Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch told its users on Friday (May 28) that it’s been sent a “batch” of new copyright infringement claims from music publishers.
The company sent out an email stating that these new DMCA takedown notifications include “about 1,000 individual claims” over the use of copyrighted music played in the background of recorded VODs (on-demand videos).
In the email sent to users on Friday, shared by journalist Rod Breslau on Twitter, Twitch stated that “this is our first such contact from the music publishing industry”.
It added: “[We] are disappointed that they decided to send takedowns when we were willing and ready to speak to them about solutions”.
Twitch states that it believes that music publishers used automated tools to identify the copyrighted music in its users’ clips, and says it expects there will likely be more takedown notices on the way.
This new round of DMCA take down requests follows news from October that “thousands” of videos had been deleted by Twitch over infringement notices.
The platform is legally required to comply with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down requests served by rights-holders (for example a record label) or by an entity on behalf of a rightsholder, such as the RIAA in order to be protected under US safe harbor laws, and not be held liable for infringing user generated content on its platform.
“This is our first such contact from the music publishing industry (there can be several owners for a single piece of music) and we are disappointed that they decided to send takedowns when we were willing and ready to speak to them about solutions.”
The mass deletion in October came after the news in June that a number of prominent Twitch users received copyright infringement notices from the platform for music used in clips posted on their channels over the prior year, with the company threatening to terminate the accounts of “repeat infringers.”
The following month, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos told the House Judiciary Committee at an anti-trust hearing that he didn’t know whether Twitch had licensed its music or not.
In November, Twitch apologized for the copyright issues occurring on its platform, writing in a bog post at the time that “over the last several months, we have done our best to manage this situation on behalf of both rights holders and creators”.
It added: “One of the mistakes we made was not building adequate tools to allow creators to manage their own VOD and Clip libraries.”
In March, the site added tools to make it easier for users to manage takedown requests and delete clips to avoid strikes against their channels.
As noted by the Verge, the latest takedown notifications will likely be of concern to those streamers who were involved in the takedowns in June and October last year.
That’s because Twitch’s policy states that repeat copyright violations will result in an “indefinite suspension” of accounts.
Twitch does offer licensed music via its Soundtrack by Twitch tool, which launched in September after striking deals with a number of global distributors and a handful of indie labels from around the world.
Soundtrack by Twitch is only licensed for livestreaming however, and not for on-demand videos.
Said Twitch in its email on Friday: “We are committed to being more transparent with you about DMCA. We recently received a batch of DMCA take down notifications with about 1,000 individual claims from music publishers.
“All of the claims are for the VODs and the vast majority target streamers listening to background music while playing video games or IRL streaming.
Added Twitch: “Based on the number of claims we believe these rights holders used automated tools to scan and identify copyrighted music in creators VODs and clips, which means that they will likely send further notices.
“We’re actively speaking with music labels about solutions that could work for creators as well as rights holders.
“This is our first such contact from the music publishing industry (there can be several owners for a single piece of music) and we are disappointed that they decided to send takedowns when we were willing and ready to speak to them about solutions.”Music Business Worldwide