Alex Birlo on October 27, 2020

Twitter Drama – Should Streamers Pay Game Publishers?

The topic of licensing was all the rage last week on Twitter, with Twitch purging thousands of videos due to copyrighted music and a Creative director from Stadia commenting nonsense on the matter

Let us cover things in order.

Last week Twitch went hard on streamers that used copyrighted music in their streams. They had deleted thousands of videos and clips from streamers’ channels.

Hundreds of Twitch partners received DMCA takedown notifications.

The gist of these emails is something along the lines that – the streamer’s channel is subject to one or more DMCA notifications, and that the content in question has been already removed.

They even go on to say that they understand that by deleting this content they are not giving the streamers even a chance to file a counter-notification. So in light of that, this time only, they “graciously” issue just a warning.

Officially, a spokesperson for Twitch stated that this action was taken as a result of “thousands” of requests from music labels to take down content of streamers who use their music without license.

Some specialists, and simply people who are “in the know”, suggested that this action is so sudden and drastic because Twitch decided to “clean up” all the takedown requests from music labels, that piled up.

That is understandable, we all know about copyrighted music and the conflicts that happen on YouTube as well.

But what is shocking, is how such a seemingly reputable business like Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, can allow themselves to pile up so many copyright claims and then so unceremoniously just take down thousands of videos in one go.

But that is not the main topic today, the main one is one of the most nonsensical “Twitter Drama starters” I have seen in a while, that followed the debacle surrounding this story with Twitch.

So, Alex Hutchinson, the Google Stadia Games & Entertainment Creative Director in Montreal, posted on Twitter a response to the whole kerfuffle that took place after what Twitch did. And here is what he said:

“Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.”

He then continued to elaborate for those who did not understand how ridiculous his idea is the first time:

“The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.”

And it is the Montreal Studio Creative Director of Stadia Games and Entertainment who says that! A console that used as one of their main selling points – the ease and possibility to grow its ecosystem through people streaming to prominent platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

Streaming is a fun and free way of expressing yourself, sharing thoughts and experiences on all sorts of matters – including video games.

The fact that some streamers make it far enough to make money off of it is commendable, and most of this money is officially a form of donations.

Unless the streamer uses an illegal version of the game, they have already paid for the game and neither the publisher, nor the developer have any connection to the donations a streamer receives while playing it online.

It is almost like paying for music you use as background to your makeup tutorial video on YouTube and then paying royalty to the music label from the money this video makes you on YouTube…

Everyone, from Dr.DisRespect to Jason Schreier pitched in to share their indignation with Hutchinson’s ideas, at which point the higher ups at Google and Stadia had to begin damage-control.

Speaking with “9to5Google” a Google’s spokesperson made a statement separating the company from the personal thoughts and opinions of Hutchinson:

“The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.”

While Google’s global head of gaming for YouTube Ryan Wyatt tweeted that:

“We believe that Publishers and Creators have a wonderful symbiotic relationship that has allowed a thriving ecosystem to be created. One that has mutually benefited everyone! YT is focused on creating value for Creators, Publishers, & Users. All ships rise when we work together.”

Stadia is pretty much a dead console already, because of the unnecessary and ridiculous monetization structure and the unfulfilled promises.

So having one of their top people say things like that, only adds to the “dumpster fire” that is their image right now.

In conclusion, I would like to simply add, that I keep on being surprised by how top representatives of publishers and developers in the gaming industry, are unable to keep themselves in check when they spout things on social media.

It is quite nonsensical for me, that people who do not realize the importance and responsibility of representing their companies and teams, get to such high positions and often to a state when they are too big to be removed for whatever online disaster they create.


Twitch DMCA, Kotaku article:

9to5Google article on Stadia: