Musical rhythm game osu! has been around for a while, being released originally on Windows way back in 2007. However, with plenty of competitive players and the rise of streaming platforms the interest in osu! has never waned and it is now more popular than ever both online and offline.
But, as it is a musical rhythm game dependent on fresh music there are a lot of questions surrounding whether or not it can be streamed on Twitch without being copyright struck or taken down via DMCA.
This article gives the definite answer on this and a few other questions.
Can you legally stream osu! on Twitch?
Yes, you can stream osu! on Twitch legally provided you are using music created by an osu! featured artist. The complete list can be found here.
As the osu! development team have officially partnered and gained their permission, the music is there a part of the game itself and legal to be streamed without risk of of DMCA and copyright strikes.
There is, however, a way to stream osu! and run a real risk of such action, and that is by using beat maps that contains music that osu! do not have a license for and therefore you do not have a license for. These unlicensed beat maps are the most common and are uploaded by users and not by osu! themselves.
Here’s some examples, the licenses beat maps are clearly labelled and the others are not which includes Bruno Mars. You could stream two of those legally and the rest would not be.
There is also the option of streaming with the sound turned off…
When you download a beat map you also download the audio file (illegally) to go with it so tread very carefully when even considering live streaming on Twitch or even recording offline to upload on YouTube etc.
So, yes it is fine to stream osu! on Twitch as long you are using a beat map from a featured artist.
What would happen if you streamed a copyrighted song on osu! on Twitch?
If you streamed a beat map using an unlicensed song on osu! to Twitch then you run a real risk of receiving a copyright warning from Twitch – this called a copyright strike which is essentially a slap on the wrist.
Repeated offences could lead to losing partner, losing affiliate and worst case a total suspension.
However, it’s worth noting that Twitch use audio detectors on your VODs as opposed to live streams. You won’t get the strike immediately, but at some point after the video is uploaded you will.
If our audio recognition system detects multiple instances of copyrighted audio in your VOD(s) in 24 hours, you will receive a notification on Twitch and an email sent to the address associated with your account.Copyrighted Audio Detection & Warnings FAQ by Twitch.tv
As it is a machine who listens in to your VODs, it is an extremely likely occurrence unless you are very small streamer OR you simply do not upload VODs at all. The second way is that the artist or the artist’s management manually claim copyrighted material.
Here’s popular osu! streamer BTMC’s email. Interestingly, he did not get suspended and is still going strong.
Do people livestream osu! and get away with it?
Yes, absolutely. Twitch is known to have rules and guidelines they do not always follow through on or in some cases turn a blind eye if a streamer is big enough, osu! streamers are no different. Osu! even have a page on their website for live streamers who are playing copyrighted music.
In many cases, it is to the benefit of the artists to have their music streamed, unless they are megastars such as Beyonce, BTS and so on. An up and coming artist is unlikely to want to stop Twitch streamers playing their music as it gives them exposure, but an artist who already has massive exposure will think differently.