The esports community has been chattering about Twitch’s latest guidelines on using recorded music in live broadcasts and video-on-demand uploads to its platform.
Dot Esports’ top angle was the fact that using music from streaming services like Spotify is not allowed, but after looking at the guidelines, we think that there are also other points for musicians using Twitch to think about.
DJs for example: a DJ set is listed as an example of “types of music content you may not use in Twitch streams or VODs”. That bars “playing and/or mixing pre-recorded music tracks which incorporate music, other than music which is owned by you or music which is licensed for you to share on Twitch”.
Radio-style music listening shows; karaoke performances (other than those using the Twitch Sings game, with its licensed-for-Twitch catalogue); lip-sync performances, visual music depictions including lyric videos and guitar tabs; and cover song performances EXCEPT live performances in streams (and then, musicians are asked to “please make a good faith effort to perform the song as written by the songwriter, and create all audio elements yourself, without incorporating instrumental tracks, music recordings, or any other recorded elements owned by others”).
Anyone ignoring these guidelines is warned that they could face a DMCA takedown notice from rightsholders, so the real story here is less about a sudden crackdown by Twitch on DJ sets, and more about rightsholders stepping up their takedown notices around this content.
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