Russia's 3rd-largest internet company is suing Twitch for $3 billion, wants it banned...

midian182

Posts: 5,889   +48
Staff member

According to Russian website Kommersant, Rambler Group is planning to sue the Amazon-owned streaming site for 180 billion roubles ($2.82 billion) in a Russian court. It claims that Twitch breached its exclusive broadcast rights to Premier League games more than 36,000 times between August and November. The company also seeks a permanent ban on Twitch in Russia.

Not surprisingly, Twitch says it isn’t responsible for what users stream on the site. Company lawyer Julianna Tabastaeva said: “[Twitch] only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations.” She added that the company took "all necessary measures to eliminate the violations, despite not receiving any official notification from Rambler."

As the BBC notes, Twitch’s terms and conditions prohibit users from sharing copyrighted content without the permission of the owners. This includes movies, television shows, and sports matches.

The Moscow District Court will hear the case on December 20. It has already ordered a temporary suspension of English Premier League games on Twitch, pending the outcome.

"Our suit against Twitch is to defend our exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League matches and we will continue to actively combat pirate broadcasts," said Mikhail Gershkovich, head of Rambler Group’s sports project. He added that the company is “currently holding talks with Twitch to sign a settlement agreement.”

Back in 2017, video-hosting platform DailyMotion was permanently blocked in Russia after repeated allegations of copyright infringement from Gazprom Media

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Zorak

Posts: 43   +13
Russia is trying to weed out any interest in anything that's not their "native internet" (intranet?). In a couple of years the connection to the rest of the world will be a privilege to certified companies and the government, meanwhile the regular Sasha will be stuck in a controlled propaganda environment.

Trying to piss off and demotivate companies like Twitch is just another part of this puzzle.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 225   +90
It's quite hysterical that Neo Soviet Russia is trying to ban(-ing) company(-ies) for violating copyright. Like appointing Joseph Stalin UN Commissioner for Human Right Violations.

Everybody knows that dictatorships like Russia, China or North Korea are basically running 100% bootlegged software, music, movies, you name it. If not for the poor folks who have to live there and deal with these criminals - internet is their only window to the wider world - banning Russia and China from the Internet would be prudent course of action.
 

Unusual Kmc

Posts: 85   +104
Russia is trying to weed out any interest in anything that's not their "native internet" (intranet?). In a couple of years the connection to the rest of the world will be a privilege to certified companies and the government, meanwhile the regular Sasha will be stuck in a controlled propaganda environment.

Trying to piss off and demotivate companies like Twitch is just another part of this puzzle.
You did read the article didn't you? It's not the government that filed the lawsuit, it's a company
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,200   +737
"Twitch says it isn’t responsible for what users stream on the site"

That seems a bit lame. There have been loads of attacks by copyright holders on sites streaming movies and TV shows, to the point where it's getting hard to find streaming sites (I miss you Terrarium!). Why is Twitch exempt from breaching copyright over what is being streamed?

I don't know much about Twitch but I presume it has the credit card details of its users and can hit them with a massive fine for breaking the rules and streaming a TV screen showing a football game. Perhaps the fine can be scaled based on the number of viewers who watched the stream.

A fun point this article doesn't mention:

Rambler bought exclusive digital distribution rights for the English Premier League in 2019, for three seasons.
Amazon holds the exclusive rights to a number of Premier League matches in the UK over the next three years.

And of course, Twitch is owned by Amazon. So I doubt Amazon will be suing Twitch. But it would be in their interests to do something about it.
 

XtremeHammond

Posts: 128   +79
You did read the article didn't you? It's not the government that filed the lawsuit, it's a company
Yeah, with blocking stake owned by a semi-government bank Sberbank. It's very inadequate behavior even for a pro-government company like Rambler. Maybe it's a PR move or viral-marketing technique.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 201   +104
Doesn't Twitch already have a system in place for detecting audio that might violate copyright so they can block it? It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that it could be adapted for this situation if they had actually cared.