×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What This Bizarre Twitch Ban Could Mean For The Future

For a famous Twitch streamer, the banhammer is a weapon to be feared. 2020 has been a particularly active year for the hammer as Twitch has issued several strange bans. The latest could be one of the most bizarre.

According to a report from The Verge, a streamer who goes by Projekt Melody was banned on Twitch over a rather unusual legal claim — that is, the rights to her image were challenged. To better understand the situation, Projekt Melody is a virtual streamer. The character serves as a surrogate so that the actual streamer who voices the virtual gamer can maintain anonymity.

While the streamer has documented proof of paying for a $5,000 commission, the artist who created the virtual character, DigitrevX, hit Projekt Melody with a copyright claim. This is what led to Projekt Melody's ban on Twitch. As strange as this whole ordeal may be, the plaintiff could have a case.

When speaking with The Verge, David P. Swenson, a specialist in IP law, discussed the importance of outlining every detail in writing when rights are involved. After reviewing the written documents and conversations between Projekt Melody and DigitrevX, Swenson concluded that the terms of their agreement were too vague to determine who was in the right.

When it comes to Twitch, the letter of the law on the popular streaming platform is taken very seriously, and sometimes changes are made to ensure that banned streamers (such as Dr. Disrespect) are kept off. With that said, some cases are plain headscratchers, and not all bans are totally justified. At this point, streamers and viewers alike are beginning to feel that Twitch has a shady side of its own.

In the case of Projekt Melody, is the streaming platform in the right? Unfortunately, this is a tricky legal situation that is difficult to navigate. According to DigitrevX, he has been in talks with Melody and her team to arrange some sort of an agreement.

For now, Projekt Melody's account has been reinstated, but she is yet to have her Twitch partnership restored. In the meantime, this will be an interesting case to watch, as it could set a precedent for the growing virtual streaming community moving forward. As more streamers turn to virtual avatars, contracts and legal documentation will likely become more prevalent. It will be interesting to see how the legal landscape around streaming shapes up in the future.