Streaming in 2021 and Twitch’s stance on copyright

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If you’re familiar with streaming, you may have heard about the recent changes in copyright law for streamers. Streaming has become more complex and is becoming easier to trip up and end up banned or suspended. Copyright enforcement is no longer just a problem that solely affects YouTubers. Twitch is the largest streaming platform now, with over half a billion monthly users. While it sounds unbelievable to most people, they are banning more streamers than ever before. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest ones are that Twitch has massively increased its copyright claims and policies for copyright law.

Getting started on Twitch is the easy part; you can create a free account and begin streaming. Twitch relies quite heavily on your broadband’s upload speed as opposed to download speed. Twitch requires a minimum of 4.4Mbps to 6.2Mbps. The higher, the better, as you’ll be able to stream a higher resolution and with fewer interruptions. With the evolution of 5G, streaming on the go has been made easier as mobile internet speeds have dramatically increased. 5G is taking a firm grip on the UK and is fast becoming the leading mobile network. Extensive 5G coverage is excellent news for streamers as many people will be taking advantage of the fast speeds.

JakeNBake is one of Twitch’s most popular creators. He’s famous for doing IRL streams across Asia. JakeNBake stated several times that he primarily uses 4G but uses 5G wherever available. He also said that Asia typically has a much better 5G infrastructure than the US, which is one of the bonuses streaming there. 

Most people are familiar with the idea of copyright law; streaming is one of the most popular types of music sharing. The internet has provided an abundance of music sharing, and with Twitch’s popularity, it’s no surprise that they’re getting more attention. How much you can stream back to your channel depends on how long your live broadcast is and if you’re offering it for monetary gain.

As streaming has become easier to start, Twitch and other streaming platforms have tightened their rules on copyright enforcement. While there are some exceptions, the general policy is to delete any content with any copyrighted material. The most common of these are in-game sounds and music. While many streamers argue for fair use, Twitch’s position is that copyrighted material cannot be used on stream no matter the context.

The biggest concern for most streamers is getting their channel banned. While some channels get away with playing copyrighted music or games every once in a while, they still take a chance that Twitch will catch them. Over the past 12 months, Twitch has massively increased the number of copyright claims they are making. Twitch also bans channels completely for repeated copyright claims.

Even if you decide not to stream content with copyrighted material, it is still possible to end up with a suspended or banned channel. Getting banned or suspended can happen if you alter the audio for any reason. Twitch uses complex algorithms that frequently wrong apply suspensions and bans. 

The copyright restrictions have forced creators to delete thousands of hours of clips and VODs (Videos on Demand). The copyright claims seem counter-intuitive as Twitch allows the content to be reuploaded on YouTube with an ad. Twitch is allowing YouTube to become a competitor to their streaming platform with a few minor alterations.

The biggest reason is that YouTube doesn’t enforce copyright violations as strictly as Twitch does while still making money off of the copyrighted material. It seems like YouTube choosing not to take their copyrighted content off their platform while enforcing copyright claims on other platforms is quite hypocritical.

Some of Twitch’s most popular creators, such as Summit1G, xQC, and Drama Alert, have had their streams taken down in the past few months. These streamers have tens of thousands of followers and hundreds of thousands of subscribers between them. If you’re thinking about getting into streaming, you must go over all the rules before you start, as you could end up falling at the first hurdle and getting a permanent ban immediately. 

Unfortunately for smaller streamers who have just started, Twitch isn’t as lenient with creators who aren’t making them a large amount of money. They’ll ban channels with a few dozen followers and never think about them again. Twitch will become more lenient the more popular you get, but getting your channel deleted is still relatively easy.

Streaming can be a great hobby or even a job for many people, but it isn’t without risks. If you’re thinking of getting into streaming, there are certain things to consider before you begin.

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