Twitch, Amazon Slammed by RIAA and Major Industry Groups for Using Unlicensed Music; Twitch Disputes Claim

Twitch, the rapidly growing livestreaming platform, and its owner Amazon received a blistering letter on Thursday signed by multiple major U.S. music organizations including the RIAA, the Recording Academy, the National Music Publishers Association, the Music Managers Forum, the American Association of Independent Music, SAG-AFTRA and more than a dozen others over its licensing situation with many major music rights-holders. The letter is addressed to Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, with Twitch CEO Emmet Shear on copy (a full list of signatories appears below).

The letter, obtained by Variety, accuses the service of failing to secure proper synch and mechanical licenses for its recently launched Soundtrack tool, as well as “allowing and enabling its streamers to use our respective members’ music without authorization, in violation of Twitch’s music guidelines,” among other claims. The platform was primarily used for gaming until the COVID-19 pandemic, when its music livestreams began to surge.

“Twitch appears to do nothing in response to the thousands of notices of music infringement that it has received nor does it currently even acknowledge that it received them, as it has done in the past,” the letter continues. Twitch denied some of the claims in a statement posted below.

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