Twitch recently dubbed over a Metallica livestream performance with generic 8-bit music in order to avoid a copyright takedown. The performance was in support of BlizzCon, an annual gaming convention held by Blizzard Entertainment, with the festival occurring online this year in order to comply with COVID-19 safety concerns.
The video of Metallica’s performance features members of the band playing together while various tracks play over their set. The stream was shared via Twitch Gaming’s official channel, and shortly into Metallica’s performance of “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the music was replaced by generic 8-bit audio.
Several people took to Twitter upon noticing the audio change, commenting on how the music was removed in order to avoid copyright infringement and a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown.
the current state of Twitch: the official Twitch Gaming channel cut off the live Metallica concert to play 8bit folk music to avoid DMCA pic.twitter.com/sCn56So8Ee
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 19, 2021
lmao blizzcon muted metallica’s live virtual concert and is just playing random low-key music over the whole thing pic.twitter.com/UqKnJf24VS
— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) February 19, 2021
Metallica infamously sued file-sharing company Napster in 2000, with the case eventually aiding the creation of the DMCA. The Napster case required the company to pull down all Metallica music files from their site. Those who viewed Metallica’s performance via BlizzCon’s streaming channel had been able to hear Metallica’s performance of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” in full with no issues, while those who viewed via Twitch were the ones surprised with a dubbed performance.
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado