMCA law need to be updated to include this new way of consuming content? Only time will tell.