Twitch clamping down on third-party music - does this signal the end?

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With rumours Google is buying, could this YouTube style copyright protection spell tough times ahead?

With YouTube already imposing copyright protection for some audio used in videos on its service, and with the rumours Google has bought the gaming livestream website Twitch, it seems inevitable that Twitch would follow suit by way of flagging copyrighted material.

In an announcement from Twitch yesterday, they revealed that they’ll be using ‘Audible Magic’ to detect licensed music within Twitch users’ VODs (Video on Demand).

When I say ‘Audible Magic’ I don’t mean a wizard, adept in the ways of audio, will sit and listen to every VOD uploaded; Audible Magic is a company that works with the music industry, and uses technology that will scan VODs from Twitch users to detect music owned or controlled by its clients.

When scanning a VOD, the technology will look for third party music in blocks of 30 minutes. If any applicable licensed audio is detected in that 30 minute block, the entire 30 minutes will be muted. When this happens an on-screen notification will show that the VOD contains third-party content controlled or owned by one of Audible Magic’s clients, and the muted section will show as red on the progress bar. It's worth noting that this applies to any audio picked up, be it in-game or in the background.

Twitch Audio Recognition 1Image from Twitch update.

One worrying line in the update reads, “please note that Audio Recognition is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.” Meaning that if the system mistakenly identifies content on your video for flagging, you could end up having to appeal for the video to be unmuted. How long that appeal process will take is unknown.

Twitch is holding a Reditt AMA on /r/Twitch today at 10:30am PST, so head on over there to voice your feedback on this news.

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