Aug 30, 2018

YouTube gets twitchy over Twitch

It is a fair assumption that anybody reading this will have heard of YouTube. Twitch.tv, however, is much less well-known. It began as a niche e-sports streaming platform reserved for professional gamers to stream their games and thoughts about them to their fans.

Twitch has since exploded in popularity. It is no longer confined just to professional e-sports (though that does make up a significant proportion of its content) but allows casual gamers to stream also. With the explosion in popularity of gaming in to the mainstream conscience with games like Fortnite and Fifa, Twitch has thrived. It is also now a platform for non-gamers to vlog in the same way as YouTube personalities. It is now owned by Amazon.

Recently YouTube hosted an amateur boxing match between Logan Paul (of filming in the Japanese 'Death Forest' fame) and KSI (the British YouTube sensation famous of comedy, rapping, and acting). It was broadcast under YouTube's relatively new Pay Per View service costing $10.

It has been alleged, however, that around 1,000,000 people watched the fight on pirated streams rebroadcast on the Twitch platform. That accusation was met with a bland and generic "we do not tolerate copyright violations" type response from Twitch. The response drew criticism from many YouTube stars who themselves had had videos removed from YouTube for infringing footage of the fight.

One of the most popular types of YouTube video is the 'reaction video', where the host shows their reaction to some other well-known event. In the case of the fight many hosts showed short clips of the fight itself, which violated YouTube's terms of service. Reaction videos on Twitch, however, seem mostly to still be available.

While a YouTube v Twitch fight may be in the offing, it will almost certainly be on the undercard to the main event: a fight that has already started between their parent companies: Google and Amazon respectively.

We will wait to see if proceedings follow the complaint, and whether the two tech-giants will be getting in to the ring together once again.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: in: Copyright, Digital/Tech, EU/International

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