Empire Upset Over Forsen Deleting VODs From Twitch

Empire Upset Over Forsen Deleting VODs From Twitch
  • A recent DMCA and Twitch controversy has led fans frustrated with streamers deleting years of VODs to avoid getting banned.

Twitch started enforcing a long-standing DMCA rule that was supposed to prevent streamers from making money from playing music on stream. There has been a lot of controversies spurring from the topic but one of the saddest effects the decision has had is Twitch streamers deleting their VODs. Popular streamer Empire was going through Forsen’s Twitch page and noticed that his VODs were missing.

Empire is from Australia and is online during hours Forsen does not stream. It means that he will no longer be able to catch up on Forsen’s past broadcasts because he lives in a different time zone and can’t catch his streams live. He showed on Forsen’s channel that 421 people had watched his most recent VOD at the time which means that people regularly head to past broadcasts to catch up on streams if they miss it.

Why Are Streamers Deleting Their VODs?

The DMCA controversy begam when Twitch issued a DMCA notice stated that music used by streamers was copyright in many cases and the platform holds power to delete any VODs that contain copyrighted content. Broadcasters became frantic because this was communicated using hundreds of emails from the platform.

While the DMCA and Twitch notice is nothing new, it was simply not enforced prior to October 2020. One of the biggest issues that music companies is that people use donations to play music which can be deemed illegal. In the past, DMCA strikes would simply mean that the music gets muted in past VODs. But the downside of that approach for music companies is that streamers get to make money during their streamers and the damage has already been done.

So, what is the solution then? Past infringements should not be accounted for according to most streamers. It is mostly a mix of negligence and mismanagement when it comes to Twitch. The infringement policy was informed to streamers long ago but the problem is it was implemented poorly. With a looming sense of fear hanging over streamers, they have simply started deleting years of VODs to prevent a DMCA ban.

While Twitch is still the best platform to stream on when it comes to potential exposure and growth. One of Twitch’s biggest streamers xQc was definitely unhappy with the recent decision. He went on to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with Twitch.

What Do The DMCA Guidelines Say Exactly?

If you are wondering what the DMCA guidelines on the website say exactly, Twitch revealed the details recently. Twitch put up a notice stating:

“It is our policy to respond to clear notices of claimed copyright infringement that fully comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In addition, we will promptly terminate without notice the accounts of those determined by us to be “repeat infringers.”

“Please note that under 17 U.S.C. Section 512(f), any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing, or that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification, may be subject to liability.”

While the DMCA ruling is meant to call out the unlicensed use of music in this case, none of the streamers have a complaint against the rule itself. But the problem lies in the fact that the management of the situation was done poorly. According to most notable streamers, Twitch could have done better to communicate the issue and handle it properly.

What Will Streamers Do Next?

Streamers like Pokimane have decided to upload VODs to YouTube which might be a solid solution. Twitch has requested everyone to review their VODs and in case of past infringements, they may be subject to a ban. Considering how poorly Twitch has been handling things lately with regards to bans, there might be more controversy and drama spewing soon over the whole DMCA situation.

There used to be the case of watch parties being a thing on Twitch too. Streamers would air-free movies on Stream. While they had the right to legally download and watch the said free movies, it also brought negative attention from corporates. Despite it being free to download movie in most cases on a watch party stream, Twitch streamers directly profit from it and nothing goes to the movie makers.

Amazon, which in turn directly owns Twitch made a move to resolve the issue. Anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription can now watch content aired on Prime Video with other streamers if they air it. This allows the media’s original creators to benefit while also keeping Twitch freer from any DMCA complaints or other legal problems that the platform might run into.

While streamers are fully in the right to defend their years of hard work, corporate mismanagement has led to such an unfortunate situation with regard to music usage. Hopefully, streamers and Twitch find a middle ground and we can continue to catch up on VODs without having a worse experience.

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