During the pandemic, many artists have pivoted to Twitch to host livestream sets, while raising money for themselves or various non-profit organizations. Hundreds of thousands of viewers have come together for livestream events including our very own BAS3 CAMP, which we helped raise money for Denver’s Cervantes Ballroom staff members, or even Insomniac’s virtual Rave-A-Thon.
In their guidelines which have been brought to light after many are getting struck with copyright, Twitch says they “value the work of songwriters, musicians, and other creative artists” and ask that the creators “respect” those who own or control music rights. Long story short, you can not host a Twitch stream unless you are playing music 100% created and owned by you.
Among the lengthy list of things you can not do during your Twitch stream, includes DJ sets, radio-style music listening shows, karaoke performances, and more. Full list below:
- “Radio-Style Music Listening Show – A Twitch stream or VOD which focuses on playing music that is not owned by you and is not licensed for you to share on Twitch.
- DJ Set – Playing and/or mixing pre-recorded music tracks which incorporate music, other than music which is owned by you or music which is licensed for you to share on Twitch.
- Karaoke Performance – Singing or performing to a karaoke recording other than an in-game karaoke performance that is licensed for you to share on Twitch, such as a Twitch Sings Performance.
- Lip Synch Performance – Pantomiming, singing, or pretending to sing to music that is not owned by you or is not licensed for you to share on Twitch.
- Visual Music Depiction – Lyrics, music notation, tablature, or any other visual representation of copyrighted music other than music owned by you or music which is licensed for you to share on Twitch, or on-screen lyrics or depictions of music provided by Twitch as part of Twitch Sings gameplay and captured in streams or VODs of your Twitch Sings Performances.
- Cover Song Performance – Performance of a song owned by someone else, with the exception of a live performance in your Twitch stream. If you do perform a cover song in a live Twitch stream, please make a good faith effort to perform the song as written by the songwriter, and create all audio elements yourself, without incorporating instrumental tracks, music recordings, or any other recorded elements owned by others.”
Those looking to host a livestream DJ set CAN play music that they own, or copyrighted music if you have secured a license to share it on Twitch from relevant copyright holders. Twitch Sings Performances are also okay.
Per their guidelines page, here’s the example types of music content you can share:
- “Music Owned By You – Original music which was written by you and either recorded or performed live by you, and for which you own or control all rights necessary to share the music on Twitch, including the rights to the recording, performance, and to the underlying music and lyrics. Please remember that if you have a contractual relationship with an organization that controls rights to the content you create, such as a record label or publishing company, you should make sure that you are not in violation of that relationship by sharing that music on Twitch.
- Music Licensed To You – Copyrighted music owned in whole or part by someone other than you, if you have secured a license to share it on Twitch from the relevant copyright holders.
- Twitch Sings Performance – A vocal performance of a song as captured in Twitch Sings gameplay, provided it is created in accordance with Twitch’s Terms of Service.”
On Twitter, Dani Deahl mentioned that
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Y'all.... Twitch has said DJ sets are not allowed in their ToS for over a year.<br><br>Now, whether they enforce this during streams is another question.<br><br>They do mute copyrighted portions of your DJ set if you make it available *on demand* after you're done.<a href="https://t.co/p8LjkmZ7ik">https://t.co/p8LjkmZ7ik</a></p>— Dani Deahl (@danideahl) <a href="https://twitter.com/danideahl/status/1269752076759859201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>