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Twitch begins scanning for audio copyrights

Video service now muting archived clips in half-hour chunks if third-party audio is discovered

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.

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Latest comments (5)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus2 years ago
Not mentioned: the number of people who basically DDOS'd other services signing up.
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Chris Nash QA Engineer 2 years ago
So now people won't be able to upload gameplay videos from games that use commercial music without them being flagged by this system. Nice move.
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Ben Link Video Game Enthusiast and Graphic Artist 2 years ago
There goes the Twitch, that we have come to love.
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Show all comments (5)
Kevin Patterson musician 2 years ago
Many musicians like myself release music for Creative Commons, there is always that option if music is needed. Tons of people out there on Soundcloud and Reverbnation.
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George Pigula Producer, EA Maxis2 years ago
If I'm understanding this right, the audio check is running on secondary audio inputs. The actual game footage won't be flagged. The additional problems will come when those secondary mic's pick up the game music. Or, what is more likely, users will be 50 minutes into a stream when their phone rings. That ringer may be set to copyrighted music which would pick up and waste the last 30 minutes of work you put into that stream.
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