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Facebook Gaming's partnered streamers can now play licensed music

Facebook has struck a deal with multiple labels, giving it a major edge over Twitch.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
September 15, 2020
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Facebook Gaming has secured partnerships with multiple music labels including Universal, Warner, Sony, BMG, Kobalt and Merlin. That means streamers can play a “vast amount” of tunes without worrying about copyright takedown notices. For now, the feature is limited to streamers with partner status, though Facebook says it’s working on similar access for Level Up creators. Music should also be secondary to the streamer’s voice and the game’s built-in sound effects. “Playing DJ without gaming is a no-no,” Facebook explained in a blog post. The deals cover short clips and archived streams, but stop short of longer, carefully-edited videos.

It’s not clear exactly how many tracks are restricted. “Rights for music are complex; they vary based on territory and are subject to change,” Facebook said in a blog post. “The specifics of our licensing agreements are also confidential, so we’re unable to disclose which songs are not covered.” Still, it’s a massive leap forward for the platform. Twitch doesn’t have the same deals and was bombarded with takedown notices issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last June. Users were understandably confused and upset. The company has since announced that it will be shutting down its Twitch Sings game on January 1st, 2021.

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