Home Gaming Streamers are protesting Twitch’s audio takedowns with acapella covers and mute sit-ins

Streamers are protesting Twitch’s audio takedowns with acapella covers and mute sit-ins

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Twitch has been… well, let’s be generous and say that the streaming site has been acting rather strangely since October this year. The platform has been striking and deleting several videos over copyright claims without actually making the streamers who produced the videos aware of the situation.

Most of these DCMA strikes seem to be a result of a copyright claim made due to the unlicensed use of a piece of music or audio. Which is pretty unreasonable, since the games people are playing definitely have that stuff licensed. Twitch eventually clarified that the number of DCMA complaints lodged by major companies and record labels has recently surged exponentially since May of this year. So was the solution to implement a system of oversight to better monitor and handle the situation?

Nope, certainly not. Instead, Twitch recommended that streamers simply stream with the game audio muted. Which is a terrible idea for rhythm gamers. Or anyone who actually wants to get the full experience out of the game.

Of course, such is the age of the internet within which we live, people weren’t all that stoked on Twitch’s recommendation and protested it… by doing exactly what they were told. Streamers have begun to upload clips of themselves streaming without audio to Twitter under the hashtag #DMCAsoundoff. While it sounds pretty ineffective, it’s actually staggering to watch some of these games without audio.

Checking out the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll be met by loads of clips of people playing Beat Saber without audio, Osu on mute and, Rockband with the dulcet tones of strings being pointless plucked and, my personal favourite, Resident Evil 2 with nothing but mouth-made sound effects.

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Will this silent protest actually have an effect on Twitch and prompt the organisation to do anything about the issue? At least its given us some absolute gold to laugh at. Maybe the future of game audio just requires a heavy emphasis on tongue sounds?

Last Updated: November 16, 2020

26 Comments

  1. cloudzn

    November 16, 2020 at 12:35

    Most of these DCMA strikes seem to be a result of a copyright claim made due to the unlicensed use of a piece of music or audio. Which is pretty unreasonable, since the games people are playing definitely have that stuff licensed.

    No Brad ,the license applies to use the music within the game only. If you stream gameplay then you need permission from the license holder for streaming.

    Youtubers have been having this problem for years, it’s not the platform.

    Reply

  2. MechMachine

    November 16, 2020 at 18:03

    Spotify streaming content….hello. Seems like a good Idea.

    Reply

  3. Iskape

    November 16, 2020 at 12:30

    I am curious to know if it really makes any difference whatsoever to the company’s bottom line when they force a DMCA. Admittedly, they are preventing others from making money off of the game, but once again, does it really affect their bottom line all that much? Aside from Rhythm games, I don’t see any other games that justify a watch purely for the music!

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      November 16, 2020 at 13:57

      I would say it’s the music publisher sending the DMCA. Twitch either enforces it or gets fined millions. The publisher also has to send the DMCA else it “plausibly” gives people permission to illegally stream it as a radio station to their friends unless they come up with a deal with Twitch

      Reply

  4. cloudzn

    November 16, 2020 at 12:35

    Most of these DCMA strikes seem to be a result of a copyright claim made due to the unlicensed use of a piece of music or audio. Which is pretty unreasonable, since the games people are playing definitely have that stuff licensed.

    No Brad ,the license applies to use the music within the game only. If you stream gameplay then you need permission from the license holder for streaming.

    Youtubers have been having this problem for years, it’s not the platform.

    Reply

  5. Gavin Mannion

    November 16, 2020 at 13:57

    Streamers generally annoy me with their entitled attitudes.

    Won’t pay the licence to stream music but demand that they can, won’t pay the licence to stream gameplay but demand that they can…

    Twitch can’t do anything about this, unless they are going to pay the fee’s associated with streaming music.

    Reply

    • cloudzn

      November 16, 2020 at 14:19

      If twitch does decide to pay licensing fees, it’s going to cost them a fortune

      Reply

      • MechMachine

        November 16, 2020 at 18:03

        That’s where there may be some sort of compromise. YouTube went through a similar problem with the Music Industry some time back, and judging by some of the stuff I’ve seen, they were one court case from being closed down. What ended up saving them was they invested millions in some sort of AI based software that detected copyrighted music which automatically monetized and credited that content on the behalf of all the record label’s.

        Whether Amazon cares to do something like that for a platform that runs at a loss every year is another story.

        Also, In defense of the content creators, Twitch have dragged their feet on this issue. But the law is the law.

        Reply

        • cloudzn

          November 16, 2020 at 18:04

          Hopefully twitch may introduce their own license free music but implement better then how YouTube has

          Reply

          • MechMachine

            November 16, 2020 at 18:04

            I doubt Twitch could, YouTube has a state of the art sophisticated AI that does it these days. They invested millions. But, They need to do something similar. And if that Bezos money is put to good use, This might end up ok. I always thought this bubble was going to burst, but maybe not. There seems to be money there.

            To clarify, the whole streamer bubble.

          • cloudzn

            November 16, 2020 at 18:06

            YouTube’s state of the art AI is so good, that it copyrights strikes license free music lol, and Bezos isn’t cash rich enough for that kind of investment

          • MechMachine

            November 16, 2020 at 18:09

            Remember, you also have copyright strike companies who do this professionally. It almost seems like the wild west. The less savory types who try and make a quick buck off this system.

          • cloudzn

            November 17, 2020 at 06:59

            I heard of them, they work for big companies and Youtubers alike

    • MechMachine

      November 16, 2020 at 18:03

      I tend to agree, while some of the more reasonable streamers have done their best to try and accommodate theses actions from the music industry, the bigger and more arrogant and streamers have done little to change their habits. They just deleted their old vods and carried on as if nothing has changed. Nic Merks is one.

      I’ve actually sat there and watched a few of them thinking to myself, are these people on some sort of power trip ? They seem to lack humility.

      Reply

  6. MechMachine

    November 16, 2020 at 18:03

    This could be a platform killer. I actually thought it had more to do with the music the streamers were listening to between games. IE, Said Wazone streamer is waiting for his next game to start and he turns up the volume on his music playlist. The fact that it actually applies to the music in the games themselves is another story altogether.

    Reply

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