Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has found himself in hot water over unlicensed music used on Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch.
For the majority of people it’s quite clear that when it comes to the music industry, artists are continuously exploited by big business monopolies for the sake of internal profit – and due to the hold these corporations have on various music platforms, this is unfortunately an ever expanding issue.
In the latest news regarding musicians being exploited once again; billionaire Silicon Valley kingpin, the richest man in the world and everyone’s favourite cartoonishly evil supervillain – otherwise known as the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos – has found himself in hot water regarding the use of unlicensed music being used on Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch.
Twitch is a popular online streaming service, especially for gamers. Most recently, Twitch has become a platform for many musicians to turn to – live streaming or recording music for fans online.
The platform allows for viewers to become paying subscribers, give donations to their favourite streamers, and in this case for musicians to receive the relevant royalties for their music being used on the platform.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and the temporary but devastating loss of live music, musicians and their labels have had to tackle nuanced legal licensing policies and royalties regarding digital content and streaming – with Twitch (Amazon) being a major offender.
Non-profit organisation Artist Rights Alliance, who describe themselves as an “artist-run organization advocating for music creators for fair compensation in the digital realm” have put pressure on Bezos for his “wilful blindness” due to Twitch’s lack of action when it comes to the illegal use of unlicensed music, which is already a well known issue amongst creators.
Similarly, Amazon has been legally challenged by leading artists and music rights holders due to Twitch’s use of unlicensed music on the platform – whether it be in the background of gaming streams, or live music recordings.