Twitch is under new pressure to sign music licensing deals as it continues to issue ‘one-strike’ DMCA notices.
Several notable streamers on the platform are reporting receiving notices of removed videos. eSports commentator Rod Breslau shared the news on Twitter. “The Twitch DMCA bloodbath has begun, as hundreds of partnered streamers have received emails from Twitch,” he says, sharing a screenshot of the email.
“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,” the email begins.
“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,” the email says.
Essentially, Twitch is putting the onus on channel owners never to break copyright law even once – or face a ban.
As you can expect, many Twitch streamers are unhappy with the situation. “Twitch streamers now get to experience the archaic insanity of music industry record label bs that YouTubers have had to deal with for years,” writes one streamer.
“What I love most about the aggressive tactics of record labels online is how so many major label artists WANT their songs to be played. Musicians are streamers and YouTubers themselves; they identify with creative content creators more than they ever will with the suits,” writes another streamer on Twitter.
Twitch could remedy this by signing licensing deals with the major labels and important indies. That would make music available for streamers’ usage, giving them a catalog of rights-cleared music to play. But Twitch doesn’t want to sign expensive multi-million dollar deals with the labels. It’s been content handing out DMCA notices like Halloween candy to rights infringers.
When Jeff Bezos was questioned why Twitch doesn’t have a music rights license in place – he shrugged. He doesn’t think it’s necessary, especially with the DMCA offering a convenient, cost-free loophole. DMCA whack-a-mole keeps his platform in the ‘not-responsible’ column for infringing copyright content that users upload. In some situations, streamers have permission from the artist – but no record label approval means no streams.
It’s one reason why Logic signed exclusively with Twitch earlier this year. Perhaps more DJs and artists who enjoy a huge digital presence will do the same to offer the Twitch community rights-cleared content.