Twitch now scans VODs for copyrighted material

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
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Source

After the quasai-confirmed Google buyout Twitch has partnered with Audible Magic to automatically scan VODs (Video On Demand) - which are recorded gameplay sessions on their service - for copyrighted music. If your video is found infringing, the VOD will be muted.

For example, here is a 3 hour video from a popular streamer that has had giant chunks of audio removed.


The most concerning part of this move is, as on youtube, this applies to in game music as well. In my opinion, the confusing narrative of "Come stream your games on Twitch!" coupled with "But if it has music in it you're breaking the law" is completely preposterous.

Unsurprisingly, Audible Magic is far from flawless and is perfectly willing to detect music it was never instructed to block, or even has the right to block:
[tweet t=https://twitter.com/zirconst/status/497150228345421824]

In fact, a Twitch official stream has already been blocked under the new change.



Personally, I'm disappointed with this change. This is exactly the kind of thing the nay-sayers to the Google buyout claimed would happen, and goddamn is it happening.
 

Roxas1359

Burn, Burn it All!
Aug 8, 2009
33,758
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I had a feeling this would happen. Welp, if Google fully implements the terrible copyright system that is already on YouTube to Twitch, then they'll be shocked when many people leave Twitch.
Welp, this sucks immensely. So much for streaming Nintendo games on Twitch now without having to deal with the copyright bullshit... >.>
Seriously though, while right now it's only the VOD old streams, you just know they're gonna try to eventually have it that livestreams get scanned too.

Also, just to because I like gloating for a bit:
 

shrekfan246

Not actually a Japanese pop star
May 26, 2011
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The saddest part is that it's highly unlikely anyone in a position of power will look at this stupid crap and think, "Hm, maybe US copyright laws are insanely archaic and need to be updated and changed!"

It's totally a smart idea to kill off a good portion of your userbase by disallowing them free reign of what they listen to, though, and likely leading to a fear of playing any music at all because there's a high chance it'll be flagged down and muted even if it's royalty-free or whatever else. I mean, it's not like people do things like listen to music while streaming Hearthstone, Starcraft, League of Legends, during stream breaks, etc. because it would be incredibly boring listening to the same two or three music tracks in-game for hours on end. Good on Twitch for effectively gutting their own service.
 

Roxas1359

Burn, Burn it All!
Aug 8, 2009
33,758
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NuclearKangaroo said:
google ruining everything it touches? now thats new!
Have to give them credit though, took YouTube about 2 years after it's purchase to start becoming a hideous monster pretending to be what it's not. Google hasn't even owned Twitch for a month yet. :p
Now I'm just gonna wait until they implement the scanner that activates during livestreams, cause let's face it, they will eventually do that.
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
8,977
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I guess I'm just wondering if big music publishers actually cared about this before Google bought them and put up a billion dollars of delicious capital for them to sue the shit out of.
 

scotth266

Wait when did I get a sub
Jan 10, 2009
5,202
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Twitch is not only removing copyrighted material from VODs, but is also removing all VODs longer than two hours and limiting future VOD uploads to two hours.

http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/

Basically, Twitch is killing VODs.

I've always thought that copyright-flagging commentary videos "because music is in the background" was bullshit. This only amplifies my fury.

DOUBLE EDIT: Actually I have no idea what the hell is going on, the language in the blog post is convoluted. Apparently highlights aren't being removed, but past broadcasts are? I don't even.
 

Hairless Mammoth

New member
Jan 23, 2013
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Ah, softening up the twitch community to bend them backwards for when the sale is finalized, are we, Google? Well, let's see what new video service will replace twitch as the go to place to avoid the copyright Knights Templar [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar].

Wait zircon, as in one of the OC Remix regulars? Now I'm pissed.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
13,768
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Wait, Google is buying Twitch?

Huh. Didn't a lot of "let's players" migrate to from Youtube to Twitch to escape Google's assorted copyright shenanigans.

And now Google has followed them. It's almost funny.
 

Alcom1

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Jun 19, 2013
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Hairless Mammoth said:
Well, let's see what new video service will replace twitch as the go to place to avoid the copyright Knights Templar [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar].
Hitbox seems to be a neat little escape plan. Jim Sterling just did a little Dynasty Warriors stream on it and plans to use it more. I've seen a few other popular Twitch streamers mention it and intentions of use as well.

http://www.hitbox.tv/JimSterling
 

Gali

New member
Nov 19, 2009
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This is so annoying. Some eSport tournaments are fucked and even ingame music gets muted. Happened to one of my vods of Halo 2. I really hope that more people leave to other places, like AzubuTV and Hitbox. But the problem is that they do not give you as much (or no) ad revenue.
 

Rednog

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Nov 3, 2008
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They kind of had to do it, Twitch was skirting a bit under the radar for a while, but now that Google has bought it up it's the big white whale. Twitch is an open target for people trying to get Google's money, they really couldn't leave it as is. As much as it sucks the only real solution is for people to mute in-game music, especially in games where it's playing a noteworthy track. Granted this isn't going to affect every game out there, there's still games with ambiance music that most likely won't get flagged.

I honestly don't think it will be that big of a problem once people get used to it. Personally if I'm watching a stream I'm there to listen to the personality play the game and talk, not to listen to the music.

I hope they fix their system to be able to detect the in game music vs streamers who just have a playlist; possibly steamer declares she/he is playing X game--> system searches game X's songs and omits them for being flagged for that video.
 

Tohuvabohu

Not entirely serious, maybe.
Mar 24, 2011
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Here's a few things on my mind about this that makes me wonder if this really is a case of a Google-buyout.

-Doesn't Google use it's own content-ID system on youtube and not Audible Magic? Isn't Audible Magic a competitor of Google's own Content-ID system? If it really is a google buyout, why wouldn't google use it's own system on Twitch?

-Twitch announced that they're going to be deleting VODs due to storage space constraints. This seems like a really odd thing to announce after an alleged Google-buyout. I would imagine that storage space is a non-issue for Google. Maybe this is just an excuse for Twitch for get rid of countless hours of videos full of copyright violations?

I'm not convinced the deal has gone through yet, if it still is going to. I guess we'll see.

But, OT:

This sucks, and the way it's being handled as of now is terrible. But, I can't say I'm surprised. At all.

TotalBiscuit has uploaded a video about this with some good insight:


Even before there was ever any talk of this ever happening. I just knew it was a matter of time before Twitch began making more efforts to follow copyrights. Ignoring the fact that Audible Magic's system doesn't work properly and all the problems it's causing, TB brings up good points in the video. Such as playing music over Spotify, and how Spotify goes about paying royalties per song play, and how playing a song once over Spotify on a stream with hundreds/thousands of viewers is cheating the system heavily.

But the main point here is that, regardless of Google buyout or not, Twitch on it's own has grown huge. It has a lot of people who make their living by streaming. With how big it is and all this attention it gets, it only makes sense for it cover itself legally.

I'm wondering if this sort of system will make it's way to livestreams as well instead of VODs. I feel bad for the streamers who are affected by this, but I hope they will be able to grow accustomed to it.

For others who are saying people should move to Hitbox. Well, quite a lot of streamers make their living from streaming on Twitch. Would Hitbox be able to offer the same kind of deal? Either way, I view that as just delaying the inevitable as well. If a site such as Hitbox were to grow to the popularity that Twitch did and makes as much money, wouldn't it have to start following these rules as well? Is there really any escape from it?
 

Alterego-X

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Nov 22, 2009
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There you have the results of everyone sucking up the copyright industry?s rhetoric about it being not just a regulation created for their benefit, but their intellectual PROPERTY that they unconditionally deserve on a moral basis.

Even if they have to trash public communications, break the Internet, and inconvenience billions of people for the sake of a tiny bit of hypothetical profit, consequences be damned, what is ?their right? must self-evidently be right.
 

NinthPlanet86

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Feb 10, 2012
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The best reaction to this that I can think of is that Twitch offers two levels of advertising revenue to the streamers: one for those not using copy written music and one for those who are using copy written music. If the music industry stops greeting modern technology with the usual "cease and desist" tactic and embraces it instead perhaps it could allow Twitch streamers to use copy written music, but take a slice of the advertising revenue as a licensing fee. It does, unfortunately, require an industry that wants to have its cake and eat it, to act in a rational and reasonable manner, and not try and bleed Twitch and its streamers dry for licensing money.
 

andago

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Jan 24, 2012
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A couple of things on this:

1) Google doesn't own or have a partnership with twitch as far as anyone knows yet. There were various websites [http://uk.ign.com/articles/2014/07/24/google-buys-livestreaming-service-twitch] that all linked back to an article that claimed confirmed sources familiar with the matter [http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/24/googles-1b-purchase-of-twitch-confirmed-joins-youtube-for-new-video-empire/] had knowledge of a (seemingly undervalued 1 Billion USD) buyout. If the deal was done, I doubt that this somewhat sketchy anonymous contact would be the only source about a major financial deal, that in all likelihood would be in excess of the amount reported.

2) With regard to the VODs, it was in response to the fact that after a couple of weeks there was very little demand [http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/] for them. In fact, with the new policy, they actually have to increase storage to account for 2 weeks of broadcasts instead of the previous 3 days. In fact, streamers can split their broadcasts into 2 hour segments (highlights) that will be stored indefinitely as per beforehand. This new policy probably comes in conjuction with justin.tv closing down the other day.

3) With regards to the audio censorship, audio magic isn't a flawless programme and makes mistakes with ingame music that sometimes even mystifies the creators of the content [https://twitter.com/dannyBstyle/status/497140019602026496]. In any case, this seems like it has been a long time coming, and twitch probably would have been well within their rights to pull copyrighted content entirely. This system is still technically in a trial period, and could change. Twitch have a decent record of communicating with people that use their service, and should respond accordingly, although time will tell on that one.

If anyone has more up to date information, feel free to correct me!
 

matrix3509

New member
Sep 24, 2008
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Welp this is an absolutely great opportunity for other streaming sites to gain some serious traffic. Hitbox, Azubu? Now is their chance to seriously force some mass migrations away from Twitch. All they need is some good business sense. Hell even MLG's shitty streaming service stands to gain a good amount of traffic. Maybe Idra won't be wasting his life streaming Heroes of The Storm to 9 people anymore.
 

William Fleming

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Mar 6, 2011
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That is a world record for how quickly can Google kill a site after buying it out. Though I think the worst thing so is that Twitch will no longer hold videos permanently. From what I hear, on August 27, all videos set to "save forever" will be removed alongside the "save forever" button with it. I don't think videos shorter than 2 hours will be affected the same and the "save forever" button will just be for saving highlights less than 2 hours.

(Source: https://www.facebook.com/AyaAnnyGaming, second post down video deletion is mentioned in the comment replies)

So, how long do you think it is until everyone migrates to Hitbox considering that the new rules can mess with official streams unless the sort out all the legal issues. But then again, with these changes streamers will move elsewhere (Jim Sterling already has) and the viewers will follow along with them.