Twitch explodes streamers with vague, unhelpful TMCA downgrade emails

Twitch explodes streamers with vague, unhelpful TMCA downgrade emails
Twitch explodes streamers with vague, unhelpful TMCA downgrade emails

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The streaming platform Twitch surprised many of its users this week by sending copyright downgrade emails. Not only did the news not tell streamers that they were infringing on the content they posted, it also said that Twitch had directly removed the content without giving users a chance to appeal.

Many twitch “partners” – who everyone is Make real money They received emails from their Twitch participation on Tuesday warning that some of their archive content would be deleted for violating copyright law.

“We are writing to let you know that your channel is subject to one or more of these TMCA downgrade notices and that the identified content has been removed,” screenshot of the email Posted on Twitter by Streamer Devin Nash reads. Email suggests that users familiarize themselves with Twitch Guide to Copyright Law Before the “normal processing” of TMCA announcements resumes on Friday (October 23).

Unsecured port

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (TMCA), which has been governing online copyright matters in the United States since 1998, is known as a secure port arrangement. Sites that host content such as Twitch cannot sue for hosting infringing material If They respond quickly to notifications from copyright holders regarding infringement – thus, a downgrade notice. A bot, such as the Content Owner or YouTube’s Content ID system, flags the content, and the site quickly deletes it, notifying the person who shared it.

However, under the TMCA, users can too Appeal Judgments with counter-notification and twitch There really is Counter claim process. To file a counter-notification, the affected user must submit a written notice, which, among other things, includes a link indicating which item has been removed or access has been disabled; Full name, address and signature; And swore under the false sentence that the object was “removed or disabled as a result of misidentification or misidentification”.

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At this time, users are not getting that option. Twitch did not really tell users what infringing content was linked to their account – which, according to the emails, permanently deleted everything:

By deleting this content, we’re not giving you the option to file a counter notice or withdraw from the copyright. With this in mind, we have processed these announcements and are giving you a one-time alert to learn about copyright law and the tools available to manage content on your channel.


Removals and announcements are explicitly associated with “the sudden arrival of TMCA downgrade requests for clips with background music from 2017-19”. Said in June It was received. At the time, they emerged from a sudden increase in activity by the RIAA. According to August CNN report, The RIAA sent more than 1,800 copyright infringement notices to Twitch in June alone, compared to a total of only 700 in the previous three years.

Part of keeping your secure port liability secure is handling notifications quickly. Dealing with one at a time over several months, sitting on a huge pile of announcements, doesn’t really qualify “quickly” at any level, so Twitch figured out a way to act as a whole. Representative of Twitch Kottaku confirmed The company went into a mass action after dealing with “thousands” of retreat infringement notices from music rights holders.

Once Twitch is trapped, it plans to handle future violations on a “normal” basis. In June, the company He said it was expanding He said it would use automated technology to scan archived clips for copyrighted music and would automatically delete clips found to infringe copyright, rather than penalize streamers. Company He reiterated that position Yesterday, that procedure came into effect on Friday.

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Delete everything!

In the meantime, however, it would not help to say that Twitch’s advice to streamers is minimal. Not only is there no way for users to know what is flagged in their clips, Twitch’s best advice seems to be to “delete everything”.

“To avoid receiving a DMCA downgrade notice for content recorded on your channel, we recommend taking the following steps,” Twitch wrote in emails. “Review your clips, VODs and any other content on your Creator Dashboard and remove any unlicensed copyrighted content. If you do not know the contents of your archive, you may delete it.”

Twitch does not provide users with a tool to massively delete or archive their content, although Justin Ignacio, one of Twitch’s founders (who left the company in 2018) Shared a third-party tool For doing so on Twitter.

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About the Author: Seth Sale

"Passionate creator. Wannabe travel expert. Reader. Entrepreneur. Zombie aficionado. General thinker."

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