As you may or may not know, there’s been a lot of controversy and hubbub over at Twitch, as many streamers have been receiving DMCA takedown notices for even the smallest things.
There’s not a lot that a streamer can do after their videos get taken down except turn to Twitter to voice out their frustrations, which is basically what they’ve been doing. It’s not that hard to get a DMCA notice as of late too — most games that have copyrighted music, sound effects, and voices are being taken down.
To try and solve the issue, Twitch suggested to streamers to simply mute the game’s audio in order to avoid copyright strikes. Of course, this isn’t the kind of solution that streamers want because what kind of gameplay experience would that be?
Fortunately, there’s at least one video game that won’t cause trouble for streamers if they decide to leave the audio and music turned on — Nier: Automata. Square Enix has recently revised Nier: Automata’s streaming guidelines and streamers will be glad to know that the company took the more consumer-friendly route which is pretty refreshing.
— yokotaro (@yokotaro) November 30, 2020
In the updated guidelines, Square Enix basically gives players permission to stream the game online. However, there’s going to be a few rules you need to keep in mind if you do decide to stream it.
The first rule is that you need to put up a spoiler warning on your stream for those who haven’t played the game yet. Players speculate that this first rule was requested by Nier director Yoko Taro, but Square Enix doesn’t really say anything about that.
The second rule is that you aren’t allowed to add any overlapping music or sounds to the game. However, you can still talk over Nier: Automata’s in-game sounds and music. This is great news because it’s pretty common knowledge that streamers mostly talk to fans, answer questions, etc. while playing a game.
That being said, there’s one very important rule that you need to remember: you aren’t allowed to extract any sound or music from Nier: Automata and then use it on any other social media platform.
In other words, you can’t just take a video of the game, take out the music, and then stream that very same music on its own even if it’s just for personal purposes.
Square Enix specifically states in the guidelines that “posting only audio tracks and/or music data as standalone content, and/or posting video content with the sole intention of permitting listening to the game’s music, is not permitted.”
Compared to Harmonix’s streaming guidelines for the rhythm game Fuser, Square Enix’s rules and requests are pretty understandable and they’re not that difficult to follow as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like other studios and/or IP holders are going to follow Square Enix’s footsteps, which is rather disappointing.
For now, the battle between Twitch streamers and the DMCA is still ongoing, and several streamers have already been banned from using the platform — some were banned temporarily, while others have more permanent consequences.