Oh Brother, the DMCA Stinks! The Influence of Copyright Law and Content Moderation on Twitch.tv's Copyright Guidelines

Baul, Jedszelle, Media, Culture, and Technology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Driscoll, Kevin, University of Virginia

This thesis explores the evolution of Twitch.tv's through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), spotlighting the 2020 strikes that significantly impacted content creators and the platform's moderation practices. By exploring the history and challenges of copyright before the DMCA, along with the development of content moderation systems, I show that the DMCA has prevented platforms like Twitch from being more proactive in filtering user-generated content and enforcing legislation. Combined with analyzing the experiences of streamers like Fuslie and Asmongold, it unpacks the challenges and responses to DMCA notifications, illustrating the difficult tension between copyright enforcement and creative expression. This thesis also examines the implications of the 2020 DMCA strikes, proposing a need for a nuanced approach to copyright in the digital realm that fosters innovation while protecting the rights of creators. This research contributes to the broader conversation on copyright reform and digital content creation, advocating for adjustments in copyright law and platform policies to better accommodate the complexities of live streaming and digital creativity.

MA (Master of Arts)
Twitch.tv, Copyright, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Live Streaming, Content Moderation
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