In a shady move, Twitch mass-deleted countless hours of streaming videos

To avoid legal action related to the DMCA law, Twitch mass-deleted back catalogs of streaming videos without telling creators.


October 27, 2020

If you’re even a moderately successful Twitch streamer, you’ve done the following:

  • Put in time to hone your craft
  • Turned a hobby into a steady income
  • Built up a fan base and back catalog of content
  • Spent hours explaining to Aunt Joy what you do for a living

For many, all of this hard work recently disappeared at the flip of a switch.

What happened?

Last week, Twitch surprised streamers across its platform with a widely distributed notification that it had removed content suspected of copyright infringement.

The streamers — a collection of creators with clips ranging from gaming to makeup tutorials — were alleged to have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The 1998 law “criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services” that are protected with copyrights.

Streamers were using background music without permission

This charge comes from the wet blanket known as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The distributors (e.g., Twitch) are absolved of liability as long as they respond to the complaints quickly. Under the DMCA, anyone accused of copyright infringement is allowed the chance to appeal, but Twitch denied its creators the opportunity to do so.

Per one popular streamer: “Their solution to DMCA is for creators to delete their life’s work. This is pure, gross negligence.”

(Official footage of Twitch dealing with the DMCA issue 👇👇👇)

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