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Russian internet provider drops $3bn lawsuit against Twitch

By Lawrence Gash

Amazon-owned video streaming service removes offending content

The third-largest internet provider in Russia has dropped its $3bn lawsuit against the Amazon-owned live video streaming service Twitch.

In court documents Rambler Group alleged that Twitch breached its exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League football matches on more than 36,000 occasions since August and had called for the platform to be banned in Russia as a result.

The lawyer acting on behalf of Twitch initially claimed that the service “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations.”

However, with a court date set for later this week and the Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor opening an investigation, Twitch changed its tone and removed all of the offending content. As a result Rambler ceased its legal action.

Commenting on this morning's decision, a spokeswoman for Twitch stated that the platform: “will continue to, as has always been the case, effectively and swiftly address any violation of its terms of service with the removal of unlicensed copyrighted content. We look forward to working together with Rambler to achieve this. We remain focused on delivering quality content to our Russian audience."

As well as cooperating with Rambler it is possible that Twitch has also made a cash settlement to encourage the immediate cessation of legal proceeding. In a statement earlier this week Mikhail Gershkovich, a spokesman for the internet provider, admitted that Rambler is “currently holding talks with Twitch to sign a settlement agreement".

However, it must be said that such a settlement has not yet been confirmed.

Nonetheless Twitch will welcome this morning’s news, as the accusations of facilitating the piracy of Premier League football matches reflects badly on its parent company Amazon. In a major disruption of the status quo, Amazon Prime will stream a whole round of Premier League matches over the Christmas period as it seeks to challenge the duopoly currently held by BT and Sky.

FURTHER READING: Juventus Football club launches blockchain tokens allowing fans to make decisions for the club

FURTHER READING: CVC in talks with Fifa to create new football tournament

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