Are Twitch clips protected by copyright

Streamer horrified: That's why Twitch deletes thousands of videos

Twitch users from all over the world are irritated: The streaming platform informed them by email that videos were deleted from their channels without warning. Bad news for everyone who puts a lot of time and energy into their content.

But one detail of the content was also the reason for the radical measure: Twitch explained that the streamers' clips contained songs that were protected by copyright. The assessment basis was the US counterpart to the German GEMA. The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) oversees the US copyright law. The gaming website "Kotaku" assumes that Twitch's move is a result of the fact that the Amazon subsidiary has been warned by several record companies. Hundreds of copyright complaints are said to have been received.

The streamers' criticism: On the one hand, many doubt whether there has actually been a violation of copyright law. On the other hand, they feel left out because they were supposedly completely taken by surprise and only found out about the action afterwards. But that is not entirely correct. Back in June, streamers were informed that Twitch was facing many complaints about the unauthorized use of music. The first blockages of channels were the result. In this respect, deleting individual videos is actually the less radical step, because the channel itself remains visible to viewers.

Twitch itself does not portray the process as an affront. Rather, it seems between the lines as if the users should be happy that they do not have to fear any legal consequences. One is "aware that the streamers have no chance of a reply in these cases," said a company spokeswoman at the request of "Der Spiegel". "So we see this as a one-time warning."

A digital bloodbath?

The reactions of the streamers range from resignation to sheer horror. Some fear for their digital "life's work". ESports expert Rod Breslau puts it in a particularly martial way, writing in a tweet: "The Twitch / DMCA bloodbath has begun." Twitch users would now experience the same "old-fashioned madness of the music industry record companies" that YouTubers have had to grapple with for years. However, Twitch would "do an even worse job for the streamers than YouTube". He argues that many musicians are streamers and YouTubers themselves and that they identify more strongly with the creators of creative content than with "the suits" - by which lawyers and representatives of the music industry are meant.

The streamer Cahlaween complains that Twitch did not inform those concerned about what exactly was deleted and thus prevent them from learning from it in the future and avoiding errors of this kind. The streamer TimTheTatman is at a loss and thinks out loud about deleting all of its content.

Twitch recommends addressing copyright issues

In Germany, among others, the Let's Play team PietSmiet vent its anger. With the words "That sucks" they criticize the fact that they were not given the opportunity to reply. Twitch itself recommends streamers to deal more closely with the issue of copyright and to use Twitch's own soundtrack tool for the background music for their clips. With this it is certain that one can neither intentionally nor unintentionally commit a copyright infringement.

According to Twitch's appeal, the channel operators should actively delete the corresponding content by October 23. Otherwise, after three DMCA strikes, as in the summer, the affected channel could be completely blocked. (tsch) © 1 & 1 Mail & Media / teleschau