Twitch streamers are complaining that they’ve had their streams muted from innocent in-game sound effects in the latest DMCA strike outrage.
Multiple Twitch streamers are reporting receiving DMCA flags for minor in-game sound effects. The ongoing “DMCA Bloodbath” that’s been rocking the streaming platform has claimed a lot of victims so far. Streamers big and small have had their content flagged for the most minor of violations, even if the streams are years old. Content has been banned and deleted en masse, with no hope of restitution for the content creators who’ve lost their footage.
No one is safe from Twitch’s purging efforts. Even partnered streamers have been banned over DMCA violations, sometimes with little to no warning. Worse, Twitch’s communication skills about the issue have been frankly atrocious. Streamers don’t know who’s flagging the violations, what content was flagged for which reason, and how to go about making that content compliant to prevent further issues. Some streamers decided that ultimately the safest option is just to avoid playing any music at all.
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But according to GamesIndustry.biz, not even that’s enough. Streamers have taken to Twitter to announce that in the latest outrage of this DMCA nonsense, streams are getting muted and flagged for minor in-game sound effects. Players have had issues playing clock chimes, bird and insect noises, police sirens, and even wind. Ordinary, every day sounds that no one would think twice about. Earlier this week, Twitch outlined its plan to better handle these DMCA issues, and it encouraged players to mute all in-game music. Sound effects were not mentioned, and streamers can hardly be blamed for expecting something as innocuous as wind blowing to fly well below the legal radar.
I got a copyright claim on Hitman: Blood Money because of the bird and insect noises in A Vintage Year.
— Bad Creature (@SL128T) November 12, 2020
Twitch has been receiving criticisms from just about every corner of the internet. Even Justin Wong, ex-VP of the website, came out to express his profound disappointment in the website. It’s easy to see why. Even in spite of everything Twitch has said, streamers are still being forced to jump through hoops to make sure their content is complicit with guidelines that they still don’t fully understand. It’s honestly surprising that people are even willing to broadcast under these conditions. They deserve better.
Twitch has displayed a willingness to solve this problem, but it still has a long way to go. Communication is absolutely vital for tackling an issue like this, and that communication has been sorely lacking ever since this bloodbath started. When one looks at how much promotion and effort Twitch is putting into things like GlitchCon and the Golden Kappa emote, it’s clear where the website’s priorities lie. Unfortunately, it isn’t with the streamers that make Twitch such a success. Hopefully this will change before it’s too late.
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