Playing Back 4 Blood Can Get You Banned From Twitch
As Turtle Rock Studios shuffles into our lives with Back 4 Blood, the ambitious co-op shooter aims to prove the zombie genre is anything but dead. There's plenty of hype surrounding this Left 4 Dead successor, but be warned, playing Back 4 Blood could get you banned from Twitch.
DCMA takedowns are still a point of contention on Twitch, with the streaming service refusing to hold back when it comes to issuing strikes or banning you with no warning. While Back 4 Blood has a banging soundtrack, you sadly won't be able to share it with your friends.
How could Back 4 Blood get you banned from Twitch?
When Back 4 Blood goes live on October 12, watch out for those sneaky DCMA strikes. According to Alissa Barry, Influencer and Communications Manager at Turtle Rock Studios, the developer doesn't own the rights to the licensed music in the game's jukebox.
Posting on Twitter, Barry warned, "If you’re streaming or planning #Back4Blood VOD content, this is important. The jukebox has licensed music that will play when used. We do not own the streaming rights for the songs that play so be sure to turn your music off when interacting with the jukebox." So remember, turn off your tunes if you fancy yourself as the next Rick Grimes and want to share your Back 4 Blood gameplay.
Unsurprisingly, the news didn't go down well among the title's ravenous fan base. One peeved player wrote, "I'll never get stuff like this. Why even bother putting licensed music in the game if it gets people in trouble when they livestream the game?", while another added, "One option is just to add a Streamer Setting - which disables all licensed stuff."
A third angrily ranted, "If you can't get streaming rights, then don't use the damn music in your game! STOP. LICENSING. MUSIC. THAT. CAN. SCREW. YOUR. STREAMERS!" Thankfully, Barry confirmed, "We are working on a "streamer mode" hope to have it in soon. Thank you!"
Following up on the original tweet, Barry confirmed that while Turtle Rock has the licenses to music in-game, there are separate ones (that they don't own) for streaming. All in all, it shows just how out of control the whole copyright issue is right now.
Why do you need to watch out for DCMA takedowns?
Even though the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is supposed to help artists from having their music unfairly ripped off, there are accusations it's the record companies that are ultimately profiting. Away from this, Twitch has been caught in the net and the controversy.
2020 was particularly bad for Twitch, when a wave of takedowns confirmed the platform was going back through the years to issue strikes on any video that used potentially unlicensed music. Twitch was accused of running a monopoly and later apologised. Things are slightly better now, with Twitch brokering a deal with the National Music Publishers' Association.
Twitch is supposed to "build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers", however, we're still prohibited from using copyrighted music. Ultimately, streamers are caught in the middle. Twitch was accused of turning a "blind eye" to violations, with NMPA president and CEO David Israelite warning it was "stepping up its copyright-takedown campaign against Twitch and will continue removing music that the trade group alleges Amazon refuses to pay for."
It's not an ideal situation for Back 4 Blood, but at least Turtle Rock is warning us ahead of time. Looks like you'll be slaying the undead while listening to "American Pie" on your own.