New Cyberpunk 2077 Mode Will Help Streamers Avoid DMCA Takedowns

New Cyberpunk 2077 Mode Will Help Streamers Avoid DMCA Takedowns
Image: CD Projekt Red

It’s been a long month for Twitch streamers, who’ve spent the past 30 days weathering an ongoing DMCA storm with few signs of reprieve. Today, CD Projekt Red announced that it’s added a new mode for Cyberpunk 2077 streamers with this show-stopping dilemma in mind.

During the latest instalment of long-form Cyberpunk commercial series “Night City Wire,” UK head of communications Hollie Bennett explained that the game will have a mode that will not only remove licensed music from the in-game rotation but replace it with music that won’t get creators’ channels zapped out of existence. Handy!

“If you’re planning on livestreaming Cyberpunk, or if you just want to make videos, we want to introduce you to a new mode that will allow you to disable certain copyrighted tracks,” Bennett said. “We know that for content creators, licensed music can sometimes be problematic. So with this new mode, you’ll be able to disable a small number of selected tracks which could cause some issues, replacing them with a different song — helping to avoid any problems.”

On console, this mode will automatically be enabled should you choose to stream, but you can toggle it on and off. On PC, the mode won’t have the auto-enabling functionality.

While features like this have appeared in a handful of other games — for example, Remedy’s 2016 action game Quantum Break — they’re still far from an industry wide norm. In light of recent events, however, expect them to become a lot more common in the near future.

Kotaku reached out to CDPR for additional information about how long this feature has been in the works and what kinds of songs will take the place of licensed music, but the company declined to comment but said that more details are coming soon. Still, at the very least, this means that streamers won’t have to disable music entirely, which can ruin the mood of a game for streamers and viewers. It’s still far from an ideal solution — nothing short of Amazon and Twitch striking a licensing deal with the music industry would be — but for now, it will have to do.

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  • CDPR and other developers should try to improve music copyright in video games, and get the music rights extended to the End User License Agreement that would allow owners of the game permission to streaming or Lets Plays the game with music on.

  • Good on the devs for coming up with a band-aid.
    But this band-aid does nothing to solve the problem. The PROBLEM is that DCMA takedowns are overwhelmingly overreach and an abuse of the system. Boxhead mentions using a licence to provide pre-emptive permission, but that’s still not solving the real problem of rampant, indiscriminate, algorithm-generated DCMA takedowns.

    If a streamer is playing GTA and a snippet of music plays on the in-game car radio while they’re racing or driving to somewhere they’re going to shoot shit up, etc, claiming copyright over that snippet of music is bullshit and should be protected. And I’m pretty damn sure that if it ever saw a courtroom, it would be protected.

    Problem is, it’s never going to get to the courtroom because of the vast imbalance of power. And there’s currently nothing to stop these rights-holders from exploiting that vast imbalance of power and using it to constantly overreach.

    I get that there is so much data out there that without indiscriminately dumb algorithms they would never be able to identify real cases of infringement, but there is no excuse to shift that burden onto individuals who have to spend a significantly greater portion of their time and resources proving innocence/fair use.

    The traditional legal system of, “If you want a judge to sort this shit out, bring a case to them so they can rule on it and set a precedent,” is outdated, lazy, and frankly an irresponsible attitude toward justice that gives too much freedom for abuse to parties acting in bad faith, which rights-holders absolutely are. It’s the modern day equivalent of putting a sword in the hand of a veteran soldier and a crippled beggar and saying that whoever wins is in the right. It’s fundamentally unfair, and the point of a justice system is to champion fairness.

    • What needs to happen is 2 things:

      1. Punishments for abusing the system need to be much more severe for companies.
      2. It needs to be easier to take companies to court for abusing DMCA

      At present, It is not worth it at all to take someone to court for abusing DMCA. Look at the H3H3 situation, They sued a single person and it cost them hundreds of thousands. If you tried taking a company to court for it they could essentially appeal you into bankruptcy. The US court system is much easier for companies.

      Companies abuse DMCA because they are rarely if ever punished for doing so. Thats what needs to change.

      • Not to mention if you live outside the US, Taking someone to court for abusing DMCA is infinitely harder and more expensive.

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