In the latest omnibus spending bill making its way through Congress, a provision has been added that would effectively render the streaming of copyrighted music without permission a felony offense.

The provision has been added to the bill by Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina. If passed, the provision would likely land streaming platforms—including Twitch—in more hot water, as the video giant has continued to butt heads with major labels and copyright representatives for much of 2020. This fall, Twitch introduced what they claimed was a fully licensed product called "Soundtrack by Twitch," which purportedly allowed streamers to play music without fear of being issued a DMCA takedown. However, the Recording Academy and the RIAA, among other organizations, rebutted and suggested that the licensing behind the product was not sufficient. 

Senator Tillis' provision, if passed, means creators charged with this crime could face jail time. Tillis is the chairman of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee, and according to The American Prospect, his recent re-election campaign was funded by major copyright stakeholders, including major labels. Also included in the bill is the controversial CASE Act, which would create a small claims court within the US Copyright Office to handle copyright disputes. Critics say the bill would give major companies the wherewithal to seek damages from ordinary Internet users.

Mike Lemon, Senior Director of the Internet Association, condemned the idea of including such aggressive provisions in a must-pass spending bill. The association represents a number of big tech players, including Twitch's parent company, Amazon. "Copyright and trademark reform are important policy issues that warrant fulsome, measured debate," Lemon stated. "Jamming such significant measures into a government funding bill is bad policymaking."

Recommended Articles

Ultra Music Festival 2019 - Carl Cox RESISTANCE Megastructure

Three in Four Black Music Professionals Have Experienced Racism, Study Finds

The wide-reaching research quantifies inequality on both the creative and business sides of the music industry in the U.K.


Rock Reigns Supreme In Dabin's Dynamic Third Album, "Between Broken": Listen

"'Between Broken' feels like a return to the sounds that inspired me to make music in the first place."

Source: Kotaku



The Music Industry Comes After Twitch's Music Copyright Solution, "Soundtrack by Twitch"

The RIAA, National Music Publishers Association, the Recording Academy, and more are not satisfied with Twitch's efforts to avoid copyright infringement claims.


Twitch to Creators: "Don't Play Recorded Music In Your Stream"

The company is also encouraging creators to review and delete any of their footage that contains unlicensed audio.


Twitch Issues Apology for Ongoing Music Licensing Issues: "We'll Do Better"

The streaming platform says negotiations with major labels over music copyright and usage are still underway.


Controversial Twitch Leak Highlights Gap In Compensation Between Streamers and Musicians

Twitch is shelling out the big bucks for their top streaming personalities, but only a small fraction of the pie is reaching the platform's top musicians.


Twitch Nearing Licensing Deal With RIAA and NMPA After Prolonged Conflict

Sources say that Twitch's woes over their lack of proper music licensing may soon be over.


Twitch Streamers Can Dodge DMCA Takedowns with This Free Music Extension

Soundstripe allows users to play music from its library during their Twitch streams without the burden of copyright issues.


Streamers Still Upset With Twitch After Landmark NMPA Deal

While the agreement deescalates some of the tension between the streaming platform and the music industry, streamers still feel there's a long way to go.


Nintendo Warns Against Co-Streaming E3 Showcase

The esteemed video game company has issued a warning against co-streaming due to music copyright concerns.