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Twitch drops highlight time limits, adds appeal button for copyright-flagged VODs

Twitch unveiled some significant changes to its handling of stored videos earlier this week. The "save forever" option for past broadcasts was eliminated , and while highlight videos could be saved indefinitely, they were limited to a maximum of two hours in length. Existing videos, meanwhile, would be scanned for copyrighted audio and muted if any was found, an automated process that's apparently led to a number of false positives. The response to the new policies was predictably sour, and following a Reddit AMA by CEO Emmett Shear yesterday, Twitch has backtracked on them a bit.

First up, the time limit on highlights has been eliminated, meaning that users can create highlight videos of any length they want, and they'll still be saved indefinitely. Second, as Shear promised in the AMA, an "appeal button" for cases in which a video-on-demand is incorrectly flagged for the presence of copyrighted music is being rolled out.

"We recognize that the system is not yet perfect," Twitch Vice President of Marketing and Communication Matthew DiPietro wrote in a blog post . "We want to make this system as fair and unobtrusive as possible, and we greatly appreciate your help."

The addition of an appeal option is probably the bigger practical change for Twitch broadcasters but it's the removal of the time limit on highlights that I find interesting, because it would seem to effectively invalidate the elimination of the "save forever" option, something Shear said was necessary to accommodate the much-needed changes to Twitch's VOD system. After all, if users can create highlights of unlimited length, and save them for an unlimited period of time, what's really changed?

If you're not sure either, you may want to catch today's Twitch Weekly broadcast , starting at 1 pm EDT, during which Shear will answer questions about the new changes and what's coming in the future.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.