Sometimes I really hate it when I'm right. A little while ago, when I was writing about Google's acquisition of Twitch, I said that one of my biggest fears was Google imposing YouTube's copyright policies on Twitch. Unfortunately, it seems that it's already happening.
In a post made on its official blog, Twitch announced that they will begin to mute the videos, which contain unauthorized third-party audio. This means that the fragments of a video that contain music protected by copyright laws will no longer have hearable audio. The good news is that this policy will only apply to VODs (Video On Demand) and not to live streaming content.
The post written by Elizabeth "Boo" Baker, general counsel for Twitch, explained the exact procedure for this new policy. According to her, Audible Magic will provide the audio recognition technology necessary to scan all the VODs in Twitch database for copyright-protected audio content. The parts of the video, which contain unauthorized audio, will be muted, and the sound controls will be disabled for the respective fragment. The viewers will be notified about the flagged content through a text warning at the bottom of the screen, and the progress bar will turn red for the time interval where the sound will be off.
The bad news is that the scanning will divide each video into 30-minutes segments, and if the respective interval contains music protected by copyright, the entire half an hour block will be muted. I guess taking the time to do it right and figuring out how to mute only the infringing fragments of the video was just too hard, and the Twitch community (viewers and broadcasters alike) just isn't worth the effort.
Read the entire post at the official Twitch Blog.