What is the DMCA and how does it work?

What is the DMCA and how does it work?

An overview of the DMCA and what you need to know.


The DMCA is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA grants online service providers (such as Twitch) certain “safe harbor” protections from copyright infringement liability as long as they meet certain requirements. This means that Twitch can not be held directly liable for infringing content streamed or posted by its creators, as long as it complies with the rules of the DMCA.

Two common requirements are that the company implement a “notice-and-takedown” system and the company cancel the accounts of repeat infringers.

The DMCA Process

A DMCA takedown notices typically result from a formal notice of copyright infringement from the copyright holder to Twitch about your broadcast. A proper DMCA takedown notice from the copyright holder must identify the infringing material clearly and specifically and state that they have a “good faith belief” that the material infringes their copyright.

When this happens, you will be notified, and your broadcast will be removed from Twitch.


At this point, you have two options. You can accept the takedown notice, or you can file a counter-notice with Twitch.

Sending a DMCA Counter-notice

If you believe your content has been taken down in error, or wish to contest a DMCA notice, you can submit a counter-notice to Twitch.  A successful counter-notification will remove this strike against your account. A counter-notification must include:

(A) your physical or electronic signature;

(B) an identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;

(C) a statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

(D) your name, address, and telephone number; and

(E) a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which you reside, or if you live outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Twitch may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the organization or an agent of the organization.

This information can be sent to Twitch’s Designated Copyright Agent at Attention: Copyright Agent, 225 Bush Street, 9th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104 or by email at dmca@twitch.tv. You'll want to confirm this information here before sending a counter-notice.

Unless the copyright holder files a copyright infringement lawsuit against you within two weeks of receiving your counter-notice, your video will be restored to the Twitch platform. If the copyright holder does file a lawsuit against you, the video will not be restored until the lawsuit is resolved.

Repeat Infringement

As part of the DMCA, Twitch is required to implement a repeat infringer policy.

Twitch’s DMCA Guidelines state that a user will be determined to be a repeat infringer if they have been notified by Twitch of infringing activity violations more than twice and/or if they have had their content removed from Twitch more than twice.