You may have asked yourself, what music can I use during my streams? Is this song safe to play? Are the copyright police going to come and get me? Will my stream get banned? Does in-game music count? This article is going to explain to you exactly what you can and cannot use legally in your streams.
We already know the headache that DMCA takedowns can cause. In October 2020, there was a wave of streams being taken down on Twitch which left a lot of people upset.
If you had received three strikes, then your channel got deleted. It was that serious. So let’s learn how to avoid these strikes on not just Twitch, but on Youtube and Kick as well.
Before jumping into how to avoid strikes with the DMCA- you first need to learn what exactly the DMCA stands for.
DMCA is the acronym for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It forbids anyone from sharing copyrighted material, including music, without permission.
This means that if you’re streaming on Twitch, Kick, or Youtube, they can detect copyrighted music in your stream and mute the affected portions. Frankly, having them mute a section is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that you get a copyright strike and you have to face a potential channel ban.
Guess what? Even big streamers are not exempt.
You may be thinking, “If they can play these popular tracks, then so can I.” However, even though they haven’t faced issues yet, this doesn’t guarantee that they will have no issues in the future. It is still not legal or safe, regardless of if they get in trouble for it.
You may hear some streamers say, “Don’t save this to your VODs and you’ll be fine,” but this is not the case. Whether you save to VODs or not, playing copyrighted music can get you on Youtube. Also, just splitting your audio tracks will not spare you from a DMCA strike.
Even live content can get flagged and lead to strikes. Already, this article is busting a bunch of myths.
The Big Question: Is Crediting Artists Enough?
Every artist and copyright holder has their own set of rules. While crediting is respectful and you’ll want to do this, it still does not permit you to use the copyrighted material.
I’m going to share with you a few ways to ensure that you always have the rights and permission to utilize music in your streams. You can stay on the safe side by always ensuring that you have the rights to the music you’re using.
Believe it or not, you can even get a copyright strike for using the music from the game that you’re playing.
You need to look at this as “No Permission = No Protection.” If you’re looking to use music from a platform like Apple Music or Spotify, simply having a subscription is not the same as having permission to use the music. This sounds unfair, but you have to remember that the royalties belong to the record labels or artists and not to the streaming services.
Whether you’re streaming on Twitch, Youtube, or Kick, you’ve got three kinds of music choices
Choice 1: Create Your Own Music
If you are so inclined, you can always use your own vocals or instrumental creations. As the creator of the music, you would be the owner of it and therefore cannot receive a copyright strike from it.
Choice 2: Use Music that is Licensed to you
If you know someone willing to license music to you, or if you pay for the rights to a song- then this could be an option for you. It is often costly and not worth the hassle.
Choice 3: Use a Subscription Service that Offers Copyrighted Free Music
There are fantastic subscription services like Epidemic Sound that offer you unparalleled access to royalty and copyright-free music.
Since the subscription service owns all of the licensing, it means that as a member, you have access to their licensing as well. This is what gives you the ability to safely use any of their songs in your streams and videos without getting into trouble.
Content for me is everything- to lose content, whether it be having it removed or being muted, can not only affect my growth but also the money that I make. This is a huge reason why I trust Epidemic Sound for all of the music I use in my streams.
As long as you’re using sounds or songs from Epidemic Sounds, you don’t have to worry about getting a copyright strike.
Now, you’re probably wondering if the music is any good. Since they have such a wide range of different tracks, over 40,000 songs, and 90,000 sound effects to choose from, there is something for everyone. You can search for music by genre, mood, and BPM. Plus, you get the rights to the music without the risk of getting any strikes.
This is how I protect myself from potential strikes. The way I see it, Epidemic Sound is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for all of your content during your 30-day free trial period. You get to sample the menu before committing to it.
If you check out this link, you can claim your 30-day free trial. You can also see eight of my favorite tracks to help you get started on your journey using Epidemic Sound.
After the free trial is over, the plans themselves are definitely worth the few dollars a month.
This subscription is saving you from losing money or potentially even losing your channel by ensuring that you cannot get copyright strikes.