Twitch's recently launched Soundtrack feature is facing criticism over its alleged failure to obtain music licenses and for letting unlicensed soundtracks become accessible to streamers. This is according to a letter signed by multiple music organizations, addressed to Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, which owns Twitch.
Variety reported today that the streaming platform drew flak for its lack of licensing agreement with many music rights-holders. The signatories, which include the RIAA, Recording Academy, National Music Publishers Association, Music Managers Forum, American Association of Independent Music, SAG-AFTRA and more, lament that the service has not secured mechanical or synch licenses for Soundtrack. That feature was introduced in September to allow streamers to play licensed music during their stream without running into copyrights issues.
The music groups also accused Twitch of ignoring "thousands of notices of music infringement" and failing to confirm receipt of these notices. In its letter, the organizations said they were frustrated "that Twitch continues to allow and enable its streamers to use our respective members’ music without authorization". The letter slammed the platform for continuing to host unlicensed music on its platform even after announcing in June that it would remove those contents.
In response, Twitch said it "responds to each valid DMCA notification it receives by removing the allegedly infringing content expeditiously in compliance with DMCA requirements." Currently, Soundtrack has licenses from SoundCloud, Chillhop, DistroKid, and Monstercat, among other labels. However, it doesn’t have licenses for any major label soundtracks including those from Merlin.