Music fuels the mind, helps creativity and makes it easier to band with strangers. It’s something everyone has an opinion about so it’s no wonder why a lot of streamers use it to create engagement and to brighten up their stream. But as a streamer, it might be important to be aware of the rules your streaming service enforces regarding music played on streams.
But, as a streamer, it’s important to be aware of the rules your streaming service enforces regarding music played on streams.
IS MUSIC ALLOWED?
Short answer: YES, BUT… You need permission from the copyright owner (via a license) to do so, otherwise you’ll have problems with Sabam (or the appropriate PRO in your country, if you’re outside of Belgium). In very concrete terms, this means that you are only allowed to play your own, original songs.
Here is how the Twitch TOS states it:
“Uploading any content that you do not own, do not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorized to use, violates our Terms of Service and may make your account liable to DMCA takedowns by third-party rights holders.”Twitch TOS
This means you are not allowed to stream any of the following unless it exclusively uses work that you have created or licensed
- Using the “Song Request” module
- Playing music from radio stations in the background
- Organise karaoke or dance parties accompanied by copyrighted music
- Cover versions of your favorite performers
- Performing DJ sets
WHAT ARE THE PUNISHMENTS?
Twitch doesn’t actually do a lot of ‘enforcement’ of these rules during live streams. However, if they discover copyrighted songs in “Video on demand” footage (past streamed content), they will be very strict with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and cover themselves by muting the video.
The only way to actually get into problems, is if someone submits a DMCA-takedown while a streamer is live. This has happened before with more popular streamers and resulted in a 24H ban.
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?
Twitch is currently working with artists to make royalty-free and globally-cleared music available for everyone to use in their broadcasts. The music listed will be called “the Twitch Music Library” and will be safe to use for both LIVE broadcasts and VOD playback.In the meanwhile, you can use Twitch friendly music streams like Monstercat.