Twitch lose appeal in PhantomLord case, potential damages remain uncapped - Dexerto

Twitch lose appeal in PhantomLord case, potential damages remain uncapped

Published: 5/Dec/2019 9:59 Updated: 8/Dec/2019 18:57

by Richard Lewis


Court documents from the ongoing lawsuit between streaming platform Twitch and James ‘Phantomlord’ Varga show Twitch have lost their appeal to prevent Varga from claiming more than $50,000 in damages.

The amount was stipulated in a limited liability clause in the contracts that Varga had signed with Twitch but was subsequently ruled “unconscionable” by the Superior Court of California. As we reported last month, Twitch immediately filed an appeal against the ruling. Still, that appeal has now been ruled unsuccessful, meaning Varga and his legal team may now pursue whatever amount in damages they deem pertinent.

The rationale for the decision was presented by Judge of The Superior Court Curtis E.A. Karnov. The ruling does acknowledge that some of the legal arguments presented by Varga’s team were strange, most notably that the clause was a “surprise” when Varga himself never reviewed the agreement at any point. Despite this, the court upheld the findings of unconscionability on the following grounds.

First, the court ruled that there was an element of oppression to Varga’s signing of the contract. “Varga reasonably could have concluded, and probably did as a result of his call with [Twitch employees] that he could not have maintained his popularity for long without Twitch.

“By the time of the 2014 amendment, Own3d was gone, and there were no reasonable alternatives to Twitch for one intent on becoming or maintaining status as a top streamer. This weighs in favor of a finding of oppression.”

Twitch: PhantomLordTwitch have lost their appeal to prevent Phantomlord from claiming more than $50,000 in damages.

Secondly, the court found that Twitch did not provide a solid justification for the existence of the limited liability clause in the first place. In their arguments, they cited Darnaa, LLC v Google LLC as a case that explained why such limited liability clauses were necessary.

The Judge states this case isn’t adequate and makes no such argument, instead only presenting “justification for the fact that the parties have different obligations under the indemnification clause of the contract.” It concludes that the argument failed to demonstrate “a valid commercial need” for the existence of the liability clause.

Crucially the contract was found to be substantively unconscionable, meaning the contract was objectively unfair, on the basis that Varga’s monthly income was between $5000 or $10,000, meaning a limit of $50,000 in potential damages is incommensurate with that. The court rejected the arguments presented by Twitch that hypothetical unconscionability should not be considered.

Twitter: PhantomL0rdPhantomlord was initially banned from Twitch in 2016.

“From a practical point of view… limiting recovery to $50,000 virtually kills off the odds of a suit against Twitch at all,” the court concluded.

“The agreement doesn’t appear to have an attorney fees clause, and few – if any – lawyers would take on a contingency case against Twitch for some reasonable percentage of $50,000. The cap is unconscionable.”

While a blow to Twitch, this ruling has no impact on whether or not the court will later find if Varga had violated his side of the agreement when the proceedings continue. Both parties are now in discussion as to how the case will proceed.


How to watch the TikTok Room Awards: Nominees, results & more

Published: 28/Nov/2020 16:01

by Charlotte Colombo


Popular drama page TikTok Room delighted its 1.8 million followers this week when, on November 25, they announced on their Instagram that they would be hosting their very own awards show!

The post also announced that voting would be on Friday 27 November, with the awards then streaming tonight on Saturday 28 November.

Details surrounding what the award categories were was initially vague, with the account teasing more information throughout the week before opening the polls on Friday for fans to vote for some of their favorite TikTokers in various categories.

Despite the categories remaining unclear prior to voting being open, that didn’t stop some of TikTok’s biggest stars endorsing the awards and encouraging fans to vote for them.

Among other famous faces like Skai Jackson, Nessa Barrett, and Jacob Sartorius, Sway House star Bryce Hall endorsed the awards in a video, joking that he was probably nominated in the “most problematic” category, while Charli D’Amelio, who recently reached 100k followers on the TikTok, told her fans that “there is a special award show on Sunday” and encouraged them all to vote.

Although some fans found that there was difficulty submitting their votes – with TikTok Room explaining in an Instagram post that this was due to heavy traffic on the form- by the time the polls were closed, TikTok Room announced that over 500,000 votes were cast after teasing fans earlier that day with just how close some of the categories were.

What are the categories?

The TikTok Room awards consists of 28 categories in total, and are as follows:

  • Most active with fans
  • Best couple
  • Best makeup
  • Most positive
  • Best style (male)
  • Best style (female)
  • Best ship
  • Best dancer (male)
  • Best dancer (female)
  • Best fandom
  • Funniest TikToker/ collab
  • Best diss track
  • Least problematic (male)
  • Least problematic (female)
  • Best role model
  • Best group/duo
  • Kindest TikToker
  • Best dance creator
  • Best song
  • Most talented musician
  • Most achieved (male)
  • Most achieved (female)
  • Favourite TikToker/ Influencer (male)
  • Favourite TikToker/ Influencer (female)
  • Best clapbacks/ comebacks
  • Best YouTuber
  • Best hair
  • Best house

The running order of these categories is not yet clear.

When do the TikTok Room awards start?

While the awards themselves start at 8pm Eastern Standard Time, TikTok Room have announced that there will be a pre-show from 6pm Eastern Standard Time.

It isn’t quite certain how exactly the awards will be broadcast, although TikTok Room did confirm to a fan in the comments section that they would be posting the results on their Instagram page throughout the night.

So, to watch the awards, your best bet is to keep an eye on TikTok Room’s Instagram account!