Live DMCA coming to Twitch as OBS offers advanced audio options

Fariha Bhatti • December 3, 15:49

The latter half of 2020 continues to rock the world of Twitch streamers as DMCA drama continues to build. While OBS, a broadcasting software, is trying to help streamers with updated audio options, Twitch streamers are reportedly being threatened by a new live DMCA system. 

2020 has been a rocky year for independent creators on Twitch who were bombarded with DMCA strikes for using copyrighted music. A large number of channels were warned off, and many others came under the ban hammer. The situation has been messy and all over the place, resulting in the deletion of thousands of VODs on Twitch, removing years of memories and the hard work of creators. 

While the clamor continues, live broadcasting software OBS has come up with a feature that may allow Twitch streamers to play the music of their choice. OBS’ 26.1 releaseworks in an interesting way by changing the audio/music once the stream is over. 

In this test build a “Twitch VOD Track” option appears in advanced mode which allows streamers to record their livestream with different non-copyrighted audio. The second track they select will appear on their VODs, preventing their channel from coming under the notice of music right owners. However, a plan to banish those who try to sneak in live copyrighted music may be in the pipeline. 

Live DMCA will make OBS’ new audio options futile on Twitch

Twitch’s rules on music are simple: Don’t play it if it’s not yours. 

“Uploading any content that you do not own, do not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorized to use, violates our Terms of Service and may make your account liable to DMCA takedowns by third-party rights holders.” Twitch said.

Generally, Twitch mutes copyrighted music. The live streaming platform also renders warnings and 24-hours bans for playing copyrighted music. But as the platform grows, the rules continue to change too. 

Twitch streamer Tucker “iiJeriichoiii” Boner discussed in one of his recent streams the possibility of a live DMCA system coming to Twitch, and said that the program has virtually been completed.

“There’s now very soon, a very real risk, that you will be DMCAed live while streaming,” Jericho said.

Live DMCA has become a hot topic of discussion among the Twitch streamers and viewers. As is evident from the name, this development will allow Twitch to send copyright strikes and warnings, or even ban the streamer while they are still live. This development will make OBS’ effort to help small creators futile as Twitch can detect copyrighted music while the video is still live, resulting in a possible ban. 

Whatever the case, trying to use the creative property of someone else is not to be taken lightly, as it is illegal according to a set of United States laws created in 1998. While many small creators are grateful to OBS’ effort to help the community, others are questioning the value of this new audio option that is still in beta testing. 

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