Russian media company, Rambler Group, has issued a lawsuit against Twitch for violating exclusive distribution rights. Rambler Group is seeking over $2.8 billion in damages.
Rambler Group purchased exclusive digital distribution rights of the English Premier League in 2019 for €7 million (~7.8m USD) which means if you were a fan in Russia, and wanted to watch the games, you would need to go to this Rambler streaming platform.
According to Rambler Group, there were streamers in Russia broadcasting the English Premier League games with a combined ~30k viewers – which as you can guess, violates their exclusive right to distribute. These channels that were caught sharing the content were pertinently banned by Twitch.
A lot of blowing things out of proportion here. First of all, Rambler initially wanted Twitch banned from all of Russia after this. And then tacked on wanting ~$2.84 billion in damages. This is a lot of coin, even for an Amazon owned company. Sharing content that you can’t share has been happening forever, and regardless of how strict your guidelines are, someone will find a way to break the rules. I downloaded movies off of LimeWire, and bought DVD’s from hustlers in the barbershop majority of my life. It’s the way of the road.
In reality, you can’t control what people do on your platform. You can only control to how to react to it and in what time frame. And in this case, Twitch banned them permanently. What else could they have done? It wasn’t like they were telling these streamers to broadcast the Premier League games. What good would that have done for them? If I had to guess, they’ll be a few bucks but not the $2.8 billion. That’s an absurd amount to ask for.