Twitch has finally come forward with a plan to help content creators who are struggling with DMCA takedown issues, and it’s looking pretty good.
Streamers small and large have spent the past three weeks in fear of potential DMCA takedowns, and Twitch has finally responded to its community’s woes with an optimistic plan for the future of the platform. A community once thought forsaken by its platform is now getting at least a promise that Twitch is working to help its streamers combat DMCA takedowns.
The DMCA bloodbath started on October 20 when streamers received emails that content had been removed from their channels without warning for violating DMCA guidelines. The emails served as warnings before DMCA takedown strikes would be issued, and the streamers were given three days to sift through their VODs and clips. Any content containing audio that violates DMCA guidelines that was not deleted within those three days would result in a DMCA takedown strike. Three strikes and the streamer’s channel would be deleted. It didn’t take long until some of the platform’s largest streamers were banned due to DMCA violations.
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The flurry of bans and strikes was not due to streamers’ lack of cooperation but was a result of a lack of communication between Twitch and its community. Streamers have remained ill-equipped to properly identify content that violates DMCA guidelines, and manually sifting through years of footage wasn’t a viable option. But now, Twitch has finally taken responsibility and has presented a plan for the future of the platform. This plan includes details on tools Twitch is developing to help streamers manage their content, better identify copyrighted audio, and also a way to dispute claims made on their content.
Your frustration and confusion with recent music-related copyright issues is completely justified. Things can–and should–be better for creators than they have been recently. The next few tweets will outline our plan for being better partners to creators. https://t.co/Ebk1rFlBOM pic.twitter.com/fiFitaZgD5
— Twitch (@Twitch) November 11, 2020
While this update from Twitch doesn’t provide immediate help, it does show that Twitch isn’t ignoring its community. Twitch has been listening, and the points made in the DMCA blogpost suggest that Twitch is working to provide users with tools that the community has been specifically asking for. Tools are being developed to help streamers identify which VODs and clips violated DMCA guidelines, and is also developing a way to delete specific portions of that content. Most importantly, streamers will have a method to dispute claims they believe are fraudulent. Also, for those struggling to understand DMCA guidelines, Twitch is offering educational programs and resources to help its community.
Twitch is not perfect; 2020 has been a rough year for the platform, and outside of DMCA issues, Twitch has missed the mark on quite a few occasions. One thing Twitch is good at is realizing when it’s wrong, and doing its best to fix its mistakes. DMCA guidelines are not going to change anytime soon, and that’s no fault of Twitch. But Twitch seems to be ready to find a way that it can help its community avoid another wave of DMCA takedowns.
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