The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is one of the most critical pieces of law to understand as a creator. It can be complicated and boring to learn about, but developing an understanding will save you from headaches, account bans, and even lawsuits. Likewise, fair use is a commonly cited safety net creators rely on to believe they are immune from DMCAs, but it’s often misconstrued and not as safe as one would think. In this course, we will break down the DMCA and fair use and what they mean for streamers.

StreamerSquare, the creators of SolarStream, developed a completely free resource for streamers called StreamerMusic, where you can learn about the DMCA, the latest industry news, and even find safe music for your stream through our vast database of stream safe music.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information in this content is for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information given should be construed as either a) legal advice, or b) a substitute for engaging legal counsel. You should always consult a lawyer regarding legal questions. This content does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Any particular outcome is based on the facts and circumstances of each particular case and applicable laws in your jurisdiction.

  DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA is a copyright law for the United States. DMCA is meant to protect the rights of owners of their copyrighted materials if they have been infringed upon. For those of you not familiar with legal jargon, infringing means to use someone else’s work without proper licenses (licenses meaning legal permissions). A lot of times this pertains to copyrighted materials on the internet, but it is not limited to just there.  It is possible to get the proper licensing to use someone else’s content or music. It often requires purchasing the licensing or some sort of agreement being made. Obtaining the licensing needs to be taken up though with the true owner of the content. Never assume you have the licensing to content that is not yours. This also does not guarantee you will get it, the person is entitled to...

Fair use is a United States legal doctrine permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. News reporting, commentary, criticism, teaching, and research are all examples of activities that may qualify as fair use. Streamers use clips from songs and movies for on-screen alerts and will react to shows, movies, and new songs with their community. It’s so common, you probably think it’s perfectly fine to do it yourself. In reality, every streamer is walking the line, hoping fair use will keep them safe.  But, it’s not so clear-cut, especially with streaming and content creation. Fair use in cases of streaming is so uncertain that video game & entertainment attorney Noah Downs advises against relying on it. Noah Downs, Esq.Noah is an video game and content creator attorney focusing on all aspects of intellectual property, media, and technology. He also handles related matters such as open business formation,...

The best way to avoid a copyright strike is to only use material that you are confident you have permission to use. This goes for music, videos, and images. YouTube has ways to really help avoid copyright strikes when you upload a video. It does a copyright check while you upload and you can mute the specific music by just selecting a box on YouTube and they do it for you. They also have a library of DMCA-safe audio that you can utilize and fill in. YouTube basically does it all for you as long as you utilize it. In regards to alerts, there are other options. Instead of segments from music, you can have custom alert audios made. You can also make these yourself with your own voice. Sometimes just saying something in a funny voice, or singing a made-up tune can work perfectly for your alerts. It makes...

Streamers enjoy playing music on streams or using popular music for their stream alerts. Some games also have soundtracks with very popular music. This DMCA stuff can become a major pain if you are a streamer playing such games or trying to play music in the background on stream. We know music can really help set the atmosphere of the stream and fill quiet times as well. At the end of the day though, using music you do not own that is not DMCA safe is very dangerous to your channel. It also does limit your options for alert audios as well.  There are lots of great music options popping up to help streamers with this! StreamerSquare, the creators behind SolarStream, actually provides one of those many resources! StreamerMusic is a source for free and paid stream safe music for streamers to use as well as a ton of helpful...

Every platform is very different for how to submit DMCA takedown notifications. Twitch actually has a fairly easy system in place for these submissions. Twitch has a form to submit a DMCA claim if someone is infringing on your content. You can find the form here.  First, you’ll need to explain the copyrighted work of yours and then add the content that needs to be removed for infringing your content. After that, you have to add all your contact information and check off a few boxes. These boxes are to confirm a few things before filing the claim. You’ll have to confirm in good faith that the use of the material you’re complaining about is not authorized by the copyright owner, and then confirm the notification is accurate and that under penalty of perjury you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. Finally, you sign your name...

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