Twitch Marketing Promo Over Golden Emoji Goes Horribly Wrong After DMCA Nuclear Strike

from the not-the-time dept

Mere days ago, we discussed the bonkers path Twitch chose for itself in dealing with a flood of DMCA takedowns issued by the RIAA. The whole episode screamed of panic. Rather than dealing with DMCA takedowns via the normal method -- taking down the content, providing the content maker with a path for a counternotice, and then putting the content back if no lawsuit was filed -- , Twitch, instead, took the extraordinary action of simply and permanently nuking the videos in question. It then, rather brazenly, informed the content maker it had done so and advised them to "learn about copyright law." In fact, given its actions, there is some question as to whether or not this is all enough to have lost Twitch its safe harbor protections.

Regardless, it would be an understatement to suggest that this pissed off the Twitch community. The public backlash was both swift and severe, with content producers openly wondering if it was time to march off to a different platform entirely. Well, the very next day, Twitch began teasing a new offering coming in November and promoted this tease by releasing a sought after emote to all Twitch users.

Yesterday, Twitch took to teasing something that’s happening on November 14 (likely a digital convention called GlitchCon), as though everything is right as rain and not a corporate-friendly garbage fire. Twitch tweeted out a video that said “There’s a place where all Kappas are golden” and then temporarily turned all Kappa emotes gold.

For perhaps as long as Twitch has existed, there has been a myth: On exceedingly rare occasions, if the stars align perfectly, the ever-popular “Kappa” chat emote will turn gold. Some have suggested that a single Twitch user receives golden Kappa abilities every 24 hours. Others believe you have to fulfill highly specific prerequisites in order to unlock it. Yesterday, out of the blue, Twitch gave it to everybody. Twitch streamers and viewers, in turn, did not give a shit, because they were too busy recovering from the DMCApocalypse.

It was actually worse than streamers and users not giving a shit. This fully angered people, given Twitch's actions merely hours earlier. Streamers ran to Twitter and elsewhere to congratulate Twitch on its completely tone-deaf attempt to win over users with an emote, while others noted that Twitch had some serious communicating to do with the community and "shiny emotes" ought not have been on the agenda. Others once again wondered allowed if Twitch was the right platform on which to stream.

“Twitch gets slammed by the music industry, meanwhile they changed all the Kappas to gold, maybe in the hopes we all forget about how terribly the company has been running,” said Rocket League pro Lethamyr. “I think it’s nearly time to stream live on YouTube.”

And its not as though Twitch's extreme actions have even gotten the RIAA and its comrades off of the platform's back. Instead, various industry groups released a letter still complaining that Twitch wasn't doing enough on the copyright front and was mismanaging its Soundtrack by Twitch feature, which is supposed to help streamers use authorized music.

In other words, in a world where Twitch was presented with the choice of siding with its own content creators and users, or the copyright industry associations, it took the bold step of managing to piss off everyone instead. That it thought that golden emojis would somehow either stave off criticism of the platform, or at least be received without this resulting anger, seems to indicate that there are some very out of touch folks running this company at the moment.

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Filed Under: copyright, dmca, golden emoji, marketing stunts
Companies: twitch


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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Oct 2020 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If everything is public domain that sounds good, until you have corporations taking whatever they wish without credit or payment to the original author. "

    Yeah, that's a massive conflation though, between one natural right and a decidedly unnatural one.

    In Sweden (and I think quite a few other EU member states) what is known as "copyright" is broken down in two specific mechanisms, loosely translated as; "Right of origin/paternity" and "Right to copy".

    The former is that part which has the original author own the right to be acknowledged as author, meaning that if you rip off someone's work and put another name under it, or claim that you have the approval of that author to use that work, THAT is where the violation happens.
    Respecting this is as inherently natural as respecting an identity or name. The only intended violation of this is the malicious one, and so the vast majority supports upholding it.

    The second part which causes every mess we currently have with copyright is the "right to copy" which, in order to work at all, needs to infringe on very important principles of freedoms and property rights of everyone else.
    That second part is identical to the old catholic church's blasphemy and heresy law where anyone quoting or interpreting scripture without holding a license from the vatican was considered a heretic to be forced to recant and/or burned at the stake. Later on formalized by Bloody Mary as part of her anti-protestant persecution regime, and finally re-cast as Queen Anne's statute. Violating this part of copyright is so easy it's actually hard not to do, and "malice" is inherently not part of copying and passing on information which is why only the malicious tend to respect it.

    "Copyright" as we currently know it merges both these principles and has quite successfully conflated the second part as a necessary rider to the first...which it is not and never has been.

    Copyright is information control. Like any other of the crude and casual violations of human rights it has no moral authority just because it's in the hands of private individuals rather than a government. That Erdogan could choose to use copyright as a mechanism to shut down social networks in Turkey without a single protest from the rest of the G20 is a very cold and hard warning about the dangers of allowing that law to stand.

    "Which is one reason why the original concept of copyright exists - artists were getting ripped off to such a degree they were disincentivised from creating or publicising new works."

    That's actual bullshit right there, but it's been peddled so often it's become "common knowledge". Most parts of europe have had extensive periods without copyright - and those periods correspond with some of the most inventive and creative periods of human history. Germany's 16th century explosion of culture comes to mind, as well as the rich eras of creation during the few times France wasn't under a protectionist regime.

    The UK isn't the first to try to issue government-protected censorship law, it's just that one nation where such law wasn't summarily overturned before it had time to spread.

    "Yet, it also depends on the concept of copyright to a degree."

    CC is required because of copyright, not the other way around. The running rabbit isn't what causes the thunder.


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