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Creator Camp

Copyright School: What do I need to know about copyright law?

Let’s begin!
Welcome to Twitch Copyright School! We understand mistakes can happen and we want to help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Copyright School offers an opportunity to learn about copyright law, the DMCA, and how it works on Twitch to help prevent you becoming a repeat infringer.  We know copyright law and the DMCA can be confusing, and that the vast majority of creators aren’t streaming intending to infringe others’ copyrights. We’re here to help you understand the basics of copyright law and the tools available to you so that you can make informed decisions about using copyrighted material–including music, art, videos, etc.–in your stream to avoid potentially infringing others’ copyrights in the future.

How does it work?
Copyright School consists of 3 videos, supplementary text, and a quiz at the end. Once you complete Copyright School and pass the quiz, you will be notified via an email that one copyright strike has been removed from your channel. You have 28 days from the day you receive the copyright strike to complete Copyright School, and your eligibility may refresh after 12 months. 

Copyright school is open to everyone as an educational resource.
​​​​​You can take it as many times as you want and that won’t affect your ability to complete it to remove a copyright strike in the future.  

A copyright is a form of intellectual property that gives the owner of an original work of authorship the exclusive right to prevent others from doing certain things with that work. Copyrighted works include things like music, artwork, novels, TV shows and movies, computer code, and a host of other creative works. Copyright law is designed to protect all creators, and gives authors (and those they’ve assigned their copyrights to) control over how their creative works can be used.

If you use a copyrighted work in one of the ways the copyright owner is exclusively entitled to use it (i.e. if you make copies of that work, distribute copies to the public, publicly display or perform the work, etc.) and you don’t have their authorization or a legal justification for doing so, you may be infringing their rights and they may be able to sue you for copyright infringement. The exact nature of these rights can vary by country or region, and different uses of the Twitch service – for example, live streaming content versus creating a VOD or clip – may implicate different rights.

The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is a U.S. law that authorizes copyright holders to ask online services like Twitch to remove allegedly infringing material that users transmit or upload on the services. Copyright holders do this by sending notifications of alleged infringement, which we call “DMCA notifications,” to those online services. Note that there are similar laws around the world, but we use terms like “DMCA” and “DMCA notification” for simplicity, and our DMCA Guidelines apply to all accounts on Twitch.

DMCA Notification
A DMCA notification is the term we use to describe takedown requests that copyright owners (and their authorized agents) send to Twitch asking Twitch to remove material that they believe allegedly infringes their copyrights. 


Are video games copyrighted works?
Yes, video games are creative works that generally are protected by copyright laws. Video game publishers and developers frequently authorize their games to be streamed on services like Twitch, and you can often see this information on their website.

I’ve heard the term “public domain” before – what is that?
Copyrights don’t last forever, and after a period of time (or other situations like forfeiture or waiver) a work that was previously protected by copyright law falls into the “public domain.” Because no one holds the exclusive rights to these works, anyone can legally use or reference those works without permission. But note that adaptations or subsequent recordings of works in the public domain can be protected by copyright – for example, a movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice or a particular symphony’s recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Who is allowed to send DMCA notifications?
Copyright owners and their authorized agents (for example, attorneys or vendors retained to engage in intellectual property enforcement) are allowed to send DMCA notifications.

Does the DMCA still apply to me if I live outside of the US?
Our DMCA Guidelines apply to all accounts on Twitch. While the DMCA is a U.S. law, many countries have laws that operate in a similar way, including requiring that online services like Twitch maintain a notice-and-takedown system. We sometimes use terms like “DMCA” and “DMCA notification” for simplicity. So regardless where you live, you should still pay close attention to this course!