Streamers Lament Twitch DMCAs While Mass-Deleting Old Clips

Twitch's latest copyright surge has led creators to purge their archives en masse.


Last week, a large number of Twitch streamers received a one-size-fits-all DMCA notification from Twitch, telling them that their content had infringed--but not telling them what videos or what songs caused the issue. Twitch then advised streamers to delete all copyrighted content or, if unsure, to purge their whole archive--which is what a number of streamers are now doing.

Streamer DrLupo even went live with "The Purge," a stream showing the utility screen of a third-party tool while it deleted all of his clips with under 5000 views. "Decided to take the safest course of action, because of the DMCA wave, and delete all clips from my channel with less than 5k views," a bot message left on the channel explained. "I'll assess what is left when it's done."

As clips can be created by any user, clearing out an archive can be a big job for streamers. Twitch doesn't have any built-in tools for mass deletion, though third-party workarounds have been created. DrLupo's archive purge took over 14 hours with more than 740,000 clips deleted.

While streamers have talked about how demoralizing it is to delete years of their hard work, others have explained how the move can also be detrimental to business practices they rely on to make a living. Some paid brand partnerships require that sponsored content can be kept up on a streamer's channel in the form of a clip or a VOD, while having past content live and viewable can also help streamers land sponsorship deals in the first place.

Others have raised the issue of copyrighted content appearing in the games themselves. With plenty of video games now licensing well-known music for their soundtracks, streamers run the risk of running into DMCA-liable content while simply streaming a new or unknown game.

Twitch has offered creators a partial solution in the form of Soundtrack by Twitch, which offers rights-cleared music to play during streams. It still doesn't solve the issue of background music in games, however--or the question of what Twitch's entire sub-category of music streamers is meant to focus on.

Facebook's competitor platform came up with a different solution to this problem, licensing a large range of popular copyrighted music for partnered creators on Facebook Gaming.

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