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Twitch DMCA Rules – Music Policies and Takedowns

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Since 1998, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) has been in effect to work toward eliminating copyright infringement both in media and on the internet. While using copyrighted content without consent has always been illegal, streaming platforms have taken the act far more seriously since mid-2020.

While many music creators don’t necessarily care if you are using their recorded music on your stream, they typically are no longer the rights holders of their music. Due to pirating over the last several decades, DMCA guidelines have become more important to the music industry overall, not only to protect the companies but to ensure that artists get paid.

Twitch streamers have historically bent the rules by streaming music that isn’t royalty-free and is unauthorized music. Because of this, the music rights holders are hitting the platform hard, which results in DMCA takedowns.

How Does DMCA Work on Twitch?

Twitch has the right to take down any VoDs, Clips, or other material that breaks copyright laws. In recent months, they have also placed strikes on accounts with the threat of termination if the account gets three strikes. 

While your Twitch channel content may usually just get muted, Twitch can hand you a strike for content months, or even years after your material was created. To ensure that you avoid a Twitch strike, users are not allowed to play copyrighted music on stream. 

Twitch DMCA Timeline

In June 2020, many streamers were handed DMCA takedown requests, even for content that was posted in 2017. Many streamers had to clear their library of clips and highlights to ensure that they didn’t get hit with a DMCA strike. 

While strikes and bans before this time were relatively rare, it was very evident that Twitch was taking copyright claims more seriously. Since then, the platform has been more proactive in deleting content with copyrighted material and enforcing the rules. 

Twitch DMCA Free Music

If you want to avoid a DMCA strike, you will need to play DMCA-free music for Twitch. There are a few places online where you can compile this music. One of the best platforms for DMCA-free music is Epidemic Sound. They have over 30,000 songs in many different genres, guaranteeing that you will be able to find music that relates to you and your audience. 

epidemic sounds genres

Epidemic owns the rights to all their tracks and works with artists and composers to add new music to their database on a weekly basis. They don’t ever go after creators with copyright strikes and only make claims if the content was released in a time where there isn’t an active account. They never go after content that was created during an active subscription. They let you try out their product for 30 days with their free test trial. 

Their affordable personal plan will allow you to use their music on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch. They also provide Twitch sound alerts that you can use to add special features throughout your broadcast. 

Twitch DMCA Strikes

If you receive a DMCA strike because you played copyrighted music without permission on your stream, take action immediately by removing any content you can find where the infringement was made. This will ensure that you will not gain any additional strikes. 

If you receive a DMCA strike on royalty-free music or something you have permission to use, you can issue and appeal to Twitch to try to reverse the strike. You will need to show proof on how you were not breaking any regulations. 

Regardless of the reason behind your strike, take care to keep your channel safe by playing only acceptable music on Twitch in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

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    Can You Play Copyrighted Music on Twitch?

    It is against Twitch ToS to play copyrighted music on the platform. It is illegal to share or distribute music without permission. Purchasing a song on iTunes or leasing it through Spotify doesn’t give you ownership of the song’s rights. As bots scan content, they pick up on music and will mute a VoD or issue a DMCA strike against you. 

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    Can I Play YouTube Music on Twitch?

    If you have permission from the copyright holder to play a song on YouTube, then you are free to do so. There is some royalty-free music on the platform available, but it must be specified. Both the music from record labels and original content on YouTube belongs to the creator or record label. You cannot use it without permission. 

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    Are You Allowed to Play Spotify on Twitch?

    A Spotify subscription doesn’t give you the rights to rebroadcast the music to your Twitch audience. Unless you own the rights to the music, get permission from the person who does, or only make playlists of royalty-free music, you cannot use Spotify on Twitch without the risk of a strike and potential ban. 


To ensure you are following copyright law, you need to ensure that you are only playing royalty free music on your live streams. If you break the Twitch DMCA rules, you will likely get a DMCA takedown notice, or worse, lose your Twitch channel.

About the Author


Luci is a novelist, freelance writer, and active blogger. A journalist at heart, she loves nothing more than interviewing the outliers of the gaming community who are blazing a trail with entertaining original content. When she’s not penning an article, coffee in hand, she can be found gearing her shieldmaiden or playing with her son at the beach.

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