This hasn’t been the best week for Twitch. Amazon’s livestreaming platform has been heavily criticised for its new rules on branded content, which it swiftly u-turned on. Now it’s facing another controversy which is music-related.
A creator called CardboardCowboy, whose broadcasts on Twitch included a lofi music channel, which was suddenly suspended. An email from Twitch that he posted on Twitter said that the suspension was “due to your violation of our Community Guidelines”.
Copyright infringement? Not in this case, as CardboardCowboy owns the rights to all the music he streamed on the channel.
After he switched to YouTube and a rumpus ensued on Twitter, the matter was eventually sorted with an ‘exemption’ for the channel, and an unsuspension.
It has raised an issue about Twitch’s rules and music, however, as pointed out by industry journalist Zach Bussey.
Its agreement for ‘monetised streamers’ includes the requirement to “provide a consistent amount of live content, program quality live content, regularly interact with and engage viewers of your Twitch channel, and respond to live viewers of your Twitch Channel via Twitch chat.”
Quite apart from copyright and licensing issues, music-streaming channels could fall foul of this, although that may be where exemptions come in.