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Amazon, Twitch Under Fire from RIAA, Major Industry Groups for Using Unlicensed Music

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Amazon’s streaming platform Twitch is under intense backlash from RIAA, the Recording Academy, and other major industry groups for using unlicensed music, according to Variety.

Per the report, along with the aforementioned, the National Music Publishers Association, the Music Managers Forum, the American Association of Independent Music, SAG-AFTRA and more than a dozen others collaborated on a letter sent to Twitch and their owner Amazon slamming them for their lack of licensing deals with many major music rights-holders.

The letter was reportedly addressed to Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, with Twitch CEO Emmet Shear on copy, and was obtained by Variety.

According to the report, the letter accuses Twitch of failing to secure proper synch and mechanical licenses for its recently launched Soundtrack tool, as well as “allowing and enabling its streamers to use our respective members’ music without authorization, in violation of Twitch’s music guidelines,” in addition to a number of other claims.

“Twitch appears to do nothing in response to the thousands of notices of music infringement that it has received nor does it currently even acknowledge that it received them, as it has done in the past,” the letter states.

Per Variety:

“We represent artists, songwriters, musicians, vocalists, managers, producers, audio engineers, major and independent labels and publishers, and many other professionals in all genres of music in the United States,” the letter begins. “We read with interest Twitch’s recent announcement regarding its Soundtrack tool.  According to Twitch, this tool gives Twitch’s users the ability to feature a curated library of licensed music in their live streams.[1] We appreciate that Twitch has acknowledged that it is good business to offer licensed music for use by its streamers, and we welcome that Twitch has started to enter into some agreements with rightsholders to provide licensed music for use by its streamers.

“However, we are confounded by Twitch’s apparent stance that neither synch nor mechanical licenses are necessary for its Soundtrack tool.  We are also deeply disappointed that Twitch continues to allow and enable its streamers to use our respective members’ music without authorization, in violation of Twitch’s music guidelines.[2]  We are further concerned that Twitch continues to host and widely make available unlicensed music on its platform despite the company’s announcements, most recently in June 2020, that it would remove such unlicensed music.[3]  Twitch appears to do nothing in response to the thousands of notices of music infringement that it has received nor does it currently even acknowledge that it received them, as it has done in the past.”

“Further,” the letter continues, “we are concerned by your responses to questions regarding licensing made during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on July 29, 2020.  We note that you failed to confirm whether Twitch has acquired any licenses to make copies of musical compositions or digital performances of any sound recordings on your platform.  You also failed to state what action Twitch is taking to prevent unauthorized copies and performances.

“Twitch’s neglect of the fundamental rights of musicians, songwriters, sound recording artists, and many others whose music is exploited on Twitch without due compensation stands in stark contrast to Twitch’s competitors and to the support of such interests extended by Amazon’s own Amazon Music services.”

“As Twitch uses music to grow its audience and shape its brand, the company owes creators more than the willful blindness and vague platitudes you offered during your Congressional testimony.  For working songwriters and performers, fair royalties on a growing platform like Twitch can literally be a matter of life and death – the difference between having a place to live and homelessness and having access to health care or being uninsured.  For others it’s the difference between being able to work as an artist or having to give up a lifetime of dreams.”

The letter was signed by:

American Association of Independent Music
Americana Music Association
Artist Rights Alliance
Church Music Publishers’ Association
Christian Music Trade Association
Global Music Rights
Gospel Music Association
International Bluegrass Music Association
Living Legends Foundation
Music Managers’ Forum – US
Nashville Songwriters Association International
National Music Publishers’ Association
Recording Academy
Recording Industry Association of America
Rhythm & Blues Foundation
SAG-AFTRA
Songwriters of North America
SoundExchange

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Something Wicked Games Launches with New Game Announcement

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Something Wicked Games

A brand new studio has launched, formed by former Bethesda Game Studios and Obsidian Entertainment veterans called ‘Something Wicked Games’ and they have already announced their first game, Wyrdsong.

Wyrdsong is apparently an RPG what features a dark, historical fantasy world-like setting where each and every decision a player makes will come with consequences both within the world, and within others to be discovered.

“Our goal with Something Wicked Games is to utilize our independence and creative autonomy to create the next evolution of open world RPGs,” said co-founder Jeff Gardiner. “Our first project, Wyrdsong, has been my dream game for some time now, and I’m thrilled to finally share it today.”

There is currently no release date for the game.

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Gamactica Women Relaunches with New Vision

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Today, Gamactica announced the official relaunch of Gamactica Women, which was one of the first sections added to the social media platform, alongside the Stream Directory.

With a new vision, new direction, and new purpose, Gamactica Women is looking to do something positive and impactful across the gaming and streaming industries. And while it will be similar to other directories on Gamactica, it will also serve as something much more.

According to the official announcement posted on Wednesday morning (via Portals): “Today, I would like to introduce you to Eclipse, which is a section dedicated to creators who create content in mediums such as film, fan films, performances, stand up comedy, and more. With our powerful marketing structure, and our community of creators who create diverse content across a number of platforms, our mission is to create a space for fan film content creatorsindie film creators, and extended content creators that want to build visibility, improve networking, and build more connections within the content creation industry.

Much like our Content Creator Directory (aka the Stream Directory) we will be providing visitors direct access to content creators of this niche within the Gamactica platform, including previews of their work.

While we will be working with creators who make content in all genres, we will be really pushing the horror genre hard, due to our partnership with horror news website Fright Nerd, and the Fright Nerd Podcast which will be making it’s return soon. Through this partnership we will be able to expand on our benefits with exclusive interviews, trailer releases, and more via the Fright Nerd website.”

Gamactica Women is LIVE and accepting applications!

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Sifu Arriving in February 2022

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Sifu

Following a delay, Sloclap has finally announced a new release date for their hand-to-hand brawler action game’Sifu’.

The game is set to make it’s way to Playstation 4, PC, and Playstation 5 on February 8th.

The fighting game has a rather unique wrinkle, as every time you die in the game, you respawn a little bit older. You can check out a vide of the game below.

 

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