Twitch Takes Steps To Make It Even Easier To Issue DMCA Strikes Against Streamers

from the here-we-go-again dept

If you’ve been following along with us, the past several months haven’t gone great for streaming platform Twitch. It all started with Twitch’s decision to simply nuke a bunch of streamer content as a result of a massive influx of DMCA notices it received. While Twitch streamers and some in the public went ballistic over this, the company decided to try to distract the world with bright shiny objects like emojis, only to continue to let the DMCApocalypse continue even after it apologized for its lack of transparency. Then Amazon, which owns Twitch, put on Twitch’s GlitchCon and spent a pretty penny on it, while streamers on the platform wondered why Amazon didn’t just spend that money on the licensing needed to keep streamers out of copyright jail. Fresh into 2021, Twitch then gave creators tools to help avoid copyright strikes, which mostly consisted of convenient ways to delete a bunch of their own content while not bothering to put in a method for policing DMCA abuse.

And now it seems like a near certainty that this is all going to get way, way worse. Twitch, without notice, recently released a new tool on its site to make it even easier to issue DMCA notices on creators.

Now, it is worth noting that this approach is somewhat different. Because this page requires a Twitch login in order to submit a claim, this appears to be less about giving industry rightsholders a way to DMCA the hell out of Twitch and more about giving fellow Twitch creators a way to DMCA the hell out of each other. Now, nothing prevents anyone who wants to use this tool from just creating a Twitch account to do so, so there is certainly the potential for abusing this new tool.

And it seems Twitch knows that, as this tool forces anyone looking to issue a DMCA notice to affirm that they’re doing so rightfully.

Users must also fill out their contact information and agree that the claim is filed in good faith. However, seemingly to prevent abuse of this feature, Twitch also states that users must state they are “authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed” under penalty of perjury.

Viewers seem a bit mixed on the new feature, with some suspecting it will result in more bans and reports than we’d see otherwise.

Of course it will. This is going to make things measurably worse on the DMCA front, with the only real question being just how bad this is going to get. And, mind you, this is all done instead of Amazon investing in the licensing Twitch creators would need in order to be relatively safe from being DMCA’d to hell.

Now, we can argue all day long whether our dumb copyright culture has ballooned into a scenario where all these licenses and all of this enforcement of copyright is really silly and counterproductive for all involved. I’m way into that discussion. But given the current reality, Amazon is simply not doing right by Twitch’s most valuable asset: it’s creative community.

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Companies: twitch

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Comments on “Twitch Takes Steps To Make It Even Easier To Issue DMCA Strikes Against Streamers”

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16 Comments
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That One Guy (profile) says:

I was getting worried there for a second...

However, seemingly to prevent abuse of this feature, Twitch also states that users must state they are “authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed” under penalty of perjury.

Well now, if people are required to state that they are filing in good faith and are authorized to file the claim under penalty of perjury all concerns have been laid to rest, with that requirement I’m sure there will be nary an abuse of the system will occur and any claims that might step over the line will be nothing more than honest mistakes, just like it works with DMCA claims in general which have the same requirements.

Jono793 (profile) says:

Re: I was getting worried there for a second...

Whaaat? It’s fine. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

I mean. Twitch’s user base is notoriously chill, and highly respectful to one another.

I mean it’s not like anyone would, hypothetically, False DMCA all the streamers they don’t like in order to drive them off the platform! That’d be just as absurd as, well, as users uploading footage of mass shootings to the platform.

No, I think this tool is in responsible hands!

At least so long as they keep it just to us ‘real gamers’. Not those ‘Just Chatting’ attention seeking, hot-tub fake gamer girl THO….<Insert stream of mysoginistic abuse here>

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

You’d think platforms that depend on independent creators would show some respect and support for their talent. But it’s easier and cheaper to just delete and ban to keep the lawyers happy and they know there will always be more to replace the ones they ban, so they don’t give a damn.

Everyone’s a creator these days…for better and for worse.

christenson says:

A little friction....

The big issue with all these automated DMCA systems is the total lack of friction….
automatable takedowns
No penalties for bad faith…Lenz v Universal Studios
No registration requirements

If it’s worth protecting, it’s worth registering, and if you are gonna take it down, you really should have to state that registration number. Simple due diligence, puts criminal penalties in for fraud.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Will this make clear that Amazon, like Google, is not on the independent creator’s side

This, the legacy media industries already "believe".

more concerned with keeping the legacy media industries happy

This, the legacy media industries continue to insist doesn’t happen despite all appearances to the contrary.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Bloof (profile) says:

Re: Re:

People know, people just have to.deal with it unfortunately. Legacy media have had decades to sculpt the law in such a way even that if Google and Amazon dug their heels in and fought they’re unlikely to get a clearcut decision that music in streams is fair use.

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