Mutes are done through an automated system by Audible Magic, a third-party company Twitch hired to handle content ID on their platform.
I thought Pretzel was safe to use?
All of the music in Pretzel's catalog is completely licensed for use on Twitch. We've got your back when it comes to DMCA. Mutes, while bothersome, are not DMCA takedown notices -- and outside of removing all of your music (and potentially some game audio) from your VODs completely by routing your audio to a different channel in your broadcasting software, at this time there is not much to prevent a mute from happening.
What does this mean? Is there anything you can do?
Yes! If you receive a mute for any track in Pretzel, you can appeal the mute to have it removed. Appeals are not an automated process (like mutes), and are handled by a team on Twitch. It can sometimes take a few weeks for them to review your appeal and make any changes.
It's important to remember: Mutes are not DMCA takedown notices. Only the rights holders, or an entity that is legally able to act on behalf of the rights holders, are able to issue a DMCA takedown notice. Neither Twitch nor Audible Magic are able to issue DMCA takedown notices on behalf of these rights holders. If you'd like to read more about how the DMCA process works, our Head of Support, Rini, wrote a thorough article about this.
So why is my content muting?
Twitch does not check content against an internal copyright content ID system. It outsources that to a third-party company called Audible Magic.
If your VOD is muted, it's because something in your content flagged as "copyrighted content" within Audible Magic's database. Twitch, to protect itself legally, mutes a large portion of your VOD to remove the content (often at least 6 minutes). "Copyrighted content" could be almost anything, including songs, movies, television, sports broadcasts and stand-up comedy specials.
Audible Magic manages content ID for many sites beyond Twitch, and it is up to the rights holders to set those permissions. Sometimes a song will flag because of the permissions set by the rights holders; music can also flag because it might be on multiple albums under different names, include sample packs widely used by other artists, or, as is often the case with Classical, there could be multiple recordings of the same composition by different artists.
Regardless of the case, if you are using Pretzel, you have the proper licenses to use our catalog on Twitch, including in your clips and VODs.
So what is Pretzel doing to stop mutes from happening?
While our initial talks with Twitch and Audible Magic weren't as fruitful as we had hoped, our current meetings are very promising. Like most things, however, this will take time. The only way to completely avoid mutes is to route your music (and potentially even certain games' audio) through a secondary channel in your broadcast software so that it is not included in your VODs and clips.
Until then, you can follow these steps to appeal your mute.