Twitch Introduces New DMCA Policy Which May Make Streamers’ Lives Easier
After months of complaints and criticism, Twitch has finally changed its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Guidelines for creators. The guidelines on the Amazon-owned streaming site are no longer as unforgiving as its previous iteration. Twitch’s DMCA strikes are now “impermanent” and will aim to only terminate accounts of “repeat infringers.” The system itself is very similar to the one that YouTube uses when it comes to strikes on videos and will give some breathing room to its streamers who have been facing issues with copyright claims over the last few years. However, it should be noted that Twitch has also made it easier for streamers to be reported and penalized with DMCA strikes.
Twitch Updates Its DMCA Guidelines
On 19th July 2021, Twitch made some changes on its . Under the Repeat Infringer Policy section, it is mentioned that an account holder will now require three copyright strike charges to be labeled a “repeat infringer”. A repeat infringer will be subject to penalties such as;
Account holders will have limited access to Twitch service.
Accounts of users will be terminated.
Both of the above.
The copyright strikes are also impermanent and it is stated that, “(the strikes) are associated with an account for enough time for Twitch to determine whether the account holder is engaging in repeated infringement such that termination is necessary.”
This implies that the strikes may be retracted after an uncertain amount of time, depending on if the account holder has committed another infringement offense.
While the ambiguity of the phrase “enough time” has the potential to be controversial, it is a move that is being welcomed by Twitch streamers.
How account holders get a copyright strike
For a copyright strike to happen, Twitch will need to receive “a complete notification of infringement and no counter-notification regarding the alleged infringement or a retraction of the notification”.
This means that Twitch will have to receive a complaint from a certain party, alleging an account holder to be using their copyrighted products in a way that the party does not allow.
Counter-notification is a response from Twitch account holders who think the complaint is a mistake or is misidentified and thus would like to have the complaint voided. The strike won’t happen if Twitch receives a counter-notification or if the complaint is revoked.
What is DMCA
DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), according to Twitch, is a law that “establish parameters for services like Twitch, which transmit and host user-generated content, to address claims that this content infringes someone’s copyrighted work”. DMCA works to protect copyrighted works and its owners from having their product used by other creators without the owner’s authorization.
With this update, streamers no longer have to worry about accidentally using copyrighted products or getting false complaints and losing their accounts overnight. On the other hand, , it will be interesting to see how Twitch tackles this.