Twitch in copyright fight over illegally streamed songs
‘Twitch said it would start automatically scanning clips of live streams for copyrighted music’
JEFF BEZOS has been accused of “wilful blindness” by music rights holders over the use of unlicensed songs on Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch.
The Artists Rights Alliance (ARA), a non-profit organisation run by musicians, has singled out the Amazon billionaire for failing to take action on the streaming platform.
In a letter to Mr Bezos, ARA’s board members urged the Amazon founder to provide a public answer on what he is doing to stop unlicensed music from being played on the site and “ensure that artists and songwriters are paid fair market value”.
Twitch, a site where users livestream themselves playing video games, has exploded in popularity in recent years as young people flock to watch famous gamers play hit titles such as Fortnite. It has 15 million active users each day, many of whom listen to or play music in the background of livestreams.
In June, rights holders began issuing thousands of “takedown notices” against copyrighted audio on Twitch covering songs including Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings.
In response, Twitch said it would start automatically scanning clips of live streams for copyrighted music.
“As Twitch uses music to grow its audience and shape its brand, the company owes creators more than the wilful blindness and vague platitudes you offered,” the letter said.
It comes after Mr Bezos faced a grilling in front of the US Congress last month. During the hearing, congressman Kelly Armstrong asked Mr Bezos if Twitch should consider “proactive licensing” of music instead of “retroactively” adhering to takedown notices.
The Amazon boss said he doesn’t know if Twitch pays royalties for streaming.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
Ariana Grande on stage during her ‘Sweetener World Tour’ at The O2 Arena in London