The LCS entered a partnership with BMG Music, which features prominent artists such as Jason Aldean and Louis Tomlinson, that grants the LCS rights to a catalog of songs to use during LCS productions and broadcasts.
The BMG music partnership is the first of its kind
The partnership comes in the wake of another set of emails from streaming company Twitch to its users warning them about violations of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) last week. In the past, Twitch has been locked in talks with recording industry giants over DMCA violations by Twitch users, with Twitch having sent multiple emails over the past year, according to reporting by The Verge.
The partnership agreement entails Riot Games and the LCS to use a select catalog of songs in their promotional materials and events. The first song used was artist K. Flay’s single “TGIF”, which features Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello.
The partnership with BMG is the first-ever music partnership the LCS has entered, according to the press release announcing the deal, which includes a playlist of songs that may be used during production.
“I think there’s going to be a ton of opportunities here for us to be able to feature BMG artists in our broadcast, introduce special performances, and also custom content.”Matt Archambault, Head of Esports and Partnerships for NA & OCE
However, this doesn’t give Riot full access to the entire catalog. During the LCS Media Day on Tuesday, Archambault said that the partnership didn’t give them a “carte blanche” and that they’d look for music from artists whose vision aligned with the fans and community.
DMCA: the issue on everyone’s mind
When asked about DMCA concerns, Archambault initially spoke about protections for partners affiliated with their watch party program.
“We’ve ensured, in terms of rights and clearances, that any of our watch party partners, there aren’t going to be DMCA’s, our rights will extend through that,” Archambault said.
When asked if that meant smaller creators should proceed with caution regarding BMG music and property in their content, Archambault followed up immediately in the text chat reiterating his first statement.
“I haven’t committed the legal documentation to memory as of yet, but rights should carry through for anything in our broadcast or content that we produce via LCS,” Archambault wrote for follow-up.
Riot Games has been prolific compared to its industry partners in terms of music, releasing two in-universe music groups, heavy metal band Pentakill and the K-Pop group K/DA. Both groups are comprised of in-universe characters, such as Karthus and Ahri, and backed by artists who are famous in their fields, such as Jorn Lande for Pentakill and (G)I-DLE for K/DA.
Riot has also put its music up for creators to use. In a blog post ten months ago regarding creator-safe music content, the company wrote that any in-house creations were available to streamers and content creators, but that they couldn’t safely clear songs if outside parties were involved in composition. Riot also created a Creator-Safe Playlist on Spotify for creators to get ahold of, which includes Pentakill discography but not K/DA or True Damage compositions.