What just happened? Rambler Group might be a name you’re unfamiliar with, but it’s the third-largest internet company in Russia. It’s also suing Twitch for $2.82 billion over the platform’s illegal streaming of English Premier League soccer matches.
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