Rambler Group, Russia third-largest internet company specialising in search engines and web searching, filed a lawsuit against Twitch for the alleged illegal streaming of English Premier League Football. VGC was able to translate the original report from Kommersant. Rambler claims that there are 36,000 cases of Twitch streamers streaming the football matches. Supposedly the streams violated the terms of service between Twitch, Rambler, and the English Premier League, which has special rules for the region along with exclusivity with Rambler. Yulianna Tabastaeva, a Twitch executive representing the platform claimed in defense:
Twitch only provides users with access to the platform, does not post its own content, cannot change the content posted by users, or track possible violations of rights.
The executive continued by saying that Twitch took all the needed measures to delete and stop illegal streaming. “Rambler did not send any official notifications, only screenshots of pages and even those without specific dates.” Yulianna Tabastaevae finished.
Rambler is suing for 30 billion Rubles, or 2.9 billion USD. As well, Russia aims to have Twitch blocked in the nation, which was the original compensation when the two parties went to court on November 29th. Consulting partner Natalya Kuznetsova says that Rambler will need to provide evidence of all 36,000 cases along with proof that Rambler did notify Twitch. Natalya Kuznetsova states that screenshots of the stream will not suffice.
If Rambler wins the case, the blow will be damaging to Twitch as Russia is its third-largest national audience, and market experts guess that the damage will ripple past Twitch and affect other streaming services such as Youtube.
Violations of Russian anti-piracy laws have seen video hosting service Dailymotion being blocked in Russia back in 2017, though it is unlikely that Twitch will be blocked as multiple violations are needed according to Russian law. The Moscow City Court will consider the claim of Rambler Internet Holding LLC against Twitch Interactive on December 20.