If you thought you were safe from DMCA takedowns, Twitch doesn’t even think it is safe apparently.
During BlizzConline, rock band Metallica played a set near the beginning of the event. Unfortunately for literally everybody that likes Metallica, though, Twitch muted the band’s music and instead played generic 8-bit music. The most baffling aspect of the ordeal is that the event was being broadcasted on the official Twitch Gaming channel.
Of course, this was seemingly done to avoid a DMCA takedown, which has been an issue on the platform for several months. The likelihood that Metallica, which has its own record label, would issue a takedown notice against Twitch’s official channel when they agreed to play at BlizzConline seems rather low, however.
Metallica’s involvement in this is also interesting because the band was one of the first to bring lawsuits against a third-party company for allowing copyrighted music to be shared without the consent of the artist.
While Twitch had been rather lax on playing copyrighted material on stream for years, record labels took aim at users in late 2020, which prompted a wave of suspensions, bans, and warnings by the platform. Twitch said in November 2020 it used to receive “fewer than 50 music-related DMCA notifications each year,” but had suddenly begun receiving “thousands each week.”
Many streamers began deleting all of their VODs and clips from their channel to avoid DMCA takedowns, which could put their entire channel at risk.