Twitch Flags Let’s Play Of ‘Project Zomboid’ Over Copyright Of Police Siren
from the siren-song dept
We have long lamented how the current method for many streaming platforms to enforce copyright laws, be they via automated systems like ContentID at YouTube or DMCA reporting platforms, is wide open for fraud, abuse, and mistakes. There are a huge swath of posts just on ContentID you can go check out if you’re not aware of how completely borked this all is, but you can also look at specific examples such as a video getting flagged for infringement due to birds singing in the background. It’s a full on mess and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
But YouTube is certainly not the only platform that experiences hellacious copyright enforcement SNAFUs. Twitch has also had a rough go of it over the past few years, much of that due to the platform’s own poor communication and implementation of copyright enforcement. But those more global issues aside, Twitch also still suffers from the more banal examples of this sort of thing. A recent example of that would be a Twitch stream of a let’s play for the video game Project Zomboid getting flagged for copyright infringement due to a police siren sound that is featured in the game.
The issue was first raised by Menos Trece, who has over a million subscribers on Twitch and over two million on YouTube. After streaming Project Zomboid gameplay to tens of thousands of viewers, Twitch informed him that he had broadcasted copyright-infringing audio.
As it turns out, there was no problem with copyrighted music. Instead, a police or ambulance siren sound effect used in the Project Zomboid game was the culprit. This sound was claimed by an entity named “Dr. Sound Effects,” who apparently own the rights to a police car siren.
As a result, portions of the stream were muted. The developers of the game, The Indie Stone, eventually chimed in, claiming that the copyright claim was utter bullshit. The company quickly theorized that some troll out there looking to create chaos entered in the sound of a siren as a copyrighted sound and predicted this would create similar problems with let’s-plays for other games. Regardless, the developer owns the rights to the sound in its game.
And on top of that, disputing this with Twitch would require all kinds of information a streamer might now want to divulge.
Menos Trece can still appeal the false claim as well, but that means sharing all sorts of private details with the streaming platform. In addition, it may open the door to a lawsuit in the US.
“To make a simple dispute, Twitch asks you for ALL your personal data and ‘threatens’ that you could go to court in the USA,” the popular gamer comments on Twitter.
And who would want to risk that over the sound of a siren in a let’s-play? Very few people. Except that kind of sucks, doesn’t it? Some jackass out there gets to create problems for streamers streaming a game where the developer has no problem with the stream, but it gets screwed with because of said jackass?
Surely that can’t be what the framers had in mind when they developed American copyright law, right?