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Jeff Bezos Turning Blind Eye Towards Unlicensed Songs On Twitch, Music Labels, Artists Allege

Jeff Bezos Turning Blind Eye Towards Unlicensed Songs On Twitch, Music Labels, Artists Allege, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos is being criticized for not acting on unlicensed songs on subsidiary streaming platform Twitch, even as music rights holders issue “takedown notices,” the Financial Times reported Monday.

What Happened

The Artists Rights Alliance is stepping up the heat on Bezos and demanding the executive provide a “public answer —” going beyond the “minimal and adequate” efforts made by Twitch, as per a draft letter seen by the Financial Times.

“As Twitch uses music to grow its audience and shape its brand, the company owes creators more than the wilful blindness and vague platitudes you offered,” the draft letter said.

Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014 for $970 million and it has since then emerged as a broad platform with nearly four million creators streaming content. The platform has seen further growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why It Matters

Music rights holders have issued large amounts of takedown notices and made 2,500 claims surrounding improper use of licensed music on Twitch, the Financial Times noted.

Bezos was asked by Republican Congressman Kelly Armstrong at a house hearing last month whether Twitch allows users to stream music but does not license it. The chief executive replied, “I don’t know,” with a promise to check later.

Twitch reportedly relies upon a “safe harbor” provision in the United States law to limit liability over the content on its platform as long as it complies with takedown requests in a timely fashion, a strategy also followed by Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) video streaming website YouTube.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) last month concluded a deal with three large music companiesVivendi SA (OTC: VIVEF)-owned Universal Music Group, Sony Corporation’s (NYSE: SNE) Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group Corp (NASDAQ: WMG) — that would allow it to stream music, according to Bloomberg.  

Price Action 

Amazon shares closed nearly 1.8% lower at $3,167.46 on Friday.

Photo courtesy: Seattle City Council on Flickr


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