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Twitch deploys appeals button, admits "we screwed up"

Twitch is deploying an appeals button for videos that have been flagged for copyrighted music as it attempts to stem a tide of user complaints.


Yesterday the company began using an audio recognition system for archived videos and started flagging VODs that use copyright protected music. Those hit have audio muted for 30 minutes.

It now intends to roll out an appeals button for anyone who feels their videos have been unfairly flagged by a system it described as "not yet perfect."

"We have no intention whatsoever of bringing audio-recognition to live streams on Twitch."

"We’re deploying an “appeal” button for VODs that have been flagged for copyrighted music by the new Audio Recognition system. We recognize that the system is not yet perfect. We want to make this system as fair and unobtrusive as possible, and we greatly appreciate your help," said the company.

Speaking in an AMA, CEO Emmett Shear reiterated that the audio recognition checks are for VODs, not live streams, and there are no intentions to restrict original music.

"We have no intention whatsoever of bringing audio-recognition to live streams on Twitch. This is a VOD-only change for Twitch."

"We have no plans at all for this to expand to live content. Even if we could run this on live this second, we absolutely would not," he added.

The company has also removed the maximum time limit on highlights, stating "you will once again be able to create highlights of any length and they will be saved indefinitely."

None of this firefighting has done anything to calm those who stream games on Twitch, with many suggesting they will jump ship to rival services such as Hitbox. Many see the rumoured buyout by Google as the catalyst for the unwelcome changes, although some users do see a deeper problem.

"They didn't write the copyright laws," wrote user Brad T. "It's not Twitch's fault that a bunch of old geezers in the RIAA don't understand new media, but it's certainly Twitch's problem."

Shear did admit that the company has communicated new changes poorly, saying: "Simply put: we screwed up and should have announced it ahead of time. Sorry."

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