Twitch and NMPA are getting closer to signing a deal

Twitch gets closer and closer to signing a deal with the music industry after the platform has dealt with many copyright issues over the past year.

View of Twitchs Creator Dashboard. This feature allows creators to view copyright claims on their streams.

Matthew

View of Twitch’s Creator Dashboard. This feature allows creators to view copyright claims on their streams.

Matthew Statler

After the live streaming platform gained popularity during the pandemic, Twitch is now working with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) to create a music licensing agreement. Many creators play music as a background to their content, and when the platform gained mainstream attention, it also caught the eyes of the music industry. This caused a wave of creators to have videos and clips removed from their accounts as the site took down any content that was copyrighted. 

As record labels began to care more about the use of their music in livestreams, they began to work a deal with twitch, while using soft fixes as a way to temporarily push back the problem as the companies made an agreement. The site can mute sections of the stream recordings to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. Twitch has made deals with organizations such as ASCAP, but they haven’t made any deals with bigger companies such as Warner Music Group or Sony Music Entertainment or any of their publishing companies. 

Organizations such as the NMPA have worked to make a deal with Twitch, viewing the site’s use of DMCA laws as a way to avoid paying for copyrighted works, as other websites and apps such as Youtube and Tiktok have already made similar deals. The websites VP and Head Of Music Tracy Chan has said that Twitch doesn’t tolerate copyright infringement, with the site implementing a feature called Soundtrack, which has copyright free songs by creators such as Monstercat. This feature is meant to allow creators quick access to music that is free to use, but many creators do not use the feature, opting to either make deals of their own, or find ways to not have their music be saved when the stream gets uploaded as a vod. 

Companies trying to make deals with Twitch have expressed their disapproval of the site, as they see it as trying to delay making a deal as a way to avoid paying the copyright holders.  Many creators have complained about Twitch’s current DMCA copyright system, claiming it is inconsistent as they see their videos get taken down because of 1 minute of a song playing as other videos go untouched despite having hours of music being played in the background. Other users have found ways to get around the takedowns, with creators such as Jerma985 using a personal soundboard to overlay their own audio effects in real time on their streams, blocking the music from being detected while still being entertaining to fans watching the stream. 

Many await the new deal, wondering how it will change the current systems and how it will affect the creators who use the platform. While there are rumors that a deal may be signed within the next week, none of the parties involved have set an official date for the agreement to be signed. For now, the only thing to do is wait and watch as events unfold behind the closed doors of music labels and copyright laws.