Twitch has struck a deal with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), but it still wouldn't give streamers access to songs they can legally use. In fact, as Billboard points out, it's not a licensing deal at all. According to the publication, the Amazon-owned livestreaming service made a financial settlement for past usage of licensed music on the platform. Twitch has also told creators in an email that it's putting together a new process that publishers and right holders can use to report content.
The new process is different from a DMCA and will start with a warning instead of a penalty. When a rights holder reports a stream, Twitch will issue a warning and remove the clips containing unauthorized music. In case of a flagrant violation — say, the rebroadcasting of concerts and the leak of unreleased tracks — then Twitch may issue a penalty outright, depending on the user's history.
In its email, Twitch says the new process is more forgiving of users who may have inadvertently caught music they have no authority to use in their streams. Mike Futter of Virtual Economy Podcast notes, though, that the new process just makes it easier for music publishers to flag users and that it doesn't make things better for creators. Streamers can't dispute a report if they're flagged for violation, since Twitch will just remove their videos. Even users who've previously secured the rights to use a piece of music can get their content deleted if they're falsely flagged.
Full text of the Twitch email (with alt text): pic.twitter.com/S0xD9TDK1X— Mike Futter (@Futterish) September 21, 2021
Billboard says, however, that Twitch and the NMPA also agreed on a time window to hash out how music will be handled on the platform going forward. Twitch is reportedly offering NMPA members an opt-in deal allowing future collaborations. As for the new reporting process, the platform told creators that it has more information to share in the coming weeks.