clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Twitch CEO: 'We screwed up' disclosure of new controversial policies

New, 149 comments

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear took to Reddit last night in response to criticism over the video streaming service's newly introduced policies affecting copyrighted music in videos on demand (VOD).

In the AMA, Shear apologized for the communication breakdown between Twitch and its users following a question from one Reddit user asking why these new policies were implemented with no advanced notice to users of the video streaming site.

"Simply put: we screwed up and should have announced it ahead of time," wrote Shear. "Sorry."

According to the Twitch boss, audio-recognition will not be brought to live streams and only affects VODs. The company's audio recognition technology will detect ambient music and in-game music in VODs; however, original in-game music will not be flagged.

"We have no intention whatsoever of bringing audio-recognition to live streams on Twitch. This is a VOD-only change for Twitch," he said. "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 unmuted."

In an announcement earlier this week, Twitch said it has partnered with software company Audible Magic, which works with the music industry, "to scan past and future [videos-on-demand] for music owned or controlled by" its clients. If that scan identifies a recorded video that infringes upon a copyright claim, the video's audio will be muted for a 30-minute block in which that song appears.

Those new rules are already affecting a wide number of videos saved on Twitch, including Valve's Dota 2 - The International channel and even Twitch's own official channel.

Twitch says it's "voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners."

In a blog post, Twitch offers a handful of free-to-use music alternatives, and offers the following solution to those who have already been hit with a content ID flag.

"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')."

Earlier this week, Twitch announced it was dropping the option to save past broadcasts forever. Under the new system, Twitch will save past broadcasts for a longer time - up to 60 days for Twitch Turbo subscribers or members of its partner system - but there will no longer be a "save forever" option. Users can, however, save 2 hour-long "highlights" indefinitely.

Check out our run-down of what these new changes to Twitch will mean to you.