Twitch is one of the most widespread streaming services globally, with over 9 million streamers and 140 million active monthly users that enjoy the astonishing 71 million hours of content every day. Pretty amazing community!
Twitch is known predominantly as a game streaming platform, but viewers can enjoy all kinds of topics ranging from cooking to politics.
There are also streamers that live stream YouTube videos on Twitch. So, can you watch YouTube videos on Twitch? You can. Viewers don’t get banned for watching YouTube videos on Twitch.
However, streamers have to stick to certain rules:
You can’t play the music you don’t have a license for. Play only copyright-free music to avoid DMCA strike or ban,
You can’t stream music videos, movie trailers, or movies that belong to studios, companies, etc.,
You can’t stream content created by somebody else. However, some YouTubers like this publicity so you could avoid getting banned.
Let’s dig deeper into Twitch rules and guidelines and find out what type of content you can and can’t watch on Twitch.
Table of Contents
Can You Play Youtube Videos on Twitch?
Some view Twitch and Youtube as rivals, while others view them as platforms that you can use to stream interchangeably to your benefit. The fact is that many Twitch creators are trying to implement some material related to all manner of Youtube content, from music videos to films and original videos made by other YouTubers.
For that reason, there are regulations in place to stop the Twitch streamers from infringing the rights of Youtube creators and any other person or company that does its business on Youtube. You would be wise to obey those in your streams if you don’t want your account banned or outright deleted.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for Twitch users and how they should treat copyrighted and licensed material from several types of Youtube videos.
Music and music videos
First, It’s worth mentioning that the rules about copyrighted music licensing are pretty straightforward, no matter what the source of said material is in that instance.
You do not have permission to play any music you don’t have a license to, or you’re risking being hit with a DMCA strike and a possible long-term ban for your channel.
It doesn’t matter if you’re reviewing the music video or just listening to it in the background while you’re gaming or doing anything else while live streaming.
Twitch features an audio censoring system, so the parts of your stream containing copyrighted music will likely be muted when discovered in the archive, and the repeated offense will lead to your channel being under negative light because of the use of copyrighted material.
The system is not without flaws in all settings, so even Youtube videos with ambient or in-game music can cause problems for you and your channel.
The only music you can feature on your Twitch stream is your material, copyright-free music, songs from the Twitch library, and some songs that are considered a public domain in the eyes of the law.
Some streamers might get away with cheating on this front, but the award is hardly worth the risk if you want to protect your present, future, and past broadcasts.
Short movies and full-length motion pictures
Like music videos before, the short films, full-length movies, and movie trailers that you can find on Youtube are owned by their respected companies, studios, etc.
You’re less likely to get a DMCA takedown as with music videos, but without a license, it can still occur more often than not.
Same as before, the only two scenarios in which you can get away with are on account of fair use and a public domain, a material that’s freely available to everyone.
The former will not do you much good since you would have to prove the integrity of that claim only after you get the ban or your channel’s been taken down.
The latter is a fair game, but not many streamers would bother with anything other than current and fashionable material.
The same goes for Youtube movie trailers, so the only thing that you can do is explore every avenue among the options available to you and tread carefully, especially if you’re serious about making money on the Twitch platform.
Original Youtube video content
Here is where everything gets slightly more intriguing. Indeed, you’d still be breaking the rules by streaming Youtube clips without the previous knowledge of the rightful copyright owner, and there’s no going around that fact.
The difference here is that some Youtubers often don’t mind the additional publicity and recognition they can gain, especially if you’re not using their video to harshly criticize or make fun of an original content creator in an untasteful manner.
Twitch’s rules state that you’re not allowed to broadcast Youtube videos that someone else created, but if you play it right, it’s doubtful that Twitch will take down your stream for copyright infringement.
You can even collaborate with certain Youtubers and create a reaction video on your channel, in which case no special license would be required.
Other Video Material
What about some other common video material that you can stream on Twitch? Is there a way to put it up without breaking the copyright infringement?
Netflix is not an exception regarding copyrighted material, since that would count as you directly using a Twitch stream as a way to distribute someone else’s content, whether that is a film, anime, or a tv show without the necessary license.
Streaming this content may very well land you a DMCA strike, which can ultimately lead to your channel ending up temporarily or permanently suspended.
There are rare exceptions to this rule. The perfect example is when Netflix allowed the first episode of the hit show Arcane to be freely streamed and Twitch streamers to share their reaction in real-time with their audience.
War, violence, and political debate
Twitch is not just a place for gaming content since more and more creators are getting into everyday political debates with their followers on chat, providing a commentary of what they deem to be the most important topics.
Since that’s essentially original content, you can’t be struck down by copyright claims, but commenting politics is always a slippery slope for a ban-happy platform like Twitch. So if you’re planning on doing this sort of content, you must take special care concerning both topics and the language used.
While handling guns for review or some demonstration is allowed by Twitch, that permission comes with a few caveats. You can’t brandish those weapons in an aggressive, unsafe, and threatening manner, which is, of course, common sense in that situation.
So, can you watch Youtube videos on Twitch or not? Well, you can do a lot of things, but some of them may have dire consequences to your channel, or you might even end up being taken to court for your doings.
The most appropriate approach is to educate yourself with copyright law, so you can know at any given moment what Youtube videos you can play on your live streams.
Try to negotiate all the necessary licenses whenever you can, and ask the creators for their permission if you plan on featuring their Youtube recording in your streams.
It is better to be safe than sorry, especially today with confusing rules and even more confusing enforcement of said rules. Fair use is not something you can confidently rely on anymore, so it’s best you learn how to protect both the platform and yourself from unnecessary troubles you might cause to get some additional views.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you allowed to watch Youtube on stream?
Technically, no. As established before, you can’t legally play Youtube clips to your viewers without permission from their rightful copyright owners.
Streaming material that someone else has created may eventually land you a DMCA takedown, and that can seriously damage your channel in the long run.
You streaming Youtube clips to your viewers on Twitch can potentially be done to review, critic, educate, and such, all under the doctrine of fair use.
That still doesn’t mean that your streams are safe because that policy doesn’t always work as intended.
What is a Twitch watch party?
If you ever wondered if there is a way to stream copyrighted work on your channel, Twitch has offered the solution for that in the form of a Twitch watch party.
This feature allows for streamers to broadcast a film and anime or a tv show to their audience, providing up to 100 friends with an exciting experience of real-time commentary, making it seem like you’re all watching that together in the same room.
The only catch is that in these particular settings, the Twitch creators cannot run their ads, and both the creators and viewers who can join the party and enjoy that footage also has Prime Video or Amazon Prime subscription.
You can use this fantastic feature from your personal computer, as well as on Twitch apps on your Android or iOS devices.
What is a Fair Use?
Fair use is a policy that gives people permission for the unlicensed use of copyrighted work in specific circumstances.
An interesting idea, in theory, is that this doctrine does not allow you to copy the work of any creator and make a profit out of it without a necessary license.
This policy aims to protect the rights of streamers in specific settings like when providing criticism, parodying someone’s work, etc. What falls under this category has become quite vague in the past several years.
Twitch made an example of some smaller content creators while some big streamers got away playing on the card of their massive popularity.