The subject of copyright has always quite thorny for streamers, and a new wave of DMCA takedowns continues to put a lot of pressure on Twitch, the most popular streaming platform in the world.
Twitch has advised streamers to scrap archives of VODs or clips if they believe that they might contain some form of the copyrighted material. Streamers that have broken DMCA rules recently have already received a general warning, as well as copyright notices which highlight specific segments. However, a proper long-term solution hasn’t been found.
The problems are that companies who submit DMCA complaints are only interested in removing the infringing material, even if the streamer didn’t have anything to do in the first place. One streamer was forced to remove a clip because he walked on the street and a fragment from a Kanye song could be heard in the background.
Even if streamers wanted to avoid such issues by purchasing songs to play them on their channel the process of licensing music rights is quite complicated, and most copyright owners aren’t interested in licensing their content to streamers since fees would be minimal.
While RIIA argues that it has the best interest of musicians at heart, the organization has caused a lot of problems for many content creatures. The Twitch account of a band member was banned after he played some of the band’s music on stream, and it was reinstated without any explanations at a later date.
Twitch has offered a lukewarm alternative in the form of the Twitch Soundtrack, which can be used for live streams. However, Facebook has been more proactive, and the company has managed to secure a deal with several record labels, allowing its streamers to play music in the background without consequences, at least in the case of some songs.