Another day, another DMCA takedown leads to a Twitch ban. Popular streamer Alfie has been banned from Twitch for a clip in which he plays part of a Jay-Z song.
In recent months, Twitch has been dramatically changing its response to DMCA takedown requests as an increasing number of corporate copyright holders challenge streamers’ use of film, television, and music content.
While game content is relatively unaffected at present, even historic use of copyrighted music in a stream can lead to a Twitch ban, as is clear from Alfie’s severely delayed punishment.
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Why Alfie got banned from Twitch
Alfie has been banned from Twitch because of a video clip left on his channel from all the way back in 2017 that features part of the Jay-Z song Empire State of Mind.
Taking to Twitter, Alfie stated that he doesn’t know how long his ban will last, and whether it will be permanent. He noted that the ban is the result of laziness on his part, as he was aware of Twitch’s increasingly aggressive response to copyright violations.
This is not the first time Alfie has been banned from Twitch – the streamer was temporarily banned last year for using a homophobic slur in one of his streams.
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Why Twitch is banning streamers over the DMCA
Twitch is banning streamers more frequently in an effort to reduce DMCA takedown requests.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), copyright holders can issue a takedown notice if their work is broadcast online without permission, and Twitch must honour this request. The decision to issue bans is an internal one made by the platform itself, as it makes the broadcast of copyrighted material far less appealing.
In the coming months and years, the DMCA could become an increasing problem for Twitch. Copyright holders are beginning to keep a closer eye on streamers, and it’s possible that the platform could soon be scrutinised as closely as YouTube.
This could make it more difficult for the entire gaming community on Twitch. Alfie’s current Twitch ban is likely not the last DMCA-related ban to be issued to a streamer.