Monday was variety tester Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang banned from Twitch to see Obituary, a 2007 Shonen anime licensed by Viz Media. What many hoped for was only a brief ban, especially after Imane “Pokimane” Anys was suspended for just 48 hours for a similar act, can last for an entire month, according to a recent tweet from Disguised Toast.
Looks like the ban was because Disguised Toast was involved “hours and hours” of anime without adding any of his own comments. This has been dubbed “TV Meta” within Twitch, where big and small streamers watch and respond to movies and TV while live on their channels. Everyone does, from Pokimane to Félix “xQc” Lengyel, who has reportedly has streamed Viz Media’s Hunter x hunter without receiving a ban. Not yet, at least.
We have contacted Disguised Toast for a comment and will update if we hear back.
Streamers like Hasan “Hasanabi” Picker, Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren, and Thomas “Sodapoppin” Morris has warned about Twitch’s new meta, which is ready for DMCA removals in the same way, music was only a few years earlier. And yet, people are taking their chances by watching movies and TV live with thousands – if not millions – of their fans on the platform.
Read more: After massive DMCA takedown, Twitch streamers delete thousands of clips
The issue makes sense. Streamers do not own the rights to the content they stream, so rebroadcasting it is theoretically against the rules of the platform. For something to fall under fair use, you have to “transform” the content, and Twitch does not always understand comments as transformative. This is why video games are a bit different because not only do you provide your own commentary, but no streamer’s experience is exactly the same as someone else’s.
Yet what is happening is a sign of Twitch’s negligence in enforcing standards across the board. Many of the platform’s biggest stars are familiar with copyright laws, so deliberate streaming of copyrighted content is a setup for a ban. But what this “TV Meta” will do in the long run, if Twitch is bothered enough by it, is to create stricter rules that will hurt the smaller channels chasing the same followers and live streaming numbers as their idols. For that’s the real problem here: the “TV meta” is just another way to gain followers, and if Twitch decides to selectively enforce DMCA attacks, then everyone, not just the biggest and most visible ones on the platform, will lose.