A clampdown on unlicensed music has been occuring on game streaming platform Twitch, as major changes begin to be implemented ahead of the rumoured $1 billion buyout from Google.

With immediate effect, any video that contains unauthorised third-party audio will be taken offline, as Twitch looks to protect the rights of the copyright holders. Google’s influence is thought to be the reason for the change, bringing Twitch in line with YouTube in an effort to keep copyright lawsuits at bay.

Here's how Twitch's audio recognition feature from Audible Magic works.

"Starting today, Twitch will be implementing technology intended to help broadcasters avoid the storage of videos containing unauthorized third-party audio,” wrote Twitch in a blog post. “We respect the rights of copyright owners, and are voluntarily undertaking this effort to help protect both our broadcasters and copyright owners.

Twitch is partnering with Audible Magic in order to scan all archived Twitch videos for content-controlled audio and music, which when flagged will be muted for a 30-minute chunk. To clarify, If any third party music is detected within any given 30-minute chunk, the entire chunk will be muted.This will not affect live Twitch streams, with the Audible Magic software only scanning archived content.

The statement from Twitch also goes on to say “Please note that Audio Recognition is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. It may return false positives or miss content from copyright owners who do not work with Audible Magic. If you wish to include music in your VODs, please remember that you are responsible for clearing all such rights (this includes ambient music that may be playing in the background while you are broadcasting).

It’s worth remembering that this will also affect in-game audio, so if a game features licensed tracks or indeed a soundtrack registered with Audible Magic, the audio will be muted. Games with radio stations such as Grand Theft Auto V and Watch Dogs will be the hardest hit here, as well as many racing and sports games that feature licensed tracks.

Many Twitch streamers also play music in the background while they play, and this in particular will be stamped out. Meanwhile Twitch also announced it would be halting its automatic archiving, insisting that 80 per cent of its storage capacity is never even watched. If you’ve got content on Twitch then you’ve now got 3 weeks to export it before it gets removed.

What do you make of Twitch’s decision to clamp down on unlicensed music in its streams? Do you think having a track playing in a stream has an adverse affect on music sales? Let us know what you think of the debacle below!