“Mute the game audio”, Twitch recommends, to avoid DMCA issues

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One of the biggest problems content creators face is from music-related Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claims. No matter how old your video or broadcast is, if you’ve been caught playing copyrighted music, there’s very little you can do to stop these takedown requests. Earlier this week, Twitch issued an apology to all its streamers who were forced to delete years worth of content due to DMCA-related issues. To solve any future problems, Twitch advises streamers to “mute the game audio”.

Responding to a concerned Twitter user about the music in Cyberpunk 2077 potentially being flagged, Twitch replied with this statement: “Hey there, thanks for reaching out. We recommend reading through any game’s EULA, and utilising any option to turn music off if the game includes that option, or mute the game audio.”

Yes, you read that correctly. If you don’t want your previous broadcasts removed from Twitch, just mute the game audio. Twitch’s previous solution to avoid DMCA takedowns was to mute the offending audio, but it appears the copyright holder is still able to pull entire broadcasts down.

This system is still in place, though it definitely has some issues as Twitch partner HCJustin highlights. “I had a VoD [Video on Demand] get muted during Phasmophobia,” tweets HCJustin. “No music or anything, but I guess whispering at a ghost sounded a lot like some meditation spoken word album.” The Twitch partner did end up successfully appeal the automated decision, but there’s always the fear that these legal issues can escalate further.

A lot of the DMCA takedown requests Twitch receives are processed automatically once a broadcast has been uploaded. This results in a number of false claims that the streamer can’t do anything about. Twitch muted a portion of Ominous Bagel’s Persona 5 broadcast, not for any copyrighted music, but for a police siren in Persona 5. It appears muting the game music may not be enough to stop these bogus claims.

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