Streamers infringe upon games’ TOS if they use Twitch subscriber streams

Jul 01 2019 2 min read

Streamers infringe upon games’ TOS if they use Twitch subscriber streams ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Last week Twitch launched a new feature on its platform which would allow members of its Partners & Affiliates Program to create subscriber only streams. This would essentially lock content of the streamers playing these games behind a paywall. 

In general, game companies like Blizzard, Epic Games, Nintendo and Valve all have terms which forbid creators from selling content they’ve created using the companies IPs or restricting fans’ from accessing it through some sort of paywall. To subscribe to a channel on Twitch is to make donations to a streamer to get special access to their streams. Subscriber-only streams would deny non-subscribers from accessing the content they create. 

For instance Nintendo states in its game content guidelines that 

No, you may not sell any videos, music, or images that you created using Nintendo Game Content.” With a subscriber-only stream, streamers would be charged for access to a video. Similarly, Epic Games states, “Fan Content must have no commercial (i.e., monetary) objective. As an exception to this, fans are permitted to monetize web videos (such as YouTube) with advertisements.” 

Twitch also take its own measures against copyright infringement and actively takes measures to abide by “the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and other applicable laws.” If a streamer was found guilty of gaining monetary profit from the use of restricted intellectual property, not only could the game company punish them but Twitch could as well. 

This situation drastically limits the value of subscriber streams on Twitch to non-gameplay content, which many streamers do not engage in. Still, there's likely a vast number of streamers that will have issue no with using this feature as it is. 


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