Amid rumors of a Google acquisition of Twitch, the video streaming service has adopted some copyright protection measures reminiscent of Google's own YouTube platform. Yesterday the company announced the implementation of Audible Magic technology to scan archived video streams for third-party audio.
Audible Magic scans video clips for matches against a database of music controlled by its clients. If it identifies a match, the video in question will have its audio muted in 30-minute chunks until it hits a span without a match. Twitch acknowledged that the system could return false positives, and suggested streamers use audio with a creative commons license, or services like Jamendo and SongFreedom. As for what users whose videos are erroneously muted can do, Twitch requires them to send in a Digital Millennium Copyright Act counter-notification to have their request considered.
The Audible Magic technology will not be applied to live streaming video on the site. However, copyright owners who believe live streams are using their property can still submit DMCA claims directly to Twitch.
There has been some backlash to the Twitch policy from around the gaming industry. Witness developer Jonathan Blow called the move "step 1 in Twitch getting ruined," while Capybara Games president Nathan Vella said the move "makes me so so so sad." Speedrunner Cosmo Wright said it has him considering switching to a rival streaming service like Hitbox.tv or Azubu.tv
Additionally, Twitch said it is changing the way archived videos are stored, removing the "save forever" option for users. Instead, broadcasts will be saved for 14 days by default, or 60 days for paying subscribers and partners. Highlight clips of up to two hours can still be saved indefinitely. Users with saved broadcasts that they want to keep have three weeks to export them elsewhere before Twitch begins removing them from its servers.