Online streaming has changed the way that creators of all kinds monetize their content. While YouTube has long been the subject of numerous copyright violation claims, other streaming sites are starting to deal with similar problems. The streaming site Twitch, which primarily streams user’s video game feeds for fans to watch, recently came under fire for alleged violations of copyright law due to music that often appears in streaming content. The site is now taking action to mute certain archived streams that may contain music for which the streamer holds no copyright.
Complete streams of content on Twitch have long been subject to muting thanks to scanning software. The software simply mutes the offending stream when the violation occurs for 30 minutes at a time. However, many fans will often take “clips” of a completed stream and save them, uploading them to the streamer’s page. Those clips sometimes contain music that is subject to copyright. These clips will now be scanned the same way that completed streams are scanned.
Twitch also says that it will update its site to allow streamers to delete these offending clips themselves. Users can already appeal Twitch’s decision to mute a completed stream, and experts are confident the same appeal process will apply to clips. The site has also announced that it will not punish streamers for these offenses, unless they receive too many strikes according to rules the company already has in place.
As technology improves and more and more streaming and sharing sites get developed, artists will have to stay vigilant to protect their music. Violating copyright law may seem like an innocent transgression, but it takes away an artist’s ability to control his or her own creations and accordingly profit from usage. Artists of all mediums here in New York may want to work with a copyright law attorney to ensure that their work is protected.