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.

Artemis Statler

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

Artemis Statler, Commentary Editor

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 deals with performing rights organizations including ASCAP and BMI, but it does not have music licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group or any of their respective publishing companies.” according to Billboard. 

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. “Twitch has the audacity to imply licensing music for its platform is a novel or difficult exercise. Twitch – and its parent company – cannot seriously argue that their profit margins do not leave room to fairly compensate creators and songwriters for the use of their music” said NMPA President David Israelite. Twitch’s Parent Company, Amazon, is one of the largest american companies, and NMPA’s criticism of their lack of accountability for Twitch creators unlawful use of music while streaming is very reasonable. 

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.