How to Avoid DMCA Takedowns on Twitch for Music

There’s a lot of confusion around what Twitch’s DMCA rules are for music. What does it mean to get a DMCA strike on Twitch? What music can I play during Twitch streams and videos? And where can streamers find DMCA-free music?

How to Avoid DMCA Takedowns on Twitch for Music
twitch dmca royalty free music

DMCA takedowns are a major problem for Twitch streamers. Twitch has been cracking down hard on copyrighted materials and music recently. Countless users have had their streams demonetized, videos taken down, partnerships lost, and even accounts banned. All due to DMCA violations.

There’s a lot of confusion around what Twitch’s DMCA rules are for music. What does it mean to get a DMCA strike on Twitch? What music can I play during Twitch streams and videos? And where can streamers find DMCA-free music?

Here at Slip.stream, we help streamers keep their content safe with our huge library of royalty free music. So today, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Twitch and the DMCA. Most importantly, we’ll help you keep your channel 100% safe from DMCA takedowns and copyright strikes. So read on below to learn how to avoid DMCA takedowns on Twitch.

What is the DMCA? What does DMCA stand for?

The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is an American law passed in 1998. It was made to protect copyrighted content and materials from being distributed freely on the internet.

The DMCA covers all kinds of copyrighted content, from music and TV/movie clips to photographs, articles, and beyond. Though it’s an American law, anyone in the world can use the DMCA to safeguard their copyrighted content. And all people and companies in the US (or even international companies with servers in the US) have to follow the rules.

If you’re putting anything online that involves copyright, the DMCA is the law of the land.

How does the DMCA affect Twitch streamers?

Most DMCA violations on Twitch are related to music. Streamers love to set the mood for their streams with some background music, and fans love it too. But if you use copyrighted music at any point during your stream or video, you can get a strike for it.

Here’s how Twitch puts it on their own FAQ page: “If you use another person's copyrighted work in your content, they can send Twitch a takedown notification. It is our policy to act on those notifications under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") and similar laws worldwide. It is also our policy to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers–i.e., people who on multiple occasions have been accused of infringing the rights of others.”

In other words, if you use a copyrighted song, the song’s owner can ask Twitch to take down your stream. If you do it over and over again, your channel can get permanently banned.

What’s the best way to avoid DMCA strikes and takedowns on Twitch?

We have 3 simple words for you: Royalty free music.

Royalty free music means music that you don’t have to pay royalties to use. That means you can download, play and use the music in your streams and saved videos without any DMCA problems.

The best place to find and download royalty-free music is a library like Slip.stream. With Slip.stream, you can sign up for free and browse through 50,000+ songs, all 100% DMCA safe. Choose the perfect playlist for your next stream, or create your own. Then simply hit play and stream to your heart’s content.

You can get started for free and choose from over 1000 songs. Or upgrade for just $7.99/month to unlock the entire library of more than 100,000 tracks (the world’s largest royalty-free music library).

Am I protected if I use Twitch’s Soundtrack tool?

Twitch’s Soundtrack tools gives you access to music that is safe to stream, NOT to save.

So long as you plan to stream only, then yes you can play music from Twitch Soundtrack. However, if you want to archive videos for later or save clips, then you cannot. This is because in the agreement Twitch reached with these artists, the music is licensed for live streams only.

How else can I protect my streams and saved videos?

There are a few steps you should take immediately to keep your channel safe.

We suggest deleting any saved videos, VODs or other clips that contain copyrighted music. It may be sad, but keeping your channel safe is the highest priority. Even if you had permission to use songs in the past, Twitch’s new agreements may not protect you moving forward.

Also, make sure to avoid playing any copyrighted music in your videos and streams. If you’re playing a video game with a built-in soundtrack, check if they have a “Streamer Mode.” This will usually mute the music automatically, so you can stream without the music getting flagged. If they don’t offer Streamer Mode, you may want to mute the game yourself.

What if an artist gives me permission to use their songs?

This is a big point of confusion, so we want to clear things up here:

DMCA rules are controlled by the owner of the song, NOT the artist. So if the artist is signed to a record label and they have the rights to their music, then it does not matter if the artist gives you permission. You could still get in trouble for using the song.

This is a case-by-case basis. So don’t blindly take an artist’s word for it if they say that you can use their music on Twitch. Always double-check that you have the true proper permissions from the owner to use music before you do. As you can see, it gets a bit messy, which is why we suggest that most streamers play it safe and use a service like Slip.stream. A royalty-free library like Slip.stream will always be 100% safe to play on Twitch, YouTube, podcasts, and beyond.

What do I do if I receive a DMCA takedown?

Sometimes, DMCA strikes are not accurate. If you get a notice that you think was a mistake, you have 2 options: First, you can send a counter-notification to dmca@twitch.tv. Or, you can reach out to the copyright holder and ask them to take back their claim.

For more information on disputing DMCA claims, read our guide here.

DMCA rules and regulations are complicated. Especially for Twitch streamers, who just want to have fun and put on a good show for their fans. We hope you found this article helpful and that you feel more confident streaming safely in the future.

Be sure to follow our blog for more helpful tips and tricks for Twitch streamers. And if you need music for your streams, videos or any online content, try Slip.stream for free. See why streamers are absolutely loving our library (and avoiding those pesky DMCA takedowns).