Twitch Takes Steps To Make It Even Easier To Issue DMCA Strikes Against Streamers

from the here-we-go-again dept

If you've been following along with us, the past several months haven't gone great for streaming platform Twitch. It all started with Twitch's decision to simply nuke a bunch of streamer content as a result of a massive influx of DMCA notices it received. While Twitch streamers and some in the public went ballistic over this, the company decided to try to distract the world with bright shiny objects like emojis, only to continue to let the DMCApocalypse continue even after it apologized for its lack of transparency. Then Amazon, which owns Twitch, put on Twitch's GlitchCon and spent a pretty penny on it, while streamers on the platform wondered why Amazon didn't just spend that money on the licensing needed to keep streamers out of copyright jail. Fresh into 2021, Twitch then gave creators tools to help avoid copyright strikes, which mostly consisted of convenient ways to delete a bunch of their own content while not bothering to put in a method for policing DMCA abuse.

And now it seems like a near certainty that this is all going to get way, way worse. Twitch, without notice, recently released a new tool on its site to make it even easier to issue DMCA notices on creators.

Now, it is worth noting that this approach is somewhat different. Because this page requires a Twitch login in order to submit a claim, this appears to be less about giving industry rightsholders a way to DMCA the hell out of Twitch and more about giving fellow Twitch creators a way to DMCA the hell out of each other. Now, nothing prevents anyone who wants to use this tool from just creating a Twitch account to do so, so there is certainly the potential for abusing this new tool.

And it seems Twitch knows that, as this tool forces anyone looking to issue a DMCA notice to affirm that they're doing so rightfully.

Users must also fill out their contact information and agree that the claim is filed in good faith. However, seemingly to prevent abuse of this feature, Twitch also states that users must state they are “authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed” under penalty of perjury.

Viewers seem a bit mixed on the new feature, with some suspecting it will result in more bans and reports than we’d see otherwise.

Of course it will. This is going to make things measurably worse on the DMCA front, with the only real question being just how bad this is going to get. And, mind you, this is all done instead of Amazon investing in the licensing Twitch creators would need in order to be relatively safe from being DMCA'd to hell.

Now, we can argue all day long whether our dumb copyright culture has ballooned into a scenario where all these licenses and all of this enforcement of copyright is really silly and counterproductive for all involved. I'm way into that discussion. But given the current reality, Amazon is simply not doing right by Twitch's most valuable asset: it's creative community.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, dmca, streaming, takedowns
Companies: twitch


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 2:01pm

    I was getting worried there for a second...

    However, seemingly to prevent abuse of this feature, Twitch also states that users must state they are “authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed” under penalty of perjury.

    Well now, if people are required to state that they are filing in good faith and are authorized to file the claim under penalty of perjury all concerns have been laid to rest, with that requirement I'm sure there will be nary an abuse of the system will occur and any claims that might step over the line will be nothing more than honest mistakes, just like it works with DMCA claims in general which have the same requirements.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MightyMetricBatman, 10 May 2021 @ 2:18pm

      Re: I was getting worried there for a second...

      And the lack of any captcha or human interfacing verification means it won't be abused by automated bots at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 10 May 2021 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re: I was getting worried there for a second...

        I think signing up for a Twitch-account would alleviate much of the bot-bombing of DMCA complaints, but it's not fool-proof.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jono793 (profile), 12 May 2021 @ 1:41pm

      Re: I was getting worried there for a second...

      Whaaat? It's fine. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

      I mean. Twitch's user base is notoriously chill, and highly respectful to one another.

      I mean it's not like anyone would, hypothetically, False DMCA all the streamers they don't like in order to drive them off the platform! That'd be just as absurd as, well, as users uploading footage of mass shootings to the platform.

      No, I think this tool is in responsible hands!

      At least so long as they keep it just to us 'real gamers'. Not those 'Just Chatting' attention seeking, hot-tub fake gamer girl THO....<Insert stream of mysoginistic abuse here>

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2021 @ 2:43pm

    You'd think platforms that depend on independent creators would show some respect and support for their talent. But it's easier and cheaper to just delete and ban to keep the lawyers happy and they know there will always be more to replace the ones they ban, so they don't give a damn.

    Everyone's a creator these days...for better and for worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    christenson, 10 May 2021 @ 3:31pm

    A little friction....

    The big issue with all these automated DMCA systems is the total lack of friction....
    automatable takedowns
    No penalties for bad faith...Lenz v Universal Studios
    No registration requirements

    If it's worth protecting, it's worth registering, and if you are gonna take it down, you really should have to state that registration number. Simple due diligence, puts criminal penalties in for fraud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 4:13pm

    "'under penalty of perjury"

    I know why this is completely toothless!!
    Whens the last time you heard about a cop busted for perjury?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 10 May 2021 @ 6:02pm

    As Twitch dies...

    Will the corpse twitch?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 8:38pm

      Nah, it’ll go all Resident Evil Village and calcify before breaking apart.

      (And that’s probably the most merciful death in the game. 👀)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    morganwick (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 1:10am

    Will this make clear that Amazon, like Google, is not on the independent creator's side and is more concerned with keeping the legacy media industries happy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2021 @ 1:36am

      Re:

      Will this make clear that Amazon, like Google, is not on the independent creator's side

      This, the legacy media industries already "believe".

      more concerned with keeping the legacy media industries happy

      This, the legacy media industries continue to insist doesn't happen despite all appearances to the contrary.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 2:27am

      Re:

      People know, people just have to.deal with it unfortunately. Legacy media have had decades to sculpt the law in such a way even that if Google and Amazon dug their heels in and fought they're unlikely to get a clearcut decision that music in streams is fair use.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Eyetwitch, 11 May 2021 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re:

        They might do now, but there were more then enough people, who insisted that Twitch is much better than Youtube in those regards, when Youtube went through the same issues.

        The idea that Twitch only flew under the radar so far, was easily dismissed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CyberKender, 11 May 2021 @ 1:56pm

    Classic...

    "Give me the power, but I promise not to use it."
    Sure, buddy, sure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.