Angry Joe Tears Into Twitch Over Its One-Sided Approach To DMCA Takedowns

from the strike-a-match dept

Famed YouTuber and Twitch streamer Angry Joe, or Jose Antonio Vargas, has made it onto Techdirt's pages in the past. True to his name, we've discussed his responses on a couple of intellectual property issues he's suffered through. When Nintendo flagged a video Angry Joe did about Mario Party 10, preventing him from further monetizing the video, he simply and angrily swore off of doing any Nintendo videos in the future, rightly noting that with the decision all the free advertising he'd given Nintendo just disappeared. When CBS blocked a review video he did because the review used 13 seconds of Star Trek: Picard, he took to Twitter to rip them to shreds as well. The point is that when Angry Joe encounters the frustrations many others deal with thanks to overly restrictive intellectual property practices, he doesn't stay silent. He gets... well... angry.

With that in mind, it's probably not all that surprising that the way Twitch is handling its DMCA process has finally caught up to Angry Joe resulting in yet another angry rant. Like many other Twitch creators, Angry Joe has been hit with DMCA notices. As he goes on to note, the process Twitch has designed for how this all works, well, sucks out loud.

Joe highlighted two major issues with Twitch’s system. The first is the strikes on people’s accounts are permanent, and don’t expire after 90 days like YouTube.

“Copyright strikes do not depreciate after a set period of time. If I receive three strikes my channel is terminated, yet I can’t see the strike, I can’t submit a counter-notification, I can’t submit a dispute,” he said in a recent rant. “It can’t get any worse than this.”

This seems both like it should be an easy problem to fix and an easy problem to have completely avoided in the first place. If anyone had bothered to test out Twitch's DMCA process prior to putting it in place, especially from the perspective of someone who had received multiple DMCA notices, it would have been immediately obvious that multiple strikes create a situation where the accused can't even counter the notice.

But the issues with the dispute program go deeper than that.

Joe used an example of a copyright strike he received in February 2021 for a Warzone clip dating back to November 2020, which had the Astronomia song ⁠— popularized by the coffin dance meme ⁠— playing inside the game.

“Here is your DMCA strike. What is the clip? We don’t have a link to the clip. We told you to delete all of your VODs. There is no ‘Dispute’ button,” he explained. “You can’t even review the VODs identified in DMCA notifications in your dashboard, and they don’t plan [on adding that feature] that until December 2021.”

If this all sounds absurd, it very much is. We've made this point before, but Twitch creators are Twitch's biggest and most important asset. Twitch is owned by Amazon. Amazon has virtually unlimited resources. Instead of bringing those resources to bear on all this nonsense, Twitch has instead hung its most important assets out to dry. The roadmap items are half a year away. Creators are getting slammed with these DMCA requests. Twitch is mostly doing nothing other than admiring the failed program it has rolled out.

It should be noted that Angry Joe has a very loud voice when it comes to streamers. If this doesn't get fixed soon, this could lead to a creator exodus.

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Filed Under: angry joe, dmca, jose antonio vargas, streaming
Companies: twitch


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 7:46pm

    If this doesn't get fixed soon, this could lead to a creator exodus.

    Other than YouTube…an exodus to where, exactly? Microsoft tried and failed to compete with Twitch. Who the hell else is going to try now?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 8:35pm

      Re: to where "conservatives" can go, silly!

      Or is all "different" when you approve of content?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 8:36pm

      Re:

      What's the prob, Stevie? -- "Angry at corporation" here...

      ...can move from Twitch to the mythical hosts to which you direct de-platformed conservatives! -- As you write after smugly asserting that corporations have an absolute Right who they associate with.

      Yes or no: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don't want to host?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 9:25pm

        Re: Re:

        Everybody knows you're a corporatist, blue. You suck the cock of the RIAA so bad they have to make regular visits to the sperm bank for withdrawal.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 9:43pm

        You think this is a “gotcha”, but it isn’t.

        Wondering where Twitch streamers could go if they left Twitch (aside from YouTube) is not the same as saying “the government should force Twitch to host streamers”, “the government should set up a site for Twitch streamers”, or whatever you wanted me to say so you would have something resembling a point.

        Talk about the points I made instead of the ones you wish I had made. Commit to understanding what I’m saying rather than intentional ignorance. When you can do that, you and I can have a proper conversation. Until then: You need to shut the fuck up when grown folks are talking.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 15 May 2021 @ 3:57am

          Re:

          He also totally missed that this discussion is about copyright maximalists using the government to kick some off a service, aka legally mandated censorship.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        It's funny that you think this is an actual "gotcha" moment, rather than further proof you don't understand anything other people are saying here.

        Are schools reopening in your area? I'm sure there's some reading comprehension class you can take over the summer if so.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 May 2021 @ 3:40am

        Re: Re:

        "As you write after smugly asserting that corporations have an absolute Right who they associate with."

        Of course corporations have that right. This OP, however, is about law - that is to say, government power, forcing a corporation to censor.

        So, Baghdad Bob, is your point;
        That we are all right that abolishing section 230 would be wrong; That you are a lying asshole trying out some good old-fashioned Newspeak; That you are still the malicious illiterate lackwit we've come to know around here all these years?

        My money is on the third option. That you are still a clueless lackwit who can't read properly and won't that fact stop you from posing a flawed assertion in response to something no one ever said.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 8:01pm

    The ability to submit a counter-notification is required for a site to qualify for DMCA safe harbors. People make money off of Twitch streams. If Twitch removes content or bans users who are making money, potential damages have occurred. The affected user can sue Twitch for the losses and Twitch can't use the safe harbors to escape the suit.

    Granted, it is Amazon we're talking about, so the chances of such a thing occurring are virtually nil, but it would be interesting to see.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2021 @ 4:54pm

      Re:

      Although this is technically true, they probably wrote their terms and conditions such that they can't be sued by the streamers anyway.

      But maybe not. And in any case, the streamer can sue the person who sent the notice.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 8:40pm

    can't corporations, uh, persons do entirely as wish?

    all the disgruntled can just go to another site

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 9:26pm

    Copyright induced madness

    Never mind a creator exodus if copyright strikes are permanent, you only get so many before losing your account and there's no reasonable way to avoid them then it's simply a matter of time until every creator on Twitch is banned from the platform.

    Copyright has always been hilariously one-sided so as insane as this policy of theirs is it's not actually that far from what the law is(or at least how it's treated in court where accusations are treated as equivalent to findings of guilt), and I'm sure still falls short of what some people/groups want the law to be.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2021 @ 9:33pm

      Re: Copyright induced madness

      Treat it like an ASCAP issue and bill them.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Copyright induced madness

      You need to add to this.
      They ALSO, dont tell you which one. So that you can remove it, to REMOVE the strike.

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

    • identicon
      TheDumberHalf, 17 May 2021 @ 8:56am

      Re: Copyright induced madness

      The best way to fight this is have every single streamer intentionally get 3 DMCA strikes. When there's no one left to make content, Twitch will be forced to make changes its policy.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 11:29pm

    Amazon, with a system of logistics that rivals anyone else in the market couldn't see that permanent black marks, no appeals, not providing any information about the claimed infringement could be bad??

    Twitch streamers aren't exactly something you can have knocked off in China for a few cents cheaper & then force the real thing off the platform as Amazon is want to do.

    If they don't want the platform anymore, and their actions scream that story, perhaps they just need to find a buyer for it & take the loss to offload the cool toy they bought without understanding anything about it.

    Yes copyright is hard to manage but you manage to get a random widget across the country in 2 days and this holds his hands up was the best thing you came up with to deal with a copyright policy you should have had from day one??
    Yes the rightsholders are a bitchy bunch & never try to please them they just demand more.
    Live up to your obligations under the law & the moral obligation to not sell out the only things that make your platform worth anything.
    The system you designed is so far removed form reality we'd need 2 Blue Origin rockets to even get close to where the hell you are.
    Its EASILY gamed, no one can dispute, no one can be told what part is the "bad part", and 3 strikes and we ban you off the platform... because EVERY copyright claim is legit. (shit my eyes just shot out of my head into orbit they rolled so hard).

    Yes you can try to get new streamers to replace the ones you manage to drive off your platform... but do you think the new ones will stick around very long as your stupid policy never lets them get big b/c some random douche can setup and account claim 3 things and end their streaming.

    When a song in a game being played can result in a takedown of an entire video over a few minutes, perhaps there is something seriously wrong.
    No ones stealing the song, you got paid for its use in the game, you shouldn't have a right to demand further payments because someone else played the game & someone else heard that song too.

    I am reminded of the patent on a tv to count the people in the room to make sure you haven't exceeded the number of people your 'purchase' of a movie is limited to.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 5:49am

      Re:

      I've seen Amazon AWS host pirated content from mass-piracy sites, sometimes even of books which are available on Kindle.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 8:03am

        Re: Re:

        I've seen Amazon AWS host pirated content

        That's other people hosting that content on AWS. Amazon for the most part has no idea what people are uploading to their services.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        Sure. Have you seen Amazon refuse to remove such sites after being notified of their existence, or having prior knowledge that the customer is going to use their hosting for such things before they set up the account?

        If not, you're not making the point you think you are.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      Amazon, with a system of logistics that rivals anyone else in the market couldn't see that permanent black marks, no appeals, not providing any information about the claimed infringement could be bad??

      There system is what happens if you only listen to the MPAA and RIAA, who actively push for 3 strikes and a permanent ban.

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

      • identicon
        David, 15 May 2021 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re:

        Realistically, MPAA and RIAA would want to have people banned from offering anything occupying people's attention span unprofitably with 0 strikes but that would be too expensive to lobby for. "3 strikes" is essentially the same for anybody producing non-trivial amounts of material and sounds defensible as "only going after the bad guys".

        It's somewhat like firing a cleaning company for cause after 3 separate reports of a spider web being found in a building.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Realistically, MPAA and RIAA would want to have people banned from offering anything occupying people's attention span unprofitably"

          Basically, they would prefer to ban. anything not provided by their members.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 1:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well of course, after all as anyone from that group could/would tell you the mark of a professional is that they're signed to a major label/studio/publisher, with everyone else nothing but talentless hacks putting forth worthless garbage not deserving of time or especially money that could be better spent on professional content.

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

    • identicon
      CorrectionBot, 15 May 2021 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      The phrase you were looking for is "to be wont to do something".

      "...as Amazon is wont to do..." is what you really wanted to write, but couldn't.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 11:45pm

    No one hates content creators more than copyrignt maximalists.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 12:02am

    13 or 26 seconds?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 6:23am

    twitch is owned by amazon, which is owned by bezos, who doesn't give a fuck about any of his customers now he's made the big time! his one concern, so it seems is being at the top of or as high as possible on the earnings ladder! like so many others, he has forgotten/ignored that without customers, your businesses fail but then why would that matter to someone who has the amount of money he has!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      ... and Bezos sounds a lot like Soros, so they're probably in the conspiracy together, scheduled for just after the the next round of the Central American Migrant Caravan and just before removing the Icelandic Prime Minister from power.

      However, once you take off the tinfoil hat, you might realize that Bezos is on top of such a big pile of Things That Need Attention Now that he probably hasn't spared the time for the Twitch DMCA issue.

      Similarly, folks are saying "Amazon should know better than this", which might be true if Amazon itself was paying close attention to its subsidiaries. You can see the truth of that in that we're even talking about this. Meanwhile, the people on the ground who handle DMCA issues for Amazon itself are not the same people as the people doing so for Twitch.

      Not saying you shouldn't be angry about this. But be angry at the right people, for the right reasons.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      "like so many others, he has forgotten/ignored that without customers, your businesses fail"

      Then, it's time for people to stop whining about them and utilise the free market to go somewhere else. Despite claims otherwise, there are competing sites. They just won't gain traction if people sit around using Twitch while complaining about them instead of moving to somewhere they do agree with. Bezos doesn't give a crap what you think of his services if you keep using them, so it's down to you to change that instead of handing him money while you're complaining.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 May 2021 @ 3:47am

      Re:

      "...he has forgotten/ignored that without customers, your businesses fail but then why would that matter to someone who has the amount of money he has!!"

      The problem with a market paradigm where people vote with their wallets is that savvy businessmen quickly notice that by and large most people either don't care enough or outright do not give a shit about shady behavior as long as it means their online shopping remains convenient and fast.

      In other words, Bezos, even if you could bring twitch's issues with the DMCA to his attention, knows damn well all the grumbling still won't make people turn away from buying his stuff.

      The solution to these issues isn't to rely on market forces - because they're either neutral or assistive to leaving corporate responses to the DMCA as-is. It's to remove the DMCA completely.

      And then to keep it gone, shred current copyright law. Red Flag Acts are, in the end, harmful, not benevolent.

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

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 15 May 2021 @ 8:44am

    As bad as...

    Youtube is with ContentId, Twitch's panic response in June 2020 to being DMCAed when they didn't have a proper DMCA policy is inarguably worse.

    Twitch went from the extreme of virtually no copyright enforcement on the service to the opposite extreme of taking all DMCA claims at face value, and not having any disputation or appeal process. Combine that with the three strike perma-ban and streamers will be leaving regardless of what Twitch does in the next 6 months.

    It might be enough for people to go back to stream on YouTube, or for another player to try to pull Twitch users away.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 3:24pm

      Re: As bad as...

      Tho its unlikely streamers will be leaving Twitch anytime soon seeing there no where to go.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re: As bad as...

        With permanent strikes and the loss of your account after a set amount it's not so much a matter of choosing to leave so much as having that choice be made for them.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 15 May 2021 @ 3:18pm

    Want a good one?

    Get all the Major Twitch posters, to NOT post for 1 day.
    No reply from Amazon..
    Go for 2 days.
    Then suggest a Union.

    Think the AFL/CIO would LOVE to get a foot in??

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2021 @ 4:03pm

    It's a miracle, they made YouTube look good, YouTube shows you the video, eg there's 2 minutes of music on video x uploaded on day x the dmca strike is by company x
    Amazon has 1000 s of smart programmers
    They could not put together a basic dmca system to allow users to counter or dispute dmca strikes
    Also if you get a strike on twitch its permanent , get 3 strikes and you lose your channel
    It makes no sense and it's almost an inviitation for trolls to send in dmca strikes against people they don't like
    People make careers on twitch they build a community they get paid in subs or donations
    It's the nó 1 site for game streaming
    Switching to YouTube streaming would not work for most people
    There's a strong community with millions of viewers on twitch
    There is a plan to give streamers more options to respond to
    Dmca strikes in decembet

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

    • identicon
      xenocrates, 18 May 2021 @ 12:11am

      Re:

      Most of Amazon's programmers, from the perspective of someone working in their logistics chain, are busy reinventing the wheel and figuring out the most pessimal solution to any given task, considering the usual problems I have with corporate resources. Of course, I could just be in a red headed stepchild subdivision of the organization, but then, so could Twitch.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2021 @ 3:53pm

    Shit this stupid ass fucking website down. Nobody cares. Go outside and enjoy the weather instead of being virgin nerds. Nobody fucking cares.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2021 @ 4:42pm

      Re:

      Please try again, but be sure to add some coherency to your words. Otherwise it just looks like the ravings of a madman to the rest of us. (also: consider actually adding a point.)

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 16 May 2021 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not the first time they've posted that, the only point they seems to have is that they are really angry that the site exists and that people enjoy it.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 16 May 2021 @ 5:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Plus, the whole post is a huge self-own since they actually cared so much they just had to post a rant instead of going out and enjoy the weather. The projection is strong in this one...

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 16 May 2021 @ 10:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The funniest thing about the comment is that he posted on Sunday afternoon where I am according to the time stamp, and was the only person on the day to have done so at that point. Which means that while he was desperately trying to insult me along with others who have posted on this thread, I was literally on the beach.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2021 @ 5:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some times I wonder If I should be praising Koby (while still flagging them), when they make a very bad, but still coherent argument.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2021 @ 8:18pm

      Re:

      Hey, antidirt. Just because your wife stopped fucking you after admitting your mancrush on Masnick doesn't mean you have to keep waving your limp dick around. At least have the self-respect to die with some modicum of dignity, yeesh.

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


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