It’s no secret that the battle between artists livestreaming during quarantine and the copyright laws embedded into streaming platforms like Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube has been ongoing – and growing – as the year of online streams has progressed. In early June, Twitch served a series of copyright takedown notices for old videos posted by streamers, putting many of these users at risk of being banned from the platform.
And yes, copyright rules surrounding music used in Twitch streams has existed for years. Their Community Guidelines list a “DJ Set”, i.e. “playing and/or mixing pre-recorded music tracks which incorporate music, other than music which is owned by you or music which is licensed for you to share on Twitch”, under their category of music content you may not use in your streams.
But it’s only more recently that the DJ community (who have brought massive numbers of new users and viewers to Twitch during the Great DJ Gig Apocalypse of 2020) have seen this policy enforced at a much higher level.
These frustrations have not gone unnoticed. Labels appear to now be working with the platform directly to provide copyright permissions to use their music. We theorized that something similar to this – a “meet in the middle” sort of move for labels to appease the streaming world – back in April.
Anjunadeep clears 500+ tracks
The first label that we’ve seen do this is Anjunadeep, who has given the green light for Twitch users to play music from their catalog of 500 tracks on an “official Twitch playlist.” The playlist is described as a “selection of cleared tracks” that are “Twitch-ready”, appealing to artists who’d love to keep streaming on the platform without getting flagged for copyright. It includes an array of well-known artists from both Anjunadeep and Anjunabeats, including Spencer Brown, Above & Beyond, Lane 8, Yotto and more.
Soundtrack your next @Twitch stream with our pre-cleared selection of 500 tracks from @yottomusic, @CRi_music, @Duskymusic, @FROSTSOUNDS and more! No mutes, no takedowns when utilising tracks from our official Twitch playlist: https://t.co/IiLCyjoK1W ?— Anjunadeep (@Anjunadeep) June 27, 2020
Spread the word! pic.twitter.com/U1f1NuHke4
This move from Anjunadeep may stand as a step in the new direction that the music industry needs to head in order to keep livestreams alive. The question now is whether other labels will follow suit – and how that will affect the usage and viewership of Twitch’s livestreams, if at all. Will artists perform with only a limited list of green-lighted tracks, or will they continue to fight against the copyright bots in the name of self-expression?
What do you think of the idea of pre-approved tracks for streaming? Is it limiting, or is it helpful? Where do you see the copyright battle moving from here? Let us know in the comments below.