'Guardians of the Galaxy Game': Will I Get a DCMA Strike for Streaming Music?

Guardians of the Galaxy's new video game will include the same 80s rock soundtrack that endeared the Marvel movies to a legion of fans, but Twitch streamers are worried that this use of licensed music will result in them receiving copyright claims against their broadcasts.

At yesterday's "Square Enix Presents" conference, Eidos-Montréal unveiled a new Guardians of the Galaxy title heading to Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. Scheduled for release on October 26, it a single-player experience that has you stepping into the jet-boots of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, and leading the titular band of misfits in a quest to save the cosmos.

Will the Guardians of the Galaxy Game Feature Any Pop Songs?

Based on the extensive preview, the game looks to feature plenty of fan service that will appeal to those who love the Guardians of the Galaxy films, even if it is technically set in a different universe. Everything you could possibly want is here, with players getting to weigh in on the team's petty squabbles, wander the interior of Peter's ship (similar to Mass Effect) and meet obscure characters like Cosmo the space dog.

Of course, an integral part of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was its reliance on the "Awesome Mix" compilation tape. This album has since become such an inextricable part of the franchise's DNA that even the cartoon show has been obligated to find its own equivalent.

Clearly aware that the Guardians and dad rock now go hand-in-hand for most people, Eidos-Montréal were sure to include plenty of needle drops in their new trailer. Among other tracks, we heard songs by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, David Bowie and Bonnie Tyler, all of which were synchronized to key moments in the gameplay.

Meanwhile, in an interview with IGN, Senior Narrative Director at Eidos-Montréal, Mary DeMarle has confirmed that the title will feature more 80s hits from the likes of Iron Maiden, Wham! and Kiss.

Will Steamers Receive DCMA Strikes for Playing Guardians of the Galaxy's Music?

The inclusion of an authentic Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack will no doubt be construed as a positive by most gamers. After all, it is a big part of the franchise's core appeal, and it seems to be very well implemented in the title itself.

One group that is wary of this heavy emphasis on pop music is the livestreaming crowd, who are concerned that it could make the game near-impossible to broadcast. This is because Twitch and YouTube creators are regularly hit with what are known as Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.

In a nutshell, these claims allow a company to strike down any content online that they believe infringes upon their copyright. This often manifests in record labels (or agents who are authorized to represent them) issuing DMCAs to channels that play any of their music, even if it can only be heard faintly in the background.

For content creators this can have a massive knock-on effect on their livelihood, resulting in specific videos being taken down or, in extreme cases, their accounts being terminated.

As such, a number of social media users have expressed hesitancy to livestream Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes out in October, as they are worried that the game's licensed soundtrack might cause them to receive a DMCA strike.

The new Guardians of the Galaxy game is a streamer's worst nightmare...

If they want people to stream it they need to implement a "DMCA friendly" mode.

All the classic songs that will play during battles are a quick path to getting DMCA banned#E32021 pic.twitter.com/EKHW7Crjqt

— Ovilee May (@OvileeMay) June 13, 2021

Those fears are not entirely unfounded, as the developers have clarified that they did not secure rebroadcasting rights for the music. In other words, while Eidos-Montréal has the permissions to use each of the songs featured in their game, those who are livestreaming it do not.

This has the potential to be a big problem for content creators, as the music in Guardians of the Galaxy is synchronized to predetermined moments in the narrative and also seems to play over cutscenes. In something like Grand Theft Auto V, which also used copyrighted songs, a streamer can simply turn off the in-game radio to avoid getting a DMCA, but here it looks like the music is far more integral to the overall experience.

Will Steamers Be Able to Turn Guardians of the Galaxy's Music Off?

Newsweek contacted Eidos-Montréal to ask if they had made any considerations for Twitch streamers in respect to Guardians of the Galaxy's music. Over email, a spokesperson confirmed that there will actually be an option to mute licensed tracks, if players want to be absolutely safe from potential DMCA takedowns.

This option will surely come as a huge relief for content creators, who can now stream their Guardians of the Galaxy playthroughs with total assurance that their channels will not be hit with a copyright strike. All they will have to do is remember to mute the tracks through the options menu.

Newsweek has contacted Twitter user @OvilleMay for a comment on her tweet but has received no response at the time of publishing.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Team Posing
Like the movies, this new "Guardians of the Galaxy" game will be accompanied by an 80s rock soundtrack, but willl this prevent Twitch streamers from being able to broadcast their playthroughs? Square Enix