Twitch's battle with the music industry is heating up as some of the industry's biggest organizations representing copyright holders have penned a frustrated letter to the company.
Twitch streamers have come under increased scrutiny this year due to the use of unlicensed music on the platform. A large increase in DMCA takedowns in July ultimately forced Twitch to react drastically, deleting infringing clips and encouraging streamers to do the same or otherwise risk a ban on their account. Shortly thereafter, Jeff Bezos—founder of Twitch's parent company, Amazon—was questioned by Congress as to whether Twitch should license music, to which he replied, "I don't know."
Twitch ultimately introduced a solution for the issue called "Soundtrack by Twitch," which aims to create a pre-cleared library of music for creators to use. However, representative organizations of copyright holders including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers Association, and the Recording Academy, among others, believe the tool is insufficient.
The jointly signed letter states that the aforementioned organizations are "confounded by Twitch’s apparent stance that neither synch nor mechanical licenses are necessary for its Soundtrack tool." In other words, they deem the public performance licenses Twitch is paying for to be insufficient. Furthermore, they assert that Twitch has not acted on DCMA takedown notices and do not acknowledge they've been received.
Twitch responded in a statement provided to Variety, standing by their approach and calling their solution a fully licensed product. The platform also rejected the notion that they have acted out of compliance with DCMA requirements.
At the time of this article's publishing, Twitch has not secured any major label licensing partners for "Soundtrack by Twitch."
Source: Digital Music News