Several Twitch streamers have spent the entire day panicking due to several music companies issuing DMCA take downs dating all the way back to 2017 for playing copyrighting music. This has led many to delete all VODs and clips from their channels. Some streamers who received DMCA notices include Fusile, Jake ‘n Bake, and Cloakzy.
This has led the Morrison “Video Game Attorney” Rothman to state the following on Twitter regarding the matter:
Twitch did not change. The law did not change. Just the law we’ve been warning you about for years is now being enforced by record labels. You can be angry, but point your anger at the right people. And PLEASE read this next tweet about “fair use” before using that term.
Fair use is a defense, not a right. Streaming content with music playing in the background IS arguably fair use (see Lenz v Universal). However Twitch doesn’t get to decide that and neither do you. Only a judge or jury can, and that’s a VERY expensive dice roll.
So what do I recommend? Fight for policy change at a legislative level. There are much more important issues going on in society right now, obviously, but the DMCA process needs a rewrite with where the internet is. Most streamers are 100% infringing. That needs to change.
And if there is one politician to follow and for other politicians to learn from, its @RonWyden – I’ve not seen anyone in American politics “get” technology more and for a longer period of time. Evolves his opinion, understands the nuances, and asks for specialists when he doesnt.
Even Twitch Support had to issue the following statement:
This week, we’ve had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we’re working to make this easier.
This is the first time we have received mass DMCA claims against clips. We understand this has been stressful for affected creators and are working on solutions, including examining how we can give you more control over your clips.
We adhere to the DMCA, which requires that we take action on content and streamer accounts upon notice from rights holders, as happened this week. Our guidelines for music have not changed, so please reference them here. https://twitch.tv/p/legal/commun