Twitch gets tough on Copyrighted Audio

Following in the footsteps of Youtube, Twitch has recently informed its users that it will now be operating audio recognition technology on its stored videos on demand (VODs) to help prevent the broadcast of unauthorized copyrighted audio. Twitch has partnered with Audible Magic which works closely with the music industry and includes in game and ambient music. Much like Youtube’s content ID automated system, what this means for gamers streaming gameplay is that any stored videos could have the audio muted if the system detects unauthorized use of third party music.  What’s perhaps quite punishing is the system operates in 30 minute sections so that if in a section of gameplay a music track is flagged within the first five minutes, the entire 30 minute section will be muted even if the track only appears at the start. Naturally broadcasters can seek permissions to use music, but will have to go through an appeals process if flagged. You can read the full email below.

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TWITCH EMAIL:

Twitch Broadcasters

Starting today, Twitch will be implementing technology intended to help broadcasters avoid the storage of videos containing unauthorized third-party audio.  We respect the rights of copyright owners, and are voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners.

What Is Audio Recognition?

We’ve partnered with Audible Magic, which works closely with the recorded music industry, to scan past and future VODs for music owned or controlled by clients of Audible Magic. This includes in-game and ambient music. When music in the Audible Magic database is detected (“Flagged Content”), the affected portion of the VOD will be muted and volume controls for that VOD will be turned off. Additionally, past broadcasts and highlights with Flagged Content are exportable but will remain muted.

The Audible Magic technology will scan for third-party music in 30 minute blocks — if Audible Magic does not detect its clients’ music, that portion of the VOD will not be muted. If third party audio is detected anywhere in the 30-minute scanned block, the entire 30 minutes will be muted.

How It Works: Scanning VODs Only

Audio Recognition will only be run against audio in VODs. We are not scanning live broadcasts and there is no automated takedown of live content. 

Flagged Content will display an on-screen notification informing viewers that content owned or controlled by a third-party has been identified. The progress bar will also be red for the duration of the muted section.


Please note that Audio Recognition is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.  It may return false positives or miss content from copyright owners who do not work with Audible Magic.  If you wish to include music in your VODs, please remember that you are responsible for clearing all such rights (this includes ambient music that may be playing in the background while you are broadcasting).  If you would like to include free-to-use music in your VODs, there are a variety of resources available to you, including:

Broadcaster & Copyright Owner Appeals

If you believe that your video has been flagged improperly and that you have cleared the rights to all of the sound recordings in your uploaded video, then we will consider unmuting your video if you send us a counter-notification that is compliant with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

Any copyright owner that believes that any of their content is used in any live broadcasts or VOD without authorization should submit a notification of claimed infringement to Twitch pursuant to our Terms of Service. If you are the legal owner of copyrighted music that you would like to protect via Audible Magic’s technology, visit AudibleMagic.com.

Twitch has partnered with Audible Magic without waiving any rights or defenses available to it under law. Twitch is not obligated to filter content stored on  the Twitch platform by its users and assumes no liability for the actions of its users notwithstanding the implementation of the Audible Magic technology. Twitch reserves the right to stop filtering audio content in VODs in its sole discretion at any time and without liability to any third-party, subject only to any contractual obligations. 

We want to hear your feedback and questions. Tune in to the following events to ask us (almost!) anything:

  • Reddit AMA on /r/Twitch: Thursday, August 7, 10:30am PST
  • Twitch Weekly: Friday, August 8 at 2pm PST

And, as always, please feel free to leave your comments in the blog. We will answer as best we can.

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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