Music-Related Copyright Claims and Twitch. How to not get copyrighted on twitch

Twitch’s copyright policy has always existed, but now the dire ramifications are starting. Many streamers began receiving unannounced “strikes” on their channel for using copyright-free music.

How To Play Music On Twitch

Twitch has become a powerhouse in the social space, bringing communities around hobbies and content creators they love.

As a new entertainment hub, Twitch draws everyone from famous celebrities to unfamiliar players and gives them a platform to build a unique audience.

But Twitch hasn’t always been an established online juggernaut. In fact, Twitch spent the first decade of his life as “wild west” for all sorts of content. And if there were rules, no one seemed interested in obeying and enforcing them.

Unfortunately, in the last two or three years this has started to change.

Companies are finally turning their attention to Twitch and wanting to capitalize on its success. More specifically, they want to get some of their ad revenue, which is the dream of every aspiring streamer.

One particular area of ​​conflict and confusion concerns music licensing and streamers’ understanding of how to play music on Twitch.

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Twitch music rules overview

Twitch has become a huge platform where content creators can build a community and be successful. From the affiliate program to sponsorship, people have learned the secrets of turning your audience into loyal fans.

But figuring out how to play music on Twitch isn’t that clear. This has become a stumbling block for many streamers, and some rules (and especially how they are enforced) are still evolving.

There are fairly clear rules about using music on Twitch, and they can be found directly on the Twitch website. But while the platform makes it clear which music streamers they can’t use, they’re not quite as sophisticated as what songs can be safely put in the stream.

Luckily, we’ve created this guide to make it clear.

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DMCA and Twitch

First, a quick overview of what the DMCA actually is. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a set of US laws that allow content to be created and shared with digital service providers such as Twitch. We comply with the DMCA and similar laws around the world. Partial compliance means that where the copyright owner believes that the streamer has used their content without permission, we have a process that enables them to request the removal of the content.

Upon receipt of a DMCA notification, we process it in accordance with our DMCA Guidelines. This includes removing content, sharing details with the channel owner, and tracking allegations.

DMCA takedown notices may impact your streaming capabilities, as in our efforts to comply with the DMCA and similar global laws, we issue and track copyright notices and block accounts of individuals who repeatedly infringe others’ copyrights.

This policy is important because we respect the rights of all creators, including those who create or record music, as well as the rights of those who own and control copyright. As a company built around a community of people who create content, we take allegations of copyright infringement seriously.

Recent DMCA notifications

How did we get to this point? Until May of this year, streamers had received fewer than 50 music-related DMCA notifications each year on Twitch. However, from May onwards, major record companies began sending thousands of DMCA notifications every week that covered their creators’ archives, mostly for track snippets in old clips. We still get large batches of notifications and don’t expect it to slow down.

This means two things: 1) if you are playing recorded music in your stream, you need to stop doing it and 2) if you haven’t already, you should review your historical VODs and clips that may contain music and delete any archives it may contain.

We were just as surprised by this sudden avalanche of notifications as many of you. We also realized that we needed to provide streamers with more educational software and content management tools to help you cope with this unprecedented number of notifications coming simultaneously. So, while we continued to remove the content covered by these notifications as required by the DMCA, we understood that the VOD and clips from years ago do not necessarily reflect your current approach to music. As a result, we have also stopped processing the alerts associated with these group alerts to provide you with the tools, information and time you will need to deal with them.

We analyzed the applications we received during this period from the end of May to mid-October. We found that over 99% of the notifications were for songs streamers were playing in the background of their stream.

The purpose of the DMCA is to strike a balance between the interests of the rights holders (in this case, major record companies) and the creators. For this reason, we were forced to delete VODs and clips that were identified in the notifications. This demonstrated our commitment to our obligations under the DMCA while enabling us to find the best way to handle alerts in these circumstances. In these exceptional circumstances, we felt that creators should have a reasonable chance to understand that past content has been attacked as allegedly infringing, and to be able to change their approach to using music before being hit with blows.

This has led to the current situation which is understandably frustrating and worrying for many of you. Given the circumstances, the alert e-mail many of you received did not contain all the information you normally get in a DMCA notification (usually when we receive a DMCA notification regarding your channel, we send you an e-mail containing information about the allegedly compromised work, who is the party making the claim, how they can be contacted and possible penalties under our multiple-infringement policy so that you can make an informed decision about whether to file a counter-claim or request a recall). We hear your opinion on how frustratingly little information has been provided, and we should make this warning email a lot more informative and helpful.

Over the past few months, we have done our best to deal with this situation on behalf of both rights-holders and creators. One of the mistakes we made was not building the right tools to allow developers to manage their own VOD and Clip libraries. You are rightly upset that the only option we shared was the Bulk Clip Removal Tool and that we only gave you three days’ notice to use this tool. We may have developed more sophisticated, user-friendly tools some time ago. What we didn’t do is on us. We were also able to give creators more time to deal with their VOD and Clip libraries – that was a miss as well. We are very sorry for these errors and we will do better.

But Twitch hasn’t always been an established online juggernaut. In fact, Twitch spent the first decade of his life as “wild west” for all sorts of content. And if there were rules, no one seemed interested in obeying and enforcing them.

Where can I find music for Twitch?

Now that you’ve explained the music limitations on Twitch and identified music instructions that you can use, it’s time to get down to work finding songs that you’ll use on your online broadcasts.

Perhaps you’ve come this far searching for free music options for streamers. I can tell you in advance that you will find them throughout the article.

However, there are a few problems with free options. One is that they don’t offer a great variety of styles. All themes revolve around the same music genres, which will not allow you to stand out in the streamer community.

To avoid this, professional streamers use…

Music from specialized websites

Each person is different and likes different music. In the same way, every streamer tries to make his broadcasts personal and varied, which is usually done with music.

With this in mind, reputable Twitch gamers start downloading music from specialized websites like Epidemic Sound or Envato Elements.

Epidemic Sound

This is an option commonly used by reputable streamers, i.e. Epidemic Sound. It is a free music library with over 300,000 songs and is growing every week. It is also possible to seamlessly use music effects while monetizing streams.

The difference between Epidemic Sound and other similar services is that you don’t have to pay a specific license fee for each song, but with a monthly subscription you will be able to enjoy all the music themes you want without having to inform them of anything.

‘Twitch subscription’

Realizing the growing consumption of royalty-free music in streaming, the Epidemic Sound team began offering this service, which is often much more cost-effective than a standard license.

The platform calls this service “Personal Plan,” meaning it is an ideal method for live content creators and provides the streamer with the following benefits:

  • New songs added every week
  • Over 30,000 songs and 60,000 sound effects
  • Download themes for your devices
  • There will be no copyright claims or license fees.
  • In addition to Twitch, music can be used on other social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Unsubscribe at any time

They currently offer two different plans depending on the type of use:

As you can see, Epidemic Sound currently offers a free 30-day trial period. You will be able to use it to see all the amenities offered by this type of service and see if it is really for you.

Envato Elements

Envato is probably one of the most complete services, with the greatest musical variety and the highest sound quality.

One of its most notable “benefits” is that if you buy a monthly subscription of – € 14.50 / month – you will be able to download all the files you need without any restrictions. That way, you’ll be able to test each track in your broadcasts to find out which ones connect the most with your audience.

In addition, the advantage of Envato Elements is that, in addition to music, it allows you to download many other things that you will be able to use in your streams, such as projects, images or sound effects. With this subscription you will be able to enjoy, without any copyright claims, the following benefits:

  • Access to all songs
  • New songs added every week
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Unlimited use on all channels and social networks
  • No copyright or royalty claims
  • Completely monetize your videos
  • Unsubscribe at any time

There are also other platforms similar to the ones mentioned above. True, they have slightly different price ranges, but they will also be fully suitable for enjoying music in your stream.

Only songs that appear in your Twitch library today may be used. However, if you have any questions, it’s a good idea to get in touch with Twitch via their contact form.

The music you can actually play on Twitch.

To avoid this problem, Twitch has worked to create a music library to ensure safe content is available to all streamers. Reputable record labels such as Monstercat and Rhymesayers were part of the project and the entire library could be found at music.twitch.tv.
Even so, you can play copyright-free music on this platform without suffering serious consequences.

In addition, you can also use covers if you follow certain rules, such as not using the original recordings (including music and vocals), unless you have obtained permission. All in all, you can play any kind of music as long as you are the person who created it.
There are many websites you can use to find royalty-free music for your streams. Here are some great examples.

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic Sound is one of the largest copyright-free music libraries. You’ll find the perfect music for your streams in a variety of genres. This library is updated daily with new songs, so you’ll never be left without options. Additionally, the platform gives you a free month to try it out and see if you can find something that you and your audience might like.

Even so, you will not receive any copyright claims as long as you have an active subscription on the platform. Epidemic Sound has been one of the leading copyright free music websites for a while, so it doesn’t hurt to try it at least during its free trial period.

Not only can you use this music library on Twitch, you can also use it for content on various social media sites like YouTube or Facebook. You can also find audio alerts for your stream!

Jingle Punks

Streamlabs OBS is one of the most used streaming software in the world. If you upgrade to the Prime plan, you’ll have access to a huge library of copyright-free music. Jingle Punks will also show a personalized alter, just like the previous option.
You can also make the music audible only to your audience if you want to pay close attention to what you are doing but want to maintain a good atmosphere for your audience.

Free Music For Your Stream

Here are some sites that offer music and sounds for free. They’re not as high-quality as the others mentioned, but if you’re on a budget and looking for something unique, you can find some gems.

https://freesound.org/: Well the interface may be old but you can still find a lot of good music for your strings here. Maybe you are looking for something from long-gone times. Maybe you’re looking for something unique that your listeners haven’t heard before. Anyway, give this option a try and see what you come up with.

http://dig.ccmixter.org/: This website offers thousands of hours of free music. Musicians and singers upload their music and you can mix them however you like.

https://freemusicarchive.org/ – A great eclectic collection of music from around the world. If you’re stuck trying to find something unique to your stream, try this option and see what it offers.

Connect with musical artists.

You can connect directly to music artists and ask them to use their music in their stream.

It’s a great way to find unique music for your stream and provide decent exposure to new artists looking to find new fans.

It’s that simple, don’t break the rules and you won’t get in trouble. While you definitely have your favorite playlists, there are plenty of copyright-free options available, including from streaming services.

How To React When Someone Infringes on Your Copyright

Notification of content removal is not exclusive to record companies. You have the default copyright on your content, and if someone uploads it to another site, you have the right to report copyright infringement.

You can do this by contacting the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) hosting the site that hosts your unlicensed content and asking them to remove the infringing material.

The best way to do this is with a removal notification, but it can be a pain to write it yourself, even if you follow the sample DMCA notification form. DMCA notifications don’t have a predetermined template, but ISPs will expect a professionally written document with all the necessary details.

DoNotPay will draw up a detailed document containing all relevant elements and send it to the ISP behind the infringing website.

You won’t have to search for information or worry about what the ad should look like as we do it all for you.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Click the DMCA delete option
  3. Enter a title for your video
  4. Paste the link to the website hosting your content without permission
  5. Paste the link to where you originally posted the video
  6. Click the Sign & Submit button

We take over from there! Our app will generate a notification and send it via email to your ISP. You can check the progress in the My Disputes tab.

Everything You Can Accomplish With DoNotPay

With DoNotPay, you can get important information about how copyright works on other platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

You can also learn how to add a copyright notice to your content and how much it would cost to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office .

Our app will show you how to avoid DMCA abuse and use the fair use policy to your advantage, so you can create without fear of penalties for copyright infringement .

This is just a glance at what we can do as our application is capable of so much more.

Open DoNotPay in your web browser and check out some of the tasks we can help you with:

At the moment, there seems to be no immediate danger that your channel will play music unless you upload the clips later, but there is a risk when a user reports your live broadcast claiming that you are using copyrighted music.

Twitch’s copyright policy in a nutshell

Twitch offers creators a list of content they believe is copyright infringement. Avoid using anything listed here unless you have permission from the owner to use it or it is subject to fair use:

  • Content created by other creators
  • Pirated games or content from unauthorized private servers
  • Content from other sites
  • Movies, TV shows or sports matches
  • Music you don’t have the rights to

Punishment for violating copyright policies

If someone is found using content that someone else is licensed to use without permission, they can send you a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Twitch will then follow these notices in accordance with the DMCA guidelines. You will receive a warning on your Twitch channel for any copyright infringement. If you receive three strikes on your account, Twitch will permanently delete your account. Warnings eventually expire, but Twitch doesn’t let you know when they expire. According to its policy, it depends on the date of issue and the account balance on the platform.

However, DMCA removal of content does not automatically mean that you have been involved in a copyright infringement. If you receive an unfair DMCA takedown request and are entitled to stream the disputed content, you can submit a counterclaim or talk to the copyright owner to have their claim removed.

Now that you’ve explained the music limitations on Twitch and identified music instructions that you can use, it’s time to get down to work finding songs that you’ll use on your online broadcasts.

How to Avoid Strikes

A warning against you does not mean your channel is ready. A claim simply means that you have to remove content that is in breach of copyright. You may not have received a DMCA notification yet, but it’s best to take precautions anyway.

Here’s what you should do:

Remove All Content That Could Fall Under DMCA Claims

As claims are made against videos that contain music, you should remove your videos and VODs that contain infringing content.

You can do this on your video collection page: just go to Twitch, click on your account icon in the top right corner, and select Video Producer. Then go to Clips and check the box at the top of the list to select all the clips on the screen. Please note that clips fall into two categories: clips created by me and clips from my channel. The latter are user-created videos, but you have to delete them anyway, as you will receive the warning.

The problem with deleting clips is that you have to scroll down every time to get the page to show more of your videos. It’s okay if you have several hundred, but for those with thousands of clips, it will take a long time

You can watch each one to find the ones with music, but with claims given out automatically, you wouldn’t want to waste any time.

One solution is to use a utility like Tampermonkey, made by CommanderRoot. Here’s what to do:

  1. Install the Tampermonkey browser extension.
  2. Install the clip removal script.
  3. Go to this page and click Delete All Clips.

The process may take a while, so keep the tab open. The script allows some filtering, including the number of views, category IDs, creator name, and creation date. The tool is constantly updated, so keep an eye out for new features.

When it comes to deleting other videos like VODs or shortcuts, the native process is more tedious than with clips as there is no mass deletion option so you’ll have to manually delete each video. If you want to go this way, you can use the Video Manager. Just log in with Twitch and select the videos you want to delete. This tool also allows you to filter videos.

These videos represent thousands of hours of work, so be sure to save them before deleting them from your account. VOD can be downloaded manually from the video producer’s website. Click the three-dot button to the right of the video and select Download. Twitch doesn’t allow batch downloads, but you can use tools like Twitch Leecher. However, it can only download VODs. For clips, try Snipaclip or the solution here.

Use Copyright-Free Music

It’s that simple, don’t break the rules and you won’t get in trouble. While you definitely have your favorite playlists, there are plenty of copyright-free options available, including from streaming services.

Here are just some of them:

Some musicians offer their music to streamers. Just check out the Twitch subreddit to find relevant posts or this large list here. Pre-built copyright-free music playlists are also available. One of the most popular is StreamBeats, created by Harris Heller.

What’s Next?

DMCA claims aren’t the end of your streaming career. Once you’ve cleared your channel of risky content and started using only music that complies with the platform’s guidelines, you can continue creating engaging content for your followers.

One service that can help you generate more streaming revenue and grow your audience is Xsolla’s partner network. It is a platform for direct collaboration with developers and publishers through affiliate programs. You don’t have to wait for someone to contact you, just register on the platform and join as many affiliate programs as you want. Revenue share can be as high as 50%, and all sales generated by your content will support game developers.

The programs are listed in a convenient dashboard that also includes program details including revenue share, platforms, and resources such as game keys, coupons, or promotional codes. After joining the program, you will receive a tracking link that you can share anywhere. For example, on your streaming channel or social media profiles. You can also use the platform to get promotional material directly from the developers for distribution to your followers.

Xsolla Partner Network also provides a number of analytical tools with which you can see how the program is working. Withdrawals can be made when your balance reaches $ 100 or more.

Music for your channel can come from multiple sources, so don’t despair if you can’t enjoy your favorite playlist anymore. Check the sources above for links to royalty-free music, ask your followers for suggestions, or contact musicians who offer music to streamers. You should be able to find new songs easily and by following the tips below you can avoid strikes and continue broadcasting.

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