Soundexchange, BMI, and ASCAP
Dear Twitch Overlords and Emperors (and maybe Mr. Bezos himself),
My name is Rob and I hail from a band called Psychostick, and we've been active professionally since about 2005. We've gone through the gamut of the music business in our own way and have learned quite a bit about the inner workings of the industry.
The DCMA thing is something us artists respect and appreciate, however since this takedown drama started happening, I believe there's a simple (but probably not easy) solution to this problem that terrestrial radio stations have been abiding by since music became an "industry."
Bars, venues, and radio stations all have to pay royalties to labels/artists for playing copyrighted recordings. These payments typically go to BMI or ASCAP, both of which exist to make sure that artists and labels are being fairly compensated for the use of their music.
Furthermore, other internet-based royalty collection services have crept up, such as SoundExchange.
My suggestion is that Twitch as a whole look into royalty collection services for streamers.
My other suggestion for this would be to charge streamers what a "spin" of a song would be. For example, if a streamer were to play a Michael Jackson song, the song-sniffing algorithms would pick up on this, report it to Twitch and whichever royalty collection service they would partner up with, and then charge the streamer PER SPIN of each song.
If playing a recording of a Michael Jackson song costs the streamer something like five cents, charge the streamer five cents and pay the royalty collection service accordingly.
I can say, with complete confidence, that the vast majority of streamers would gladly pay royalties to spin these songs on their stream. It's a win/win - the labels and artists are compensated, and the streamer gets to play ANY MUSIC THEY WANT without worrying about DCMA takedowns.
Please consider a solution like this. I'm sure you might have already.
- Rob and Psychostick
Just to be clear, ASCAP and BMI do not pay recording artist or record labels. They only remunerate the songwriters and/or their designated agents (i.e. publishers).
SoundExchange is the PRO for recording artists and record labels in the U.S. But unlike ASCAP and BMI which operate as a copyright collective, SoundExchange is the sole designated agent for royalty distribution of sound recordings pursuant to the statutory license, the rates and terms of which are determined by the Copyright Royalty Board.
What we really need is an alternative licensing model that is viable for small-scale online broadcasters for which the statutory license, administered by SoundExchange, is well beyond their financial means. For this to happen, I think we need to form a coalition and approach Congress.
First off, I ****** love psychostick. You folks rule.
My understanding is that a royalty license like what a bar or radio dj uses doesn't work because with twitch the audio is being paired with video, requiring a much more expensive sync license for a live performance. And then the vod needs an additional license, even though no one ******* watches vods anyway.