VIOLATing EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS
Throughout the year, the streaming platform popular among the gaming community of Twitch, has had its ups and downs – an increase in viewership tied to many invitational events alongside the fact that some mainstream content creators such as Ninja and shroud made the switch to Mixer. Unfortunately, I’m the bearer of further bad news as it’s been revealed that the platform has just been allegedly sued, through a lawsuit, for $2.8 billion in damages due to the violation of rights pertaining to exclusive distribution.
So what’s the lawsuit targeting specifically? This all revolves around the international streaming of the English Premier League (football/soccer) – the Russian streams officially purchased by Rambler Group for a total of €7 million at the beginning of this year for a total of three seasons of content, meaning that Russian enthusiasts would need to use the streaming platform to view the matches in Russian. That’s where Twitch comes in, as certain streamers broadcasted the Premier League matches in Russian on the platform – as you can imagine, Rambler Group weren’t too thrilled with this violation of exclusivity rights. Though, one begs to question, how bad could this be? Screenshots have recorded over 36,000 viewers using Twitch to bypass the service, certainly enough to build a lawsuit upon.
Indeed, an exact amount of $2.84 billion is being proposed for the lawsuit, following Rambler’s attempt to ban Twitch from Russia completely. Although Twitch may have permanently banned the incriminating personalities involved, compensation is being demanded as evident through the ongoing court cases. Complications do arise due to no copyright acts being in effect throughout Russia.
How will this effect the gaming community? Personally, after potentially losing such an amount of money, one may easily expect stricter copyright regulations from Twitch in order to avoid repeating the situation.