Are Copyright Lawsuits Inevitable If You’re Rich? The Twitch Dilemma

You know that old saying: you’re nobody until people are lining up to sue you. There are a couple of reasons that lawsuits become so common in direct proportion to the number of dollars in your bank account. One big one is that the biggest targets are sometimes the easiest. A lesser reason is because every tiny mistake a rich person makes is immediately taken advantage of by someone with something to gain.

That’s why copyright lawsuits are inevitable if you’re rich.

They are perfect tools for those who wish to gain an advantage over you or a company you own, in part because copyright lawsuits aren’t always objective when proved. These cases involve a lot of scrutiny over what constitutes a “fact” versus pure opinion. Fairness doesn’t always count for much.

“Rich” Twitch streamers have been hit with a barrage of takedown requests in the last few days from the Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) due to clips of old broadcasts, some of which are from years ago. Because Twitch makes it difficult to sift through and delete this type of content, it’s a giant headache for streamers. But that might be the point.

In this case, Twitch users can become permanently banned from broadcasting when hit with three cease-and-desist/takedown notices for infringing on copyright. Bide your time to hit a broadcaster with multiple infractions at once, and you can very easily ruin someone’s stay-at-home “business.” Again, it’s not always about being fair. These types of cease-and-desist notices can aggressively attack copyright infractions.

Twitch has hardly been helpful in supporting the people who make it work in this regard, because the platform has no choice but to comply, regardless of whether or not you can easily find and delete those videos. In this case, some of those takedown requests might better be handled in court rather than online.

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