11th August 2014
Twitch silences videos
Apologies for wrongful flagging
Twitch has come under fire from streamers in the last week with their new policy of silencing videos that contain copyrighted music as of last Thursday. Whilst the community is still in a bit of an uproar CEO of Twitch, Emmett Shear took to reddit with an AMA to answer some questions and personally apologize to everyone who has been affected (see www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2cwfu2/i_am_twitch_ceo_emmett_shear_ask_me_almost/ ).
He touched on two topics dear to streamers; the first one was about original in-game music being muted and how it will be addressed going forward with the following comment:
'We have zero intention of flagging original in-game music. We do intend to flag copyrighted in-game music that's in Audible Magic's database. (This was unclear in the blog post, my apologies). In the cases where in-game music is being flagged incorrectly, we are working on a resolution and should have one soon. False positive flags will be un-muted.’
There was also a lot of animosity over the lack of notice on this change which hit streamers without any advance last Thursday:
‘This was our bad. I'm glad we communicated the change to VOD storage policy in advance, giving us a chance to address issues we missed like 2-hour highlights for speed-runners before the change went into effect. I'm not so glad we failed on communicating the audio-recognition change in advance, and wish we'd posted about it before it went into effect. That way we could have gotten community feedback first as we're doing now after the fact.’
In addition there has been a Twitch blog update ( blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/two-important-updates-more-to-come/ ) which noted that with the incredible amount of feedback they have removed the restriction on highlight videos which was also implemented at the same time and that they would also be deploying a "Dispute" button for any video that has been silenced automatically so it can be disputed.
The general consensus from the community is that this is Twitch getting it's legal house in order before being acquired by Google; which would likely be wary of the acquisition of another content streamer after all the issues with the RIAA and YouTube. As expected there has been a lot of backlash from the community mainly from streamers who would listen to music whilst they are streaming to keep in the zone but it is expected that the community will adjust to the changes given the known legal issues of copyright music.