“Also, did you know that a spambot reposted our video?”
My brother Randy sent over a screenshot. On the bottom was the listing of our video that I uploaded 13 years ago to my personal YouTube account. Above it, a listing of our video but uploaded by someone else. Even though the illegal rip of my video had only accrued one view in eight months, it’s my legal right to stop the unauthorized distribution of my creative works.
Within minutes, I filed my first DMCA on YouTube. A few days later, YouTube…terminated my account.
I try to protect my video and streaming output from copyright violations. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, multiple copyright violations – such as the unauthorized use of licensed music – can get your account permanently banned. As much as I love Ariana Grande, I know that major record labels that house top artists like her are scanning the internet non-stop and issuing DMCA strikes to everyone who dares to broadcast their music. Because of this, I use DMCA-safe music such as StreamBeats to help set the mood for my streams without putting my accounts at risk.
However, you can be subject to copyright claims, audio muting, and DMCA strikes for more than just the music you play outside of the game. In-game music can get you in trouble too. Was most recently reminded of this thanks to Rogue Company.
The subject of using licensed music on Twitch has been a messy one since the platform’s inception. Some streamers have been hit with DMCA strikes, countless videos have been muted for containing licensed music, and many other streamers seem to use licensed music with no punishment whatsoever.
In hopes of clearing the air for what’s allowed on their platform, Soundtrack by Twitch provides streamers with a curated library of Twitch-safe music.
While I applaud Twitch for attempting to address the confusing subject of music use, Soundtrack by Twitch is not a silver bullet solution for everyone. Here are some tidbits you should know before committing to this music platform.
Everyone would love to use licensed music if it weren’t for the whole copyright thing. Over the years, online platforms have gotten increasingly harsh on creators who play licensed music in full, leverage snippets, have it play in the background because a car across the street was blasting it, or even poorly singing a few bars of a licensed song in jest.
Getting caught can subject your videos to getting partially muted, having any ad revenue that it would have made go to the music license holder, getting hit with a permanent copyright strike that will push your channel closer to deletion, or even lose your account outright. YouTube is far stricter than Twitch in this regard, but some of the platform’s largest streamers have been suspended for using licensed music in the past. It’s inevitable that Twitch will increase its efforts to shut down the illegal use of license music in order to protect itself from liability.
If you want maximum control and minimal liability, your best bet is to steer clear of licensed music. But where do you turn to when you need background music for your just chatting sessions or want music to fill the empty soundscapes of the battle royale games you play? Try these options!
(and avoid the last one)
During the process of uploading my latest Link’s Awakening live stream to YouTube, I saw the Copyright Claim flag under one of my my Tetris 99 videos. Confused, I clicked to see who had filed the claim and on what grounds. What I saw made me very upset.