Twitch and NMPA announce official changes to DMCA punishments

After the rumors of a finalized deal spread last week, Twitch and the National Music Publishers Association have announced the official changes to Twitch’s Copyright Punishment System

Photo Courtesy: Twitch’s logo. “We look forward to innovative collaborations that further unlock the incredible potential of our service and our community for music publishers and their songwriter partners.” -Tracy Chan, Twitch Head Of Music

Artemis Statler, Commentary Editor

Following the months of animosity between Twitch and the NMPA, an agreement has finally been reached to change the way that copyright issues are resolved on the site. This new agreement means that streamers will now receive warnings rather than an immediate penalty. While the new agreement won’t fundamentally change copyright law as a whole, it is a much more forgiving system than what was in place before.

Before this agreement Twitch would be fully under the control of the DMCA, meaning any copyrighted music would be taken down if the copyright holder filed a claim with Twitch. This caused many streamers to find clips or full stream VODs being muted or deleted without any warning, with some users even receiving temporary or permanent bans from the site. Under this new deal, Twitch can now issue warnings to streamers who infringe on copyright rather than immediately penalizing them. 

This solution only changes the aftermath of a copyright strike. Streamers will still be expected to comply with DMCA laws and to avoid using copyrighted material without explicit permission from the copyright holders. While many creative solutions outside the platform have been made, such as games offering “streamer modes” that remove copyrighted music while playing, this deal is the first official change to the way that Twitch streamers will be expected to handle copyright law. 

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with the NMPA and excited about our shared commitment to empowering songwriters and other creators to share their work and passions while connecting with audiences.” said Twitch’s Head Of Music as a part of the official press release. The press release also announced that Twitch will be implementing a new system to help singers and songwriters grow their audience and revenue. This new system will allow music publishers to opt-in to a deal allowing an easier way for musicians to find an audience and for listeners to find new creators. 

This new deal was not met with full admiration, however, as how many warnings a creator gets is still unknown, and may be changed based on the circumstances of the copyright claim. If a creator gets too many warnings or is believed to have purposefully violated copyrights, then the creator may still receive the same punishments that were in place before. Despite these concerns the deal still is working to help the companies work together, “…our respective communities will greatly benefit from this agreement” said NMPA President & CEO David Israelite.