Twitch Implements Controversial New Policy Changes

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Twitch announced several big policy changes today, the most controversial of which involves a service that scans archived videos for copyrighted music, and muting 30 minutes of the video for each infraction.

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"We respect the rights of copyright owners, and are voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners," said the company in a blog post.

The copyright technology scans videos in 30-minute chunks, and if any infringing music is found, the entire 30 minutes is muted. This only impacts archives, however, and does not extend to livestreams. It's not hard to imagine that's coming at a later date but simply not possible yet.

This has already created some pretty odd situations on the service, including Twitch's own streams being hit by copyright sweeps.

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Though it hasn't been confirmed that Google is purchasing the streaming service, the company's policy changes today sounds awfully similar to what's rolled out on YouTube with its Content ID system.

The other changes involve its archive (VOD) system. In the past, Twitch allowed all users to save archived broadcasts indefinitely, but that's no longer the case. Normal Twitch users can have broadcasts saved for up to 14 days, while Turbo (paid) users can have them archived for 60 days. Either way, it's no longer forever. Highlight reels, used to spotlight a channel's best moments, are saved indefinitely, but are now limited to a maximum length of two hours. That will likely have an impact on speedrunning players.

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