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New music licensing developments on Twitch.tv and YouTube

Game lawyer Zachary Strebeck takes a look at efforts by Twitch.tv and YouTube in legitimizing music licensing for content creators. Check out the info on the two systems.

Is there an answer to this ongoing tug-of-war?

Videos getting pulled down through automatic filtering algorithms on both Twitch.tv and YouTube have gotten many content creators angry (the ones whose videos are being pulled down or monetization taken away), while other content creators (the ones whose music is being used) are happy to have an easier way to protect their rights.

Is there an answer to this ongoing tug-of-war?

Both of the sites have recently introduced what seem to be interim solutions to these problems, with each taking a slightly different approach.

twitch-youtube-music-02

YouTube’s Audio Library:

In December, YouTube announced that content creators could use songs from the site’s Audio Libraryin making their videos. The Audio library contains three types of audio:

  • Free Music;
  • Ad-Supported Music; and
  • Sound effects
Ad-Supported Music features plenty of well-known artists’ songs that are available for use by video creators.

Free music is just that: free, but you’ve probably never heard of the artists. These allow the content creator to monetize their video while still using the music. Ad-Supported Music features plenty of well-known artists’ songs that are available for use by video creators. The Ad-Supported Music, however, generally carries a restriction that the video using it cannot be monetized, though some may allow this. Others don’t allow the use of the music at all. Sound effects are self-explanatory.

This seems like a step in the right direction for YouTube. Rather than a nebulous and opaque ContentID system, content creators can search for the song that they are using in their video and see the expected outcome. If they monetize when the terms do not allow it, then they know to expect their video to be taken down.

Twitch.TV’s Music Library:

Unlike YouTube’s system, there is no way to use more established artists’ music in exchange for non-monetization.

In January, game streaming site Twitch.tv announced that it haslicensed 500 songs for creators and streamers to use on their videos. Browsing through the list, I’ve never heard of any of these bands. They’re mostly indie artists who have a lot to gain from the exposure of being featured on Twitch videos.

Unlike YouTube’s system, there is no way to use more established artists’ music in exchange for non-monetization. However, if streamers are looking for a way to have music on their videos without the threat of muting or takedowns, this is a viable alternative.

How can you handle the music issue yourself?

There are plenty of ways to get music that does not need royalties or does not put you in danger of a takedown threat. I’ve written about Creative Commons-licensed works before. That’s a great way to find music for your videos. There are both paid and free options that generally only require attribution.

For content creators who are concerned with others taking their work, I am nearly finished with a video course on executing DMCA takedowns. These DMCA takedowns allow you, the content creator, to get access to infringing content disabled or taken down from websites. If you’re interested, sign up here to get a heavily-discounted (or possibly free) coupon code as soon as it’s ready!

photo credit: Audio-TechnicaUK via photopin cc

 

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