Business

#StopDMCA trending as Twitch users outrage against US Senator’s bill

Published: 17/Dec/2020 0:11

by Theo Salaun

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With North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ DMCA bill gaining traction, a slew of social media users, alongside Twitch and YouTube content creators, have gotten ‘#StopDMCA’ trending on Twitter in a testament to mounting backlash.

On December 10, it was revealed to the public that Tillis had snuck an aggressive Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) proposal into the latest omnibus bill expected to be passed by Congress. While the full proposal can be read here, the brunt of its impact can be summarized simply: DMCA violators will be met with felonies and possible jail time.

As such, the proposal has been the subject of obvious scrutiny. Twitch streamers, YouTube content creators, and other online figures are all already at the heart of DMCA uncertainty, and this proposal, if passed, could turn former losses of livelihood into losses of literal freedom.

With backlash amping up, the #StopDMCA hashtag has erupted across Twitter as users share various critiques both of the proposal and of Tillis himself. Most notably, users have pointed out that Tillis may have a bias, given the thousands of dollars in donations he has received from entertainment industry donors.

 

For months now, Twitch streamers have been reacting to sudden waves of DMCA bans. One of the platform’s most popular personalities, TimTheTatMan, went on a colorful rant about the issue, while many have complained the bans could ruin the entire IRL streaming category. 

Being banned from the platform means a loss of revenue and a tighter leash on future transgressions, accidental or not, but Tillis’ proposal would amplify the consequences. With many already upset about bans, it’s unsurprising that social media has become frenzied at the thought that channel bans could be replaced with prison bars.

Aside from simply pushing discourse about the proposal, one of the chief ways that people have reacted is by calling for direct action. Users are popularly asking for concerned citizenry to contact Tillis by email and his office’s phone number to protest the unsavory proposal.

At the moment, Tillis has yet to respond to the massive outpouring of concern and his proposal has yet to become law. With creators across Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram all affected, it’s likely that discussion of the DMCA felony proposal will be lengthy.

We will continue to update as details emerge, but if Congress is curious about public opinion, the internet has most certainly made its voice heard.

Fortnite

Epic Games sues Apple & Google in UK over Fortnite removals

Published: 16/Jan/2021 1:28

by Theo Salaun

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Following litigation over Fortnite’s app store removals by Apple and Google in the United States of America, Epic Games have officially mounted lawsuits against both tech companies in the United Kingdom, as well.

In August 2020, Epic Games added their own payment process to Fortnite’s mobile offerings so that Apple and Google’s cellphone and tablet users could purchase in-game items at a discounted price. This discount was specifically enabled by the new process, which bypassed each company’s transaction fees. 

Unsurprisingly, as the payment method was in direct violation of both the App Store and Play Store’s Terms of Services, each company subsequently removed Fornite from their offerings. And, expecting this, Epic Games responded by launching lawsuits against the companies in the U.S. and Australia. 

Now, the makers behind the world’s most popular third-person battle royale have tripled down and mounted legal action against both tech giants in the U.K. Citing violations of competition laws, Epic Games’ legal case in the U.K. is very similar to the ones already made in other countries. And, immediately contested, Apple and Google’s responses have proved similar, as well.

Fortnite Crew image
Epic Games
Fortnite’s Crew subscription service means even more payments for Epic Games.

As discussed by BBC News, Epic have officially submitted documents to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK. The allegations suggest a monopolistic abuse of power by each company that centers around competitive restrictions to app store and payment processing options, as well as unfair payment fees.

Typically, those fees come at about 30 percent of all purchases, although exact figures differ depending on company and app. Fortnite is obviously one of the biggest games in the entire world, so almost one-third of their sales on mobile means hefty earnings.

But, like their other lawsuits, Epic allege that this is about more than their own profits. The company demands that Apple and Google begin allowing software developers to institute their own payment-processing systems and options to be downloaded outside of the App and Play stores.

Fortnite Crew Green Arrow
Epic Games
Fortnite has always delighted its fanbase with purchasable cosmetics.

So far, Apple and Google have both replied similarly in the U.K. situation, claiming that they are open to reintroducing Fortnite to their mobile stores but that they deny any violation of competitiveness.

Dexerto will continue to monitor the legal cases in each country, providing updates whenever these prolonged legal disputes begin reaching their conclusions.