The YouTube-esque move is in response to the common (and, in the past, mostly ignored) practice of Twitch broadcasters combining the footage of the games they play with their favorite unlicensed music. The same in-game music and sound effects can get tedious at 20 hours per week, after all.
Starting today, the portions of any non-live videos with infringing audio will be muted once Audible Magic identifies that audio. Live broadcasts — the most heavily emphasized content on the site — will be unaffected, Twitch said in a company blog post.
“Audio recognition will only be run against audio in VODs,” Twitch General Counsel Elizabeth “Boo” Baker wrote. “We are not scanning live broadcasts and there is no automated takedown of live content.”
This is the second change to on-demand videos announced today. This morning, Twitch said it would stop indefinitely archiving the petabytes of mostly unwatched footage in its VOD system. Manually chosen highlights will still be saved forever, but full past broadcasts will now be saved for only 14 days for regular broadcasters, or 60 days for paying subscribers or Twitch Partners.
The company encouraged users seeking outside music to consider Creative Commons, Jamendo or SongFreedom.
Although potential YouTube acquisition talks have yet to be confirmed, having a clearer stance on users’ copyright abuses would likely be an important prerequisite for a YouTube buy.