Jeff Bezos under fire over use of music by Ariana Grande on Twitch

Linda J. Dodson

Jeff Bezos has been accused of “wilful blindness” by music rights holders over the use of unlicensed songs on Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch.

The Artists Rights Alliance (ARA), a non-profit organisation run by musicians and songwriters, has singled out the Amazon boss in a copyright infringement battle having issued 2,500 claims against the improper use of music on Twitch since June. 

Twitch, bought by Amazon for $970m in 2014, has soared in popularity since the start of lockdown, serving primarily as a site for gamers streaming gameplay to followers, often with unlicensed music playing in the background of a live-stream. It has more than 15m daily active users and has fast become a more broader service for entertainment. 

In a draft letter seen by the Telegraph, due to be published on Monday, the ARA accused Mr Bezos of an “unwillingness” to process takedown requests and of shifting responsibility of “systematic” unpaid use of music on the platform to its users. 

“We have closely followed the rising controversy surrounding Twitch’s hosting and delivery of unlicensed music,” the letter said. “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.” 

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