Metallica’s Twitch Concert Audio Was Apparently Replaced With 8-Bit Music To Avoid Copyright Issues

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Metallica played a concert to kick off BlizzCon on Twitch, but apparently not everyone got to actually hear the music they were playing at the online event. The first day of the annual Blizzard event streamed on Twitch on Friday night, and with it came a special performance by Metallica. But the actual audio that played on some channels got caught up in one of the music issues that often plagues streaming content.
On Friday, Twitter lit up with videos from the performance where, instead of Metallica classics, nondescript 8-bit music seemed to be playing instead.

the current state of Twitch: the official Twitch Gaming channel cut off the live Metallica concert to play 8bit folk music to avoid DMCA
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 19, 2021

And it wasn’t a dub; multiple people shared clips of varying length where Metallica is clearly on the Twitch channel but some other music is playing. Though that moment spread online like wildfire, it apparently wasn’t what happened on the main Blizzard Twitch page. Rather, it was the front page of Twitch Gaming which had to replace the music.

Apparently on Blizzard’s YT/Site/OfficialTwitch it was fine, this was front page TwitchGaming which probably didn’t have the rights to the music so nuked it ASAP. Hilarious seeing the chat reaction though
— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) February 19, 2021

Still, it’s an interesting bit of irony at the complicated state of Twitch and the music copyright issues that often plague the platform. And as many people pointed out, DCMA takedowns are an issue in internet content creation that came directly from Metallica’s decades-old fight with Napster that set the tone for music copyrights.

The fact that metallica can’t even play their own music at the event they were invited to is fucking hilarious considering this is all literally their direct fault.
— Pat Stares At The Truth (@PatStaresAt) February 20, 2021

Metallica v Napster is a big reason for internet copyright enforcement being the way it is now so they 100% deserve this lmao
— H. P. Bugsnax (@LumpyTheCook) February 19, 2021

Right now the official Twitch Gaming channel is playing copyright free music over the top of Metallica’s live Blizzcon performance, so at to avoid copyright striking themselves.
The absolute state of music rights on the internet. My god.
— Skill Up (@SkillUpYT) February 19, 2021

Metallica not being able to play their own music live because of DMCA that came about in large part due to Metallica’s advocacy of it is a hell of a full circle.
— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) February 20, 2021

You know DMCA is a problem when Twitch has to cut the music of Metallica while Metallica is playing
— Goldenboy (@GoldenboyFTW) February 19, 2021

No one seemed to have any sympathy for Metallica here, mostly because they’ve dealt with these sorts of issues in the past. Anyone who has streamed a video game that has original music in it has likely encountered takedown or muting issues, and game makers have had to introduce music elimination options to help streamers prevent their content from getting taken down.

I have a longer clip with Metallica playing and the Twitch production team transitioning seamlessly into the 8bit music but i’m afraid to post in fear of DMCA myself. good work music industry you bunch of ghouls
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 20, 2021

It’s unlikely the moment will change much of anything, but it certainly felt like things came full circle on Friday night.