Despite attempts from YouTube and Mixer, Twitch is still a leader when it comes to streaming services. But even a leader has to deal with problems that appear once in a while. Such as, for example, a lawsuit for $3 billion dollars.
Rambler Group, the third largest Internet company in Russia, has decided to sue Twitch for broadcasting the English Premier League matches on their platform. That’s right, as a reason for their lawsuit the Russian company chose a few football games. The Russians say that between August and November there were more than 36,000 violations on the platform related to the illegal broadcasts of meetings of the English football league, which were to be conducted on the site belonging to Amazon. Therefore, Rambler not only demands compensation but also wants to completely prohibit the use of Twitch in Russia.
As you can guess, the website’s authorities consider the allegations to be unfounded. And it is hardly surprising, the more that the regulations published on the site contain information about the prohibition of transmission of materials without the prior consent of the copyright holder. At the same time, lawyer Julianna Tabastaeva, representing Twitch’s interests, admitted to Kommersant.ru that the company provides users with access to the platform, but is not able to track all possible violations.
And while the Russian company, which holds the rights to broadcast Premier league in Russia, is suing for the breach of their exclusive streaming rights you don’t have to look too deep to see the real reason for the lawsuit. If successful, the removal of Twitch from Russia’s internet would open doors for local media companies to swoop in and collect on the massive gamers market in the CIS country.
The first hearing is scheduled for December 20, during which a Moscow court will hear the case. Until then, both sides will strive to reach an agreement that avoids the process and ends the dispute efficiently.