Twitch replaces Metallica's BlizzConline performance to ward off a DMCA strike

A shot of a guitar, but the accompanying music doesn't quite match...
(Image credit: BlizzConline)

Metallica fans watching the band perform at yesterday's BlizzConline show on Twitch were surprised to find out "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was replaced with royalty-free stock music instead.

While the performance was unedited on the official BlizzConline livestream and Blizzard's own YouTube channels, Twitch Gaming seemingly censored the metal band in order to avoid a DMCA strike. 

While strange enough in its own right given it was an official performance, it's the track Twitch chose to substitute it with that's sparked the most discussion. Rather than replace it with another suitably heavy track, the substituted music was considerably softer and a tad more folksy. Here, have a listen:

Of course, the incident also highlights the issues currently plaguing broadcasters who make a living on Twitch and the legal tussles around using licensed music on the streaming service.

In other news, Twitch recently responded to feedback from gamers with disabilities by agreeing to remove the term "blind playthrough" from its tag list.

Back in June, accessibility advocate and COO of Able Gamers Steven Spohn spoke publicly about the problematic term in a wider discussion about ableist language, which is when people insert the name or symptom of a disability in place of a negative word like "sucks". 

The issue was picked up by Twitch, and now the streaming platform has confirmed it will drop the term in order to promote more inclusive language.

"Happy to see Twitch has listened to everyone who shared feedback and removed the 'Blind Playthrough' tag to encourage more inclusive language for our community," tweeted Twitch's community and creator marketing representative, Erin "Aureylian" Wayne tweeted at the time. "You can still use 'First Playthrough' or opt to use it in combination with 'No Spoilers' for the same sentiment."

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.