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ARA Challenges Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitch Song Royalties

Music streaming on Twitch is booming — and now a bunch of artists is difficult proprietor Amazon to pay its fair proportion.

In a letter Monday addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the nonprofit Artist Rights Alliance cited Bezos’ testimony throughout a Home Antitrust Subcommittee listening to on July 29. The chief exec, who’s the wealthiest individual on this planet, was requested by Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) whether or not Twitch allowed customers to stream unlicensed music. Bezos claimed he didn’t know the reply and would examine.

“We have been appalled… by your incapability or unwillingness to reply even essentially the most fundamental query about Twitch’s practices on this regard,” the ARA letter says. “As Twitch makes use of music to develop its viewers and form its model, the corporate owes creators greater than the willful blindness and obscure platitudes you supplied throughout your congressional testimony.”

The letter was signed by ARA board members Rosanne Money, music supervisor Thomas Manzi, John McCrea of the band Cake, singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, producer Ivan Barias, guitarist Matthew Montfort, and indie label govt and musician Maggie Vail.

“We respect that Amazon provides a variety of correctly licensed streaming providers,” the ARA letter says. “Amazon’s Twitch subsidiary, nonetheless, shouldn’t be a kind of providers.”

Reps for Amazon and Twitch didn’t instantly reply to Selection‘s request for remark.

Not solely is Twitch allegedly not licensing music, the ARA says, the game-centric platform from all appearances additionally has proven “unwillingness to do something past essentially the most minimal and insufficient effort to course of takedown requests” below the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The COVID-19 disaster has boosted streaming on Twitch, which delivered some 5 billion hours of livestreamed content material within the second quarter of 2020, up 83% 12 months over 12 months, per a report by Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet. The service is anticipated to prime 40 million U.S. customers by 2021, in accordance with eMarketer forecasts.

“For working songwriters and performers, honest royalties on a rising platform like Twitch can actually be a matter of life and dying – the distinction between having a spot to stay and homelessness and gaining access to well being care or being uninsured,” the ARA says within the letter to Bezos. “For different it’s the distinction between having the ability to work as an artist or having to surrender a lifetime of desires.”

The ARA letter asks Bezos to elucidate what Amazon and Twitch are doing to implement a program below which they may pay royalties to songwriters and musicians.

“Jeff Bezos couldn’t reply to Congress if Amazon’s Twitch live-streaming service permitted its customers to put up unlicensed music,” ARA board member Tift Merritt stated in an announcement. “The music artists create shouldn’t be solely sacred in spirit and deserving respect — it additionally deserves honest pay irrespective of the place and the way it’s used.”

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