Are Twitch Emotes Copyrighted?

Emotes are very important to any Twitch user, as they help you to interact with your subscribers and build a small community. However, a lot is not known about emotes, with many people unable to navigate the legal grounds involving emotes. A lot has been asked regarding the ownership of these emotes, with the main question surrounding the copyright issue. 

Twitch emotes are subject to copyright unless the creator states otherwise. Using such emotes without their permission could lead to your Twitch account being deactivated. However, you can make your own custom Twitch emotes, which gives you full commercial usage rights. 

That’s not all, as you still need to know whether you can use other people’s emotes, if you can use copyrighted characters and whether Twitch emotes need to be approved, which you will learn if you read on. 

Does Twitch Emotes have Copyright?

Copyright exists to protect properties from copying or illegal use by other people who didn’t participate in creating them. As bizarre as it might sound, emojis are also subject to copyright, and this includes emotes. 

Twitch streamers use emotes to interact with their subscribers, and each emote conveys a unique message. Also, Twitch allows content creators to design, upload, and submit their emotes after they’ve reached a certain number of subscribers. These emotes are copyrighted to protect them from being used by other content creators. 

According to Twitch, anyone caught using protected emotes will result in takedown and sometimes legal action. This shows how serious using other people’s emotes can be, as you risk losing your Twitch account and all the work you put into your content. 

Can you use Other People’s Emotes on Twitch?

You can use someone else’s emotes on your Twitch account if they permit it, or they’re offering them for free use. However, you should check the extent of their permission to avoid any copyright claim. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with the owner and inform them of your intentions. 

 Additionally, you can get free emotes after installing the BetterTTV extension on a browser of your choosing. Doing so will award you with 15 emotes you can use as you see fit. Add this to the 30 ‘global’ emotes you’re allowed to use, and you have 45 emotes, which are more than enough for a beginner. 

Can you use Copyrighted Characters on Twitch?

It’s prohibited to use copyrighted characters on Twitch as this goes against the stream’s policies unless you have express permission from the owner to use it. Failure to do this, you’ll be exposed to a DMCA takedown or even the termination of your Twitch account. 

Many people get into copyright trouble after using protected emotes without knowing. It’s always best to assume that any work created by another person is copyrighted even if they don’t express this. Make sure you contact them regarding the use of their emotes if you’re in doubt to avoid any legal actions. 

Does Twitch Emotes Need to be Approved?

Every Twitch emote you submit has to undergo manual approval, and the waiting period is between eight and 24 hours, regardless of the day. However, the approval period can be lower, with many people having theirs approved within two hours of submitting. 

Make sure you adhere to the rules and policies when creating emotes to speed up the approval time and avoid unnecessary rejections. Many people fall into these traps, making it hard for them to get the emotes they worked on approved. 

How Do I Make My Own Twitch Emotes?

Besides a little experience and a creative side, you can use Twitch Emote Templates. These templates are becoming more and more popular because anyone can use them without graphic design experience, and the emotes are fully commercially usable.

The most popular Twitch Emote Template website is called Placeit. They have the largest selection of templates, and they continually add new ones. All the emotes you create on this site will be 100% commercially usable.


Twitch emotes are perfect for encouraging engagement and communication with your subscribers. Each emote sends a different meaning, and only people who are familiar with them can understand what they mean. However, emotes can also be copyrighted, and any use of such characters could trigger legal action or even a DMCA takedown. You can use someone else’s emote, provided they authorize this, and it’s always best to get in touch with them first.