The heavy metal band Metallica have been mocked online after the streaming platform Twitch chose to censor their gig with a computer-generated tune.

The move was over concerns about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a US law which concerns the use of copyrighted material, such as music, online.

In a clip from the performance at the virtual event BlizzCon – a convention celebrating Blizzard Entertainment games such as Overwatch and World of Warcraft – the band members can be seen headbanging and playing instruments to a completely different rhythm and melody.

Sharing the video to Twitter, Rod Breslau, an e-sports consultant, said: “The current state of Twitch: the official Twitch Gaming channel cut off the live Metallica concert to play 8bit folk music to avoid DMCA.

“Even better is watching hundreds of Twitch streamers costreaming BlizzCon frantically hit their mute button to a million viewers so they don’t get banned for playing two seconds of St Anger. Really great DCMA system we have going here for everyone involved.”

It’s understood that the performance was streamed uncensored on other platforms, including Blizzard’s YouTube and website.

“[On] 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,” tweeted writer Ricky Hayberg.

Viewers were quick to point out the not-so-subtle transition, with several people commenting on the lack of detail or talent in the replacement audio:

Others mentioned the band’s legal battle against the streaming service Napster in 2000, with one user describing Twitch’s censorship as “karma”:

Metallica has yet to comment on the incident.

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