After thousands of DMCA takedowns, Twitch has to make peace with the music biz

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(Image credit: Future)

This article first appeared in PC Gamer magazine issue 357 in May 2021. Every month we run exclusive features exploring the world of PC gaming—from behind-the-scenes previews, to incredible community stories, to fascinating interviews, and more.

Metallica never scored a Legend of Zelda game, but it sounded like it when Twitch replaced Metallica’s BlizzCon 2021 concert with cheery midi music. The biggest streaming platform in the world had to censor its own broadcast or risk upsetting an already aggravated music industry.

In 2020 the music industry attacked Twitch in a letter claiming it “continues to turn a blind eye to the same users violating the law while pocketing the proceeds of massive unlicensed uses of recorded music”. After largely ignoring Twitch for years, the music industry started sending thousands of DMCA takedowns for copyright violations. So Twitch reacted—dramatically. In October, it forced streamers to delete thousands of old VODs, with no good tools to determine which files were problematic.

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