Thursday, May 19, 2022

What Happens If You Play Copyrighted Music On Twitch

Can I Play Spotify Music On My Twitch Stream

How to Play Music on Twitch WITHOUT it Saving on VOD – Avoid DMCA *UPDATE IN THE COMMENTS*

If youre looking to play music from your favourite main stream musicians then the answer is going to be no. Playing copyrighted music risks getting your twitch channel a strike.

However there are non-copyright playlists such as Harris Hellers Streambeats playlists.

Streambeats has four different playlists Lo-Fi, Synthwave, EDM and Hip-Hop. You can play any of these on stream without risking any copyright strikes. These are completely free as well compared to other services which usually charge a monthly fee.

The only downside is, the music can get repetitive fast. I was a big fan of the EDM playlist however after a few days of 5 hour stream sessions I started to get sick of it. If youre getting fed up with the same songs on repeat your audience might be as well.

Well talk about some paid solutions for music later in the article.

To wrap up if youre playing non-copyright music from Spotify you can play it over your stream. Just make sure the music you have lined up is non-copyright before playing it.

What Kind Of Music Can You Use

Many streamers mistakenly think that if they purchased a song or have access to it via a streaming subscription service, they have the right to play it on their streams. Purchasing a song gives you a license for personal use playing it on a live stream is considered public use. Therefore, even if you paid for the song, you still need permission to play it on your live stream.

When you want to add music to your live stream, you have three options:

  • Music in the public domain
  • Music that is royalty-free
  • Original music

How To Add Spotify To Twitch Stream

If you already are a Twitch streamer, you might be familiar with software like OBS, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit and Wire cast. You’ll need to set up on these apps before you start streaming on Twitch. Once you start the streaming with the audio set up, you can directly play Spotify songs on your computer and the sound will be captured by the streaming app and played on Twitch. Here’s the guide on how you can set up Streamlabs OBS and play Spotify songs on Streamlabs OBS:

If you want to show what’s being played on Spotify in your Twitch stream, you can go to the Twitch dashboard > Extensions and search for Spotify Now Playing. Configure this extension, then you’ll be able to show the song that’s being played on Spotify in your stream.

Also Check: How To Put Songs On Repeat On Apple Music

Music From Specialized Websites

Each person is different and likes different music. In the same way, each streamer seeks to give a personal and differential touch to its broadcasts, something that is usually done through music.

With this goal in mind, reputable players using Twitch are beginning to get music from specialized websites such as Epidemic Sound or Envato Elements.

Heres why:

Can You Play Video Game Music On Twitch

Can you use copyrighted music on Twitch?

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If youve spent any amount of time on Twitch in the past couple of months, youve most likely seen or heard conversations regarding DMCA. To Twitch viewers, it is essentially a law that prevents them from requesting their favorite songs to be played during a live stream.

As a streamer, you know that it restricts you to only playing tracks that are determined to be copyright-free, which can certainly feel quite limiting.

Streamers are always looking for new ways to set themselves apart from their peers, and that includes the music that is played on stream, but are you allowed to play music from video games on a platform that is primarily based on live streaming video games?

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Strict Music Restrictions & Potential Consequences For Streamers

Games like Rockband, Dance Dance Revolution , and Guitar Hero contain copyrighted music, so they are not allowed to be streamed. In the past, streamers on Twitch may have had music content-based shows like a radio show where they would function as a typical radio station by playing music, maybe doing interviews with other streamers and talking to the audience.

Despite the popularity of that type of content, unless your radio show is playing royalty-free music or you have the rights to the music, you cannot play it. Similarly, though audiences may have enjoyed it in the past, as copyright laws become stricter, you also cannot sing along to songs or perform DJ sets, including songs that you do not own the rights to.

Another type of music content you cannot include in your stream that many people don’t realize is visual music. This includes things like lyrics from songs, sheet music , or any other visual representation of music like playing a music video even if there is no sound. All of this material is still covered under the same copyright laws as the actual music, so you cannot include it in your stream or content.

Twitch guidelines state that if you violate any of their terms of service in your Twitch stream, you will receive a takedown notice from music rights holders. Twitch may also later mute the parts of your recorded streams that contain copyrighted music.

What Music Are You Not Allowed To Stream On Twitch

There are a number of audio and music formats that you cant actually use in a stream on Twitch, no matter the circumstances.

Radio-style music broadcast

This refers to using your streams or VOD content like they are a radio station. As you are unlikely to have the license to that many pieces of musical content, these are prohibited on Twitch.

DJ set

Using your stream to perform a DJ set is a slightly sticky one. Technically, you can mix or play pre-recorded music tracks, as long as you own them outright or have the license for every track. You need to be careful with this though as simply sampling another track into a mix could land you in hot water.

Karaoke or lip-syncing performanceAnother one with a caveat. You cant lip-sync, sing or pretend to sing along to music you dont own the license for. However, if you are performing karaoke as part of a game, like SingStar, you can do so.

Cover songsIf you are performing a cover song in a live stream, you must ensure that all parts of the performance are your own original work. This means you are singing and performing all parts of the song, without sampling or incorporating instrumental tracks or music recordings from the original musicians piece.

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New Rules Playing Music On Twitch

On June 8, Twitch announced an update to the rules for the use of music content on broadcasts. Streamers were prohibited from using any tracks protected by copyright.

That is, Twitch began to use the same system as YouTube. A person who has violated the rules receives a warning at the first time. If there are three warnings, his channel is permanently blocked. The number of warnings is not reset over time.

Twitch has updated the terms of use for music content that does not belong to the channel’s author. The streaming platform will begin actively enforcing the Copyright Management Act.

Twitch is now prohibited from playing tracks from music streaming services such as Spotify. In addition, streamers will not be able to sing songs they don’t own at karaoke, as well as to make covers of them, include them in DJ sets, or disassemble the tablature.

Some streamers complained that Twitch asked them to remove all old recordings and clips in which music was used illegally. The administration of the platform said that it had received many complaints from rights holders in a short period of time.

Why You Need Music In Your Live Streams

Avoid Twitch DMCA and play COPYRIGHTED music on your stream easily, for free! Use Spotify! #stopdmca

Music ups the production value of your live stream. Viewers pay more attention to broadcasts with music, and you can set a tone for your stream with music. If you want your viewers to feel a certain emotion while watching your stream, music is the easiest way to evoke it. An upbeat pop song can create excitement, a slow piano solo can invoke sadness, and some EDM will make your viewers feel ready to party.

When added at the right moments, music adds another layer to your broadcast. Even if you or your guests are extremely engaging speakers, the right music will put your live stream over the edge.

How can you use music during a live broadcast? Playing a jingle at the beginning of your stream as an intro helps cement your brand in viewers minds. Add music when you display your stream screen, before your broadcast starts, to set a mood for the rest of your stream. If you have guests, you can assign them a theme song for when they first appear.

Your live stream has endless opportunities for adding music. The only downside is ensuring you add music you have the right to play. Copyright infringement can get your stream shut down and get you in real trouble.

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What This Means For Twitch Streamers

On June 8, 2020, the official Twitch Support Twitter account issued a statement about an influx of take-down notices. It asked streamers to remove all video clips that could potentially include copyrighted content under DMCA rules.

This week, we’ve had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If youre unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we’re working to make this easier.

Twitch Support

On Twitch.tv, theres a general rule when using music on your streams: if you play any music for which you dont have the proper licensing, you can be penalized by the legal owner. This includes anything on Spotify, YouTube, the radio, and so on.

Like all digital content hosts, Twitch operates under the 1998 U.S. law, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA. However, Twitch also leverages the DMCAs safe harbor provision. This shields content-hosting platforms from liability for copyright violations by people on their sites, as long as they promptly respond to take-down requests from rights holders.

Twitch and other streaming platforms are legally obligated to remove any allegedly infringing content and notify the person who posted it.

A full disclosure of Twitchs Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notification Guidelines can be found on its website.

More information on appealing muted audio can be found on Twitchs support page.

How To Avoid A Dmca Takedown On Twitch

While weve already covered the types of music you can and cant use, as well as recommended you obtain music licenses for any tracks you do use, there are ways that you, as a content creator, can avoid receiving a DMCA takedown.

Twitchs own advice on the best ways to avoid a DMCA takedown on the platform is as follows:

Dont play recorded music on your stream – Completely abstaining from using any recorded music is by far the simplest way to avoid a DMCA notification. Twitchs own guidance does point out that you dont have to do this if you own the rights or have the required permissions though. Music is central to the enjoyment of content, so though its a simple way to avoid DMCA issues, eliminating music all together could mean your content doesnt perform as well.

Mute in-game music – Many games have recorded music in them, and if youre streaming them live it may get picked up. While this is rare, you may want to check the End User License Agreement for the game youre playing. Some games may give you the option to turn off the music while youre streaming.

Check your old content on VODs and Clips – if you uploaded content before Twitch brought in its copyright rules youll need to check whether you have any videos that could see you get a notification. If you do, youll likely have to delete them, or youll need to try and seek permission for the songs included.

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What Are You Allowed To Play

You are only allowed to play music that is copyright-free or you have been given direct permission to play. For example music, you have made yourself, or artists you have specifically asked. There are third-party tools that have appeared with free copyright-free music, the best is easily Pretzel.Rocks by Nate knaught Beck, Monstercats music and Harris Hellers StreamBeats music.

But unfortunately you cant play music from Apple Music or Spotify. You only pay for a personal license from platforms like Spotify.

Twitch was working to create a huge library of music that streamers will be able to play while they stream, this was supported by labels such as Monstercat, Fools Gold, Mad Decent and Rhymesayers. The library used to be found at music.twitch.tv but it has since disappeared!

How do some streamers play music? They are either big enough they can ask permission to the big record labels, management and artists or they are breaking the law and risking being sued and banned from Twitch. Simple as that!

If you are looking to create your own music or sing your own songs on Twitch? As you own the permission for that music, you are totally allowed to do this with no problems at all!

Or why not ask some small or local producers, bands and singers whether theyd let you play their music in during your stream? Not only does this solve your audio problem, but its fantastic networking and yet another reason for viewers to join your stream!

Music You Are Allowed To Use In Twitch Streams

Playing Music on Twitch: What Are The Rules?

The Twitch Community Guidelines are very specific as to what type of music is eligible for sharing. Heres what you can use as the soundtrack for your streams:

  • Any original music. If youre the one who wrote the particular piece, youre completely free to add it as the soundtrack. So long as you hold all the recording and performing rights to the music and lyrics, you dont have to worry about breaking Community Guidelines. However, if youre under a contract with a record label, make sure that sharing the music on Twitch isnt a violation of said contract.
  • Any music that was licensed to you. Adding copyrighted music is not an issue per se unless you acquire a license. If you have reached out to the copyright holder and received official permission to share their work, its perfectly fine to include it in your stream.
  • Any music from Soundtrack by Twitch. Its probably the most reliable source. Well discuss the extensive sound library in more detail in the following sections.

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Twitch Rules On Music

Twitch music rules can be difficult to understand considering that until recently Twitch was not restricting using any music in streams and VOD.

With the recent music policy update, the creators must be very careful about what music they use on Twitch.

Hi, Im Mik, a music creator, and in this post I will review Twitchs music policy rules and will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about using music in Twitch streams and VODs.

What Can Happen To My Channel If I Play Copyrighted Music

There are currently two things that can happen if you play copyrighted music. The first is the most common. If uploading recorded Twitch streams on YouTube featuring music that you dont have a license to use, you risk having your content claimed and/or taken down. This often leaves massive gaps in videos where there is no audio. Its generally considered an acceptable loss by streamers.

The second is less common but may become increasingly common in the future. The punishment is a 24-hour ban on your channel. It occurs when the person who owns the rights to music you played on stream sends a DMCA takedown request against you. Famously, Maroon 5 and Juice WRLD issued mass DMCA takedowns in 2018, which saw major streamers banned for 24 hours.

The long-term effects of playing copyrighted music in your streams could be channel termination. Twitch has a three-strike policy for DMCA takedowns. Your first offense results in a 24-hour ban. Your second offense causes a 24-hours to 7-days ban. Your third offense will be an indefinite or permanent ban on Twitch. Also, it is worth noting that DMCA bans never are expunged from your record. When you get banned for something else, you generally have a 90-day probationary period, but DMCA bans remain part of your profile in perpetuity. Learn more about Twitch’s music guidelines here.

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Legal Ways To Improve Your Stream With Music

One economical way to follow Twitch’s rules but still play music on your stream is to use royalty-free music. Royalties are fees people pay to obtain a license from a record label or copyright holders to use something like music or pictures in their projects. Royalty-free music and pictures, however, are also available.

Websites like Soundstripe and Epidemic Sound allow you to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to obtain royalty-free music for Twitch or for any other project. You are entitled to play music from these sites on your stream, as paying for the subscription gives you a direct license to any song they have available since they own the rights to all of the music provided.

A subscription on Epidemic Sound is available for $15 USD a month or $144 USD a year, saving you $36 USD. It is an excellent choice for streamers as it prevents potential demonetizing issues by accidentally playing copyrighted music. This will save you a lot money in the long run and also keep you from being at risk of losing your Twitch channel that you work so hard at growing a following.

Now that we’ve covered what music is allowed in your Twitch streams, it may be important to note which music is not allowed in your content or anywhere on your channel.

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