Twitch has had a long and tumultuous history with the music industry, causing frustration for both streamers and publishers alike. Publishers are concerned with the streaming platform allowing streamers to stream their music without proper licensing, resulting in many content creators receiving Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) strikes and having their content taken down.
Similarly, some content creators feel that they have been wrongfully DMCA struck for music they feel they should have been allowed to use. Some DMCA strikes have been particularly bizarre, such as when Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li had his account suspended for performing his own music on stream last year.
Twitch and the NMPA make music together
Things appear to be looking up for publishers and creators alike though. Twitch has now made a vague announcement that it and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) have agreed to work together in future. The pair have promised to “build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers,” according to The Verge.
Again, things are still a little vague here, but one big item is that Twitch is implementing a new reporting process for publishers to utilise when pointing out unlicensed music being used by a streamer. The aim of this system is to better deal with streamers accidentally using music they shouldn’t be in their streams, so that they aren’t penalised as severely as those who may be knowingly using unlicensed tracks. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t an amendment to the standard DMCA strike process, rather, it’s an additional one. So the DMCApocalypse might not be over yet.
Additionally, the agreement points towards collaboration events in future, such as “virtual shows” and “studio sessions”. The former sounds similar to Spotify’s own virtual events. That said, Twitch hasn’t mentioned anything about purchasing more licenses so that its content creators are less likely to be unwittingly DMCA struck. How much this new agreement really impacts them in any meaningful way remains to be seen.