Twitch is much more than a platform to simply watch esports online. Streamers will try to make their content appealing and innovative in many different ways, often including music, images, videos, and similar in their broadcasts.
And therein lies a problem.
You may recall back in March when we looked at the issue of Twitch streamers and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the platform had been taking a number of measures to try and avoid their streamers receiving a strike against their name for deliberately, or inadvertently, infringing on the DMCA.
Those measures introduced back then were aimed at giving greater clarity and certainty to streamers over what media could be used and could not be used when streaming live, in an attempt to stop popular streamers from receiving a strike and removing a huge chunk of content, a good proportion of which did not infringe the DMCA.
Further updates, modifications, and improvements to this service were expected to follow later in the year and the first of those are here and it has involved Twitch re-writing huge chunks of its DMCA guidelines page.
Changes to Twitch DMCA Guidelines
The main change to the DMCA Guidelines is that Twitch has now adopted a policy whereby any streamer receiving three strikes within a stated timeframe would have their account terminated on the service.
This ‘Repeat Infringer’ policy would see a strike issued to a streamer for a period, but not indefinitely. After a certain amount of time has passed, enough time for Twitch to be satisfied that the streamer is not infringing the DMCA regularly, the strike will be removed from the user’s account.
However, if a user receives three strikers on their account, without any of them expiring, then they will be deemed as a repeat offender and would have their account terminated.
One Major Infringement Could See Streamers Banned
That is not all though. Twitch has also added a further caveat stating:
“Furthermore, we may in appropriate cases and at our sole discretion, limit access to the Twitch service and/or terminate the accounts of any users who blatantly and egregiously infringe the intellectual property rights of others, whether or not repeat infringement has occurred.”
This seems to indicate that any individual found guilty of a severe breach of the DMCA, could have the account terminated, even if they have not previously had a strike against them logged on their account.
These guidelines will apply to everyone from the highest paid Twitch streamers, down to a new customer that has only just started streaming.
It is very clear that since March, Twitch has been refining their approach to the DMCA and are now picking up the pace when it comes to targeting streamers that infringe the act.
Understandably, this can be concerning for streamers who may not fully understand what content can or cannot be played on their channel, but another giant in the esports industry may have hit upon a potential answer.
Riot Games Offers a Solution for Streamers
So if you are one of the best Valorant Twitch streamers and want to enhance your stream with some music, how can you be sure you are doing this without the risk of receiving a strike?
To help streamers, Riot Games have released a free album of 37 songs that have no DMCA copyright issues and which can be freely used online without fear of receiving a strike.
The music can be streamed from Spotify and YouTube and Riot has confirmed that they have similar projects ongoing to increase the amount of content available to streamers.
It does seem likely that streamers may well need to have no-DMCA content moving forward in order to avoid the risk of these potentially account-ending strikes,