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Twitch Is Changing Its DMCA Rules Again

Streaming on Twitch isn't always as easy as it may seem. While popular hosts make it appear as if entertaining fans is a breeze, there's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. Not only do they have to produce enjoyable content, but it has to pass through moderation unscathed. Streamers have always had to be extra careful when dealing with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but now, thanks to a recent update, things might actually be getting a little easier.

Under the "DMCA Guidelines" section of Twitch's legal page, the streaming platform has changed its policy — seemingly for the better. Now, when a channel receives a copyright strike, such a mark is no longer permanent. This grants streamers a little more breathing room so that a mistake won't necessarily be fatal to their channels, but it doesn't mean that content creators can let loose entirely.

While the new policy loosens its grip to an extent, Twitch is still on the hunt for "repeat infringers." The platform is determined to penalize anyone "who blatantly and egregiously infringe[s] the intellectual property rights of others, whether or not repeat infringement has occurred." Channels that have three strikes will still be suspended, and exactly how long each penalty lasts is unclear. The rules only state that these strikes "are associated with an account for enough time for Twitch to determine whether the account holder is engaging in repeated infringement." Will this be change enough to please users?

Users seem happy with the new policy

Some users on Twitter have shared the news with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Zach Bussey, who frequently reports on Twitch news and trends, tweeted the policy update with a few exclamation points thrown in. Former Twitch admin Saysera thought it sounded like "overall a pretty nice change." Twitch affiliate PennyMeowy wrote, "​​Very happy they finally stated they are not permanent!"

Bussey compared the new rules to how YouTube handles its own DMCA strikes, which could suggest that the change was made to compete with the rival platform.

Twitch has a bit of a shady past when it comes to copyright strikes. Earlier this year, Twitch streamers were furious over mass DMCA warnings that forced many content creators to delete their old VODs. Although Twitch later admitted it botched its latest round of copyright warnings, the platform has still run into various problems. Just last month, it seemed that Twitch was even striking its own music that was supposed to be cleared for streaming purposes.

Providing a soundtrack is an important part of hosting an entertaining stream. For a long time, content creators have struggled to find appropriate tunes that won't get them banned. This policy appears to be a step in the right direction, offering a bit of leniency as streamers figure out what works and what doesn't.