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Twitch.TV scanning gamers’ streams for audio copyright infringement

Twitch.tv's new copyright policies are stricter and worrisome to current streamers.
Twitch.tv’s new copyright policies are stricter and worrisome to current streamers.

Just as Twitch is acquired by Google, the world-leading videogame streaming platform has elected to implement a stauncher copyright policy.

The automatic content recognition software, Audible Magic, will scan archived videos’ audio to their own database in an attempt to find matches.

If matching audio does occur, Audible Magic will mute the video for a 30 minute span. After the 30 minutes is completed,  if no copyrighted audio ensues, the sound will return to the video.

While streams aren’t actually scanned by the audio recognition software, copyright owners can still address copyright infringement using DMCA claims directly filed to the videogame streaming service.

Twitch has always maintained a copyright policy and advised all those who stream to avoid using copyrighted audio, there had been little effort to enforce the rules until now.

Many gamers believe there is reason to be concerned with the potential of false positives and questionable enforcement of the new policy. Many games that include contemporary music such as Saints Row, Grand Theft Auto, and Fallout are susceptible to being flagged by the content detection.

Even Twitch’s own weekly stream had been caught by their copyright scan for music that they actually already owned. (Though the audio has now been restored.)

Twitch had implemented an “appeal” process to videos that are wrongly flagged and has apologized for the confusion. They are also encouraging users to use audio under a creative common license in order to avoid any disruptions to their streams.

Among the changes coming to the service is the removal of the ability to “save-forever” videos archived in a streamer’s history. While highlight clips can still be stored permanently, regular videos will be archived for two weeks on standard accounts. For those that pay the $9 per month for Twitch’s Turbo subscription, videos will be saved for 60 days.