A number of Twitch streamers woke up this morning to a 24-hour ban on the streaming service.
At least five streamers were banned overnight, many allegedly for playing a song from rapper Juice WRLD. TSM Fortnite pro Daequan Loco, Overwatch League DPS Jay “sinatraa” Won, streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel, Overwatch streamer Pokelawls, Fortnite streamer Avery “Avxry” Lopriore, and streamer Kristen “KittyPlays” Valnicek were among a group of personalities banned from Twitch for DMCA violations. Cloud9’s Zach “Sneaky” Scuderi was also reportedly issued a 24-hour ban, but he hasn’t commented publicly on it. (His Twitch stream is unavailable.)
Many of the banned Twitch streamers report listening to a Juice WRLD song on stream ahead of the ban. Twitch declined to comment on terms of service violations, but told Dot Esports that DMCA takedowns are issued by third-party rights holders. If it was indeed the Juice WRLD track that did these streamers in, Interscope Records would likely be behind the DMCA takedowns.
DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It protects services, like Twitch, from copyright infringement liability, so long as the company complies with the rules. A “notice-and-takedown” system is par for the course with regard to the DMCA. Twitch’s rules against copyright infringement are outlined on the company’s website.
“We will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement,” Twitch states in its copyright infringement rules. “Our copyright procedures are set forth in the DMCA guidelines. Individual copyright violations will result in immediate removal of the content, temporary suspension, and receipt of a copyright infringement strike.”
Per DMCA rules, Twitch streamers that are “repeat offenders” will receive a permanent ban from the service.
Anyone familiar with Twitch knows that music is typically a staple for many streamers. Some streamers often allow viewers to request songs via donations. The recent suspensions over copyright infringement will likely have Twitch users rethinking their music choices on-stream.
Update June 24 8:50am CT: Rapper Juice WRLD issued an apology on Twitter yesterday to anyone banned for playing his music on Twitch. “My apologies for the [people] that got banned for listening to my music while streaming,” Juice WRLD said. “I will do what I can to prevent that from happening again.”