Twitch is being sued by Rambler Group, the third-largest internet company in Russia, over pirated broadcasts of English Premier League soccer games.
The company alleges that its exclusive broadcasting rights were breached by Twitch around 36,000 times over the course of four months.
In addition to suing the streaming platform for around $3 billion, Rambler Group is also seeking to permanently ban Twitch in Russia. The BBC also reported that the Rambler Group is working with Twitch in hopes of reaching a settlement agreement.
Twitch has called the case “unfounded” and said it “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users,” according to Twitch’s lawyer, Julianna Tabastaeva, on Russian-language site Kommersant, which has been translated by the BBC.
This essentially shifts the blame from Twitch to its users, who are allegedly streaming games. Twitch, while slow to act at times, does take action if a DMCA takedown notice is filed. For instance, Twitch hit several popular streamers with 24-hour suspensions for streaming the July 30 Democratic presidential debate. In that case, though, the stream was being broadcast for free on CNN’s website.
In 2018, Twitch mistakenly banned Lirik, one of the site’s most popular streamers, after a DMCA takedown notice was filed, alleging Lirik streamed a UEFA soccer game. The ban was quickly reversed, but Lirik said he would be “taking action” because the DMCA had “no evidence/occurrence of the reason given.”
Update Dec. 17 9:31pm CT: Rambler Group is no longer pushing for Twitch to be banned from Russia, although it is still suing the streaming platform.