Twitch is giving streamers new tools that they can use to better track and address copyright claims made on their content. This should make it more transparent when streamers are dealing with strikes that could result in their accounts being suspended or deleted.
As shared in an email obtained by The Verge, there are a few new tools available to streamers now. One will let them mass-delete previously recorded streams, stopping them from showing up when copyright-holders are looking to flag content and reducing the chance they’ll get a copyright strike. Another tool also lets them view where they stand on current copyright claims more clearly, which should reduce the surprise-bans we’ve seen in the past. Any takedown requests will show up in their inbox on Twitch, and there will be more features aimed at addressing these problems later this year.
Twitch has found itself at the center of controversy involving copyrighted content in the past. Last summer, users began to receive waves of DMCA takedown requests based on old clips they still had archived, and Twitch recommended deleting them to make sure their accounts remained intact.
More recently, Twitch replaced the audio at a Metallica concert during BlizzCon with some non-threatening bells, likely so it wouldn’t get flagged for copyrighted material. The irony here is that this copyrighted material is owned by Metallica, and the group even sued the file-sharing site Napster back in 2000 over copyright concerns surrounding its music.
Twitch has been the king of video game streaming for years, and it doesn’t face much in terms of competition. Micrsoft’s Mixer shut down and big-name streamers it had signed to exclusivity deals mostly headed back to Twitch. Streamers don’t have many viable alternatives, and Twitch’s response to issues hasn’t always been met positively. Back in November, for instance, it apologized for how it handled a wave of DMCA requests but also asked streamers to stop playing any recorded music in the background during streams.