In great news for artists, labels and streamers, Twitch is apparently nearing a licensing deal with NMPA to pay artists for music on Twitch streams.
Twitch has long been criticised for its lack of an effective music licensing system to direct revenue to the artist when copyright protected music is used in streams. But now Twitch and the US National Music Publishers’ Association are close to securing a music licensing agreement that could solve that problem.
According to Billboard, the parties are yet to sign on it, but a deal may be announced as soon as next week. Currently, as there’s no system like YouTube Content ID on Twitch, music is pulled from the platform after rights holders issue takedown orders. Streamers have to contact artists and labels for permission, use copyright-free music, or simply not use music at all in their streams.
Under the safe habour deals of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, music can be uploaded provided it is removed at the rightsholder’s request. Twitch doesn’t have music licensing deals with any of the major labels, but does have deals with performing rights organisations like ASCAP and BMI.
NMPA have long argued that Twitch has the resources to pay artists fairly when their music is used in streams, considering it’s owned by the gigantic Amazon. Twitch has continually maintained that a solution is on the way. In place of a traditional licensing system Twitch introduced partnerships like Soundtrack, which gives users copyright-free music, and let artists track their stats through ForTunes.
Whilst Twitch has been stalling, the NMPA has been slapping DMCA takedown orders on unlicensed music on the platform, which has led to awkward instances like Metallica’s feed being switched out with a peaceful Zelda-esque soundtrack.
A deal would hopefully put an end the ongoing saga of music licensing on Twitch – and in favour of artists and for the streamers who use their music.
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