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Twitch Implements Controversial New Policy Changes

Notably, a system to detect audio-based copyright infringement.

Twitch announced several big policy changes today, the most controversial of which involves a service that scans archived videos for copyrighted music, and muting 30 minutes of the video for each infraction.

"We respect the rights of copyright owners, and are voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners," said the company in a blog post.

The copyright technology scans videos in 30-minute chunks, and if any infringing music is found, the entire 30 minutes is muted. This only impacts archives, however, and does not extend to livestreams. It's not hard to imagine that's coming at a later date but simply not possible yet.

This has already created some pretty odd situations on the service, including Twitch's own streams being hit by copyright sweeps.

Though it hasn't been confirmed that Google is purchasing the streaming service, the company's policy changes today sounds awfully similar to what's rolled out on YouTube with its Content ID system.

The other changes involve its archive (VOD) system. In the past, Twitch allowed all users to save archived broadcasts indefinitely, but that's no longer the case. Normal Twitch users can have broadcasts saved for up to 14 days, while Turbo (paid) users can have them archived for 60 days. Either way, it's no longer forever. Highlight reels, used to spotlight a channel's best moments, are saved indefinitely, but are now limited to a maximum length of two hours. That will likely have an impact on speedrunning players.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
420 Comments
Posted by Crembaw

The music part may as well read 'Get fucked, all of the League of Legends Streamers that made us popular.'

Edited by SomeJerk

A speedrun of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! was muted entirely as a result of this. Casual runs of Fallout 3 have also found themselves muted, due to the licensed 1930's music. One broadcast where a person sang a bit of the vocals for a song, muted.

Also muted: VODs from the recent European Speedster Assembly 2014 speedrun marathon that gathered a good amount of money for Doctors Without Border who are currently fighting against Ebola and also doing hard work in Palestine, Syria and many other places on the planet.

Also see:

Posted by ManlyBeast

most streamers listen to stuff like spotify. Well most of the ones I follow do.

Posted by Onemanarmyy

And now Twitch is truly a part of Google.

Posted by Donoram

Remember when the internet was good?

Posted by JesusHammer

This is just ridiculous. This and the possible Google buyout forcing justin.tv out of the competition is really making me worried about the future of livestreams.

Posted by kaijuuninpo

Nothing good lasts forever unfortunately. Hopefully some new twitch-like service will come from out of nowhere and people will just migrate to that. I have the feeling that these changes are just the first of many that will happen to twitch in the relatively near future.

Posted by wemibelec90

Bah, now I can't stream Audiosurf 2 anymore. What a bummer.

Posted by zladko

Two years ago I didn't think twitch could get any worse than it already was.

It just keeps going.

It never ends.

Posted by Muppio

Luckily i do not archive streams, still kind of fucked up thing to do really.

Posted by Ronald

This definitely feels like a "Google told us to start doing this because they have all but bought us" policy.

Posted by Darek006

I'm thinking about downloading all the GB content on Twitch that I can before deletion, but I don't know where to store the files. I don't just want to throw them up on YouTube, but maybe I'll have to.

Posted by Ragnar

Nothing good lasts forever unfortunately. Hopefully some new twitch-like service will come from out of nowhere and people will just migrate to that. I have the feeling that these changes are just the first of many that will happen to twitch in the relatively near future.

I suspect Ustream will have a great next few quarters until some new big thing starts up.

Posted by Biddy

@darek006: Isn't the first BLLSL after party only on Twitch? It can be lost now!

Posted by Video_Game_King

@donoram said:

Remember when the internet was good?

No.

Posted by Hassun

There really wasn't any good news in this update was there?

Posted by flasaltine

They just killed Justin.tv. Literally. They killed it. There is no more Justin.tv. Now they are killing Twitch.

Posted by TournamentOfHate

Well shit.

Edited by D_W

At least there are alternatives. You could always stream on Hitbox instead. Less delay that way too. You could actually have a conversation with chat.

Posted by FinalDasa
Moderator
Posted by mnzy

@ragnar said:

@kaijuuninpo said:

Nothing good lasts forever unfortunately. Hopefully some new twitch-like service will come from out of nowhere and people will just migrate to that. I have the feeling that these changes are just the first of many that will happen to twitch in the relatively near future.

I suspect Ustream will have a great next few quarters until some new big thing starts up.

Hitbox.tv is what I hear people talk about.

Posted by peritus

Im guessing the speedrunning community wont be using twitch anymore for much longer. Record runs no longer being archived and a 2 hour limit on highlights. This is pretty shitty, hope AGDQ/SGDQ Vods find a new home.

Posted by HarrySound

I was a big YouTube guy , using it for my own music mainly. So far clocked up half a million video views. I ought youtube was great and no one could match it until this this weird stuff started happening on there. Then it was clear, YouTube will actually destroy itself. It never needed competition. I understand why they do this but it's been shoehorned in and because they didn't care about it in the past it seems radical now. The shameful thing is youtube is trying to position itself as a place to listen to music. It presented me with a playlist of music, all I had to do was hit go. Each video has an advert that makes google and the uploader money. None of the music it listed was from official accounts. YouTube, Google make money from other peoples shit.....then they pull this. Google is an absolute scourge.

Posted by Crono

Yeah everyone will migrate somewhere else, then some giant corporation will take an interest, implement copyright countermeasures, and then you'll migrate again.

Posted by AimlessAJ

Twitters been going crazy about this, and I'm seeing likes pop up all over the place for hitbox.tv which is a new streaming service quite similar to Twitch. I've been around Twitch since it was spawned from Justin.tv, and I'm sad to see it like this. I hope they find some solution to this shit, but It seems like people might just jump ship instead. Is Twitch the new Digg? God let's hope not.

Posted by Rotnac

And now Twitch is truly a part of Google.

They're not fully there yet. Just wait until they start unapologetically cramming Google+ crap down Twitch users' faces.

Edited by Soniking

Was expecting more from this article but its about the same effort that Kotaku put into their hastily researched article. I'm willing to bet there is more as this all develops but as it stand some of the bigger issues being simplified into one sentance is bugging me. Excited to see more Patrick! Maybe a dumptruck of some speedrunners.

Posted by alwaysbebombing

Next up on twitch. Nothing.

Edited by Jackalol

Nothing good lasts forever unfortunately. Hopefully some new twitch-like service will come from out of nowhere and people will just migrate to that.

That's probably the most likely scenario. Or they backpedal hard on this new policy, after realizing how ridiculous it is.(probably not as likely)

Posted by patrickklepek

@soniking said:

Was expecting more from this article but its about the same effort that Kotaku put into their hastily researched article. I'm willing to bet there is more as this all develops but as it stand some of the bigger issues being simplified into one sentance is bugging me. Excited to see more Patrick! Maybe a dumptruck of some speedrunners.

I'm going to be looking into something bigger, but we'll see. What did you want to see expanded?

Posted by Sessh

30 minute auto-mute even if there's only a few seconds of copyright infringing music? That's just dumb.

Online
Posted by Red_Piano

Game over.

Posted by DevourerOfTime

RIP Twitch.

So what do we use now?

Edited by Potter9156

GTA speedrun archives are fucked. This really sucks.

Posted by UberExplodey

see you guys at Hitbox

Edited by TruthTellah

This is terrible. The potential removal of most Twitch archives is bad enough, but this content ID nonsense is going to hurt most Twitch streamers, especially the biggest ones. I can't even fathom how the Twitch staff thought this was going to go over well. Why spite the biggest contributors to your success?

Online
Edited by KoolAid

This is terrible. The potential removal of most Twitch archives is bad enough, but this content ID nonsense is going to hurt most Twitch streamers, especially the biggest ones. I can't even fathom how the Twitch staff thought this was going to go over well. Why spite the biggest contributors to your success?

I'm sure they know that this sucks fat ones. But I'm sure they have to do it.

Edited by Chrystolis

Can't say I didn't see this coming.

Edited by heckfart

"we're really fucking popular let's make the service worse" - literally every company ever

Edited by ultrapeanut

@donoram: I do, but I try not to think about it for too long because I'm scared some corporation will come along and stomp the memories out of my head.

Edited by Reisz

Well, that was fun while it lasted, Which service is everyone going to migrate to?

Edited by Crembaw

@truthtellah It's possible that some big music companies came to them, as they did with Livestream, and said 'we'll give you stuff and lots of money, but only if you do X, and otherwise we'll sue you.' In the face of that, I could see how the relatively inexperienced Twitch management would be more scared of them than losing their big-name users.

It's also possible that *they* went to the music companies with this offer, too, and think they're simply too big to fail, like Youtube. Thing is though, they aren't Youtube. It is poor business strategy in the face of having actual competitors, and I fully expect this will bite them in the ass.

Edited by bgbball31

Yeah, CosmoWright has already expressed interest in moving over to Hitbox.tv or Azubu.tv. Those sites will very well may see a huge influx of users in the coming months.

Edited by Chicken008

Move along to hitbox.tv until Google buys them too.

Edited by Draxyle

I can't fathom why the music industry would target streaming video in particular. Who is declining to buy music because some streamer is playing it in the background? Is there a criminal ring of people just streaming copyrighted music for profit?

This is a change that benefits no one that I can think of.

Edited by Milkman

Party's over, folks. Time to go home.

Edited by xbob42

To people saying "they HAD to do this," no, they didn't. This is pre-emptive voluntary bullshit to avoid having to deal with the DMCA. Why fight to make your service better for millions when you can defer to the few who have money and lawyers?

Edited by ninnyjams

Paid users only getting 60 days is trash.

Posted by scrappypixels

If this happens too consistently, i can imagine people moving over to Ustream and other services. If Google are buying out Twitch then this is a bit of a shot in the foot. They need to find a better way of handling all of this.

Posted by D_W

I don't know why Google thinks they can automate this sort of process.