Twitch to begin flagging for copyrighted music content

Twitch will begin scanning for copyrighted audio content and flag content accordingly.

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Twitch is making some noteworthy changes to some of their videos, some of which may irk more than a few content creators. One of the more eye-opening changes is that videos featuring third-party audio in the background will now be subject to flags for copyright infringement.

"Starting today, Twitch will be implementing technology intended to help broadcasters avoid the storage of videos containing unauthorized third-party audio," reads the Twitch blog post. "We respect the rights of copyright owners, and are voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners."

Those flagged for copyright will have their video clips muted for the duration of the infringed section. Anyone that has their content flagged can submit an appeal to Twitch.

Other changes coming to Twitch include a limit to stored 'Past Broadcast' clips. The 'Save Forever' option will be removed, meaning all clips must be saved as 'Highlights' in order to be stored permanently. However, the highlights can be only be saved at a maximum of two hours at a time. More information about this change can also be found on the Twitch blog.

It should be noted that these changes come in the wake of Twitch's rumored acquisition by Google. It's just a coincidence, of course, and I'm sure has nothing to do with people's fears becoming reality.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 6, 2014 3:05 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Twitch to begin flagging for copyrighted music content.

    Twitch will begin scanning for copyrighted audio content and flag content accordingly.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:07 PM

      lol there goes easily 75% of streams

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:08 PM

      You should really point out that this does NOT impact livestreams, only archived content or highlights.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:10 PM

      Google+ integration to follow.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 3:16 PM

        And so it begins...


        Really hating capitalism.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 3:31 PM

          Yeah I hate paying artists for their work.

          • reply
            August 6, 2014 3:34 PM

            It's not going to them..

            • reply
              August 6, 2014 3:51 PM

              yeah because no one is paying!

              • reply
                August 6, 2014 3:53 PM

                The company that makes the video game pays the artist to make the music (or pays for the right to have it in the game).

                You are saying it is now the responsibility of gamers to pay as well? Remember, this affects in game music as well, so things like Punch Out speed runs are now muted. Who exactly do I pay for the right to broadcast that game with its in-game music?

                • reply
                  August 6, 2014 4:50 PM

                  The game's publishers, I assume. Though it's not like they make themselves particularly accessible. Further, what happens with titles whose Publishers have gone out of business?

          • reply
            August 6, 2014 3:54 PM

            yeah because when I want to listen to my favorite artists I get on twitch to see if someone is streaming them as background music to their annoying league of legends shitbanter

            • reply
              August 6, 2014 5:03 PM

              Cool, you're into bglolgrind too. We should hang out.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 3:40 PM

          I really hope you posted this from an android phone or iphone.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 3:18 PM

        there's channels that require facebook account to chat in, wonder when those will disappear

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:26 PM

      Scroogle'd!

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:31 PM

      wait till people start flagging for copyrighted games.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 3:43 PM

        They've always been able to do that. It's up to the copyright holder to file a DMCA request. Luckily, pretty much every video game publisher out there has come around to seeing livestreaming and Let's Play videos a positive thing. Only notable exception is Nintendo.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 3:53 PM

          And won't it be fun when THEY want Twitch to hit the copyright button!

          • reply
            August 6, 2014 3:55 PM

            Rockstar already did that. They were so flagrant about it they got the entire publisher flagging system shut down.

            Now days the publishers just send a notification to twitch when it is 'okay' to stream their content.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:33 PM

      Twitch's own streams are getting blocked: https://twitter.com/patrickklepek/status/497147986007584768

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 3:43 PM

        haha. I hope everybody runs to Ustream as fast as possible.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 3:44 PM

          I hear hitbox.tv is better.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 4:50 PM

          There is azubu.tv and mlg.tv too.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 5:56 PM

          Yup. At least until the RIAA takes them to court and compels them to do the same kind of crap. Then we all hop ship again.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 4:06 PM

        And now Valve is getting flagged for using their own music.

        https://twitter.com/TheSpiritJuice/status/497155869264863233

        This is just going to keep getting uglier, isn't it?

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 4:48 PM

          I got flagged for my surgeon simulator video on YouTube: http://chattypics.com/files/ScreenShot20140806at44734PM_7dcbipf61m.png

          • reply
            August 6, 2014 5:02 PM

            Seems like this AdRev company may not be right.

            AdRev on other videos: http://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/2cslu2/who_do_i_need_to_contact_at_valve_and_how_to_find/

            Valve's video policy: http://www.valvesoftware.com/videopolicy.html

            • reply
              August 6, 2014 5:05 PM

              In other words, it's the same faulty kind of system that YouTube uses. That's...great.

              • reply
                August 6, 2014 5:08 PM

                A bit more info from a SteamCommunity thread.
                http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3231651&page=6

                Excerpt here...

                I just sent them yet another email and here's what one of the support people replied with:

                "Valve is using AdRev to protect and monetize their sound recordings via the YouTube content id system. The purpose is to find any unauthorized uses of their content. The content id system cannot differentiate between what is authorized, and what is not... it scans all YouTube videos and places claims on any match in finds. To fix this, we can release claims when we know what falls within authorized use per our client. I was awaiting word from our Valve representatives in order to administer their content correctly. We cannot remove their music because they are wanting to monetize anyone who uses their music outside of game tutorials, let's plays, etc."

                So if your Valve gameplay videos got claimed by them because of the music, I guess the only way to resolve it is to send them an email via their contact form.

              • reply
                August 6, 2014 6:10 PM

                Yeah, they literally operate on the basis of "shoot first, ask questions later". No oversight on their takedown notices, just a stream of purely automated sends.

                Stripping out badly mangled, barely heard music in the background of a recording of a stream is bad enough. Using a system that frequently results in false positives and not checking its work before letting it send out legal notices which have potential legal ramifications? That's wildly irresponsible.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:57 PM

      Eh, I had been preparing for this for a bit. I just use local rock from unsigned bands on my stream. So far it's just stuff that my friends recorded but, when I get bored with that music, I plan to start hitting up reverbnation to track down new stuff that I can ask permission to use.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 3:59 PM

      Really sucks ass that it has retroactively killed 99% of archived runs. Let people know and turn it on for future content but jesus this blows.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 6:00 PM

        It blows even for only future content.

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 6:12 PM

        It would make sense from a cynical business perspective if it debuted at the same time as better YouTube integration. Now their YouTube exporter doesn't even work due to "capacity issues", i.e. people jumping ship in droves.

        This is how a company destroys itself, kids. Watch and learn.

        • reply
          August 6, 2014 6:46 PM

          Seems a big waste of the mind share twitch had if truly intentional. I don't know if YouTube can just fill that gap if it really goes down the drain, seems more likely another will sprout with the features everyone wants.

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 1:02 AM

        And the last 1% is getting fucked by this:

        The other changes involve its archive (VOD) system. In the past, Twitch allowed all users to save archived broadcasts indefinitely, but that's no longer the case. Normal Twitch users can have broadcasts saved for up to 14 days, while Turbo (paid) users can have them archived for 60 days. Either way, it's no longer forever. Highlight reels, used to spotlight a channel's best moments, are saved indefinitely, but are now limited to a maximum length of two hours. That will likely have an impact on speedrunning players.

        http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/twitch-implements-controversial-new-policy-changes/1100-4982/

        • reply
          August 7, 2014 4:15 AM

          Actually, this policy has been around for quite some time.

          I lost my ending vids of my bioshock infinite because of this.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 4:01 PM

      Creative commons for the win! I release alot of my music CC so people can use it for free.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 4:03 PM

      ICYMI: We reposted Steve's original opinion piece on the Twitch/YouTube deal on the front page, since it's a little more relevant today.

      http://www.shacknews.com/article/84580/opinion-youtube-twitch-acquisition-rife-with-peril-and-possibilities

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 5:07 PM

      So no point in streaming Rocksmith anymore

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 5:09 PM

      I use VB Audio Virtual Cable to isolate the game audio from the rest of my stuff. It's free, but pretty clunky.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 5:59 PM

      http://hitbox.tv

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 3:52 AM

        Yup. Some streamers have already begun switching to it.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 6:03 PM

      We knew this was gonna happen. RIP.

    • DM7
      reply
      August 6, 2014 6:12 PM

      What a joke.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 6:26 PM

      TIME TO DITCH THE TWITCH!

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 6:30 PM

      Everything seems to be moving along as scheduled.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 6:47 PM

      At least you guys are smarter than the rest of the shit I've read online about this.

    • Zek
      reply
      August 6, 2014 7:58 PM

      It was inevitable regardless of who may or may not buy them. The bigger the website, the bigger the target for lawyers.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 8:44 PM

      I don't understand the hate. People are upset because they can't use media they don't have a right to re-broadcast?

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 9:16 PM

        Almost everything I stream has licensed music in it. So there goes half the charm of the games I've been streaming...

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 12:19 AM

        There's substantive re-broadcast, like what YouTube is littered with, and then there's incidental use, like music happening to be overheard in the background that is decidedly not the focus of the video. One has an obvious negative impact on sales, and one has, if any effect at all, a minor positive impact (from people going "I like that song, I should buy it so I can hear it without video game sounds over it"). As someone else said, nobody loads up an archived Twitch stream instead of buying a single or album if they want to hear a specific song.

        The music industry has overplayed their hand on this one. By trying to "protect" their IP to encourage more sales, they've wound up fostering resentment amongst streamers and their fans. Faced with the choice of paying for a "re-broadcast license" or just not listening to music, most streamers are going to choose the latter. Not that it's really a choice anyway, since any sort of license that would cover this is undoubtedly going to be expensive beyond what any mere mortal could afford.

        Don't get me wrong though, shame on Twitch for giving in to this at all, and extra shame for going overboard. If they were just filtering archived streams that have songs with little to no commentary or sound over them they could probably avoid the huge backlash. Censoring streams where a radio faintly heard in the background played some licensed music? Dick move guys. That's not even getting into the false positives.

        • reply
          August 7, 2014 4:00 AM

          Instead they could be making so much more money with all these streams.

          Why mute a portion of the video, if you could just calculate how long a streamer has used a song and which one and give some of his earnings directly to the author or the music industry.

          Most would start using royalty free music, some will not.

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 2:15 AM

        Easier to hate on something/someone than it is to move to try to change ridiculous laws. So, onto the next Twitch everyone! And then the next one. And so on.

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 3:50 AM

        There have been numerous cases where Google / YT's automated system has incorrectly flagged videos for copyright violation or some bizarro lawyer company automatically files a violation / DMCA case. Instead of encouraging the music industry to move forwards on a completely outdated copyright system, this is imo a huge step backwards for the Twitch platform, as it was with Youtube.

      • gx8
        reply
        August 7, 2014 8:26 AM

        not like i give a shit about my VODs but that means streaming Rocksmith, any highlights will be silent lol.

        that's the only game i stream anyway.

      • reply
        August 7, 2014 8:30 AM

        I think the issue is how far reaching this is. No in game music/sounds, no music even if you have the rights to stream it, all the TI4 streams vods got muted. I always thought it was odd that you could turn on a stream and have people streaming pop music from spotify or something but the way they've done it seems a bit crazy

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 11:26 PM

      Yea, thats not going to end well.

    • reply
      August 6, 2014 11:46 PM

      way to throw a billion dollars out, LOL

      • reply
        August 6, 2014 11:47 PM

        Hey doesn't this then include every game recording ever made? I mean, their music is copyright to the musicians/publishers/etc.. sooo.. any recording of a game, is technically reproducing that games music, therefore must be blocked?

        • reply
          August 7, 2014 7:52 AM

          Twitch's own blog states that in-game music is being filtered as well as music you might be listening to the radio or whatever during play.

    • reply
      August 7, 2014 3:57 AM

      Mmm, I love the smell of money burning

    • reply
      August 7, 2014 8:21 AM

      Ah, thanks, Google.

    • reply
      August 7, 2014 8:27 AM

      So dumb. All this because they are afraid someone will rip some music from a stream? Why would anyone bother? There are definitely easier ways, both legal and not, to get music.