Russian internet company Rambler Group has launched a $2.9 billion lawsuit against Amazon’s streaming service Twitch over unlicensed broadcasts of the English Premier League.
Rambler holds exclusive broadcasting rights in Russia for Premier League matches. According to the internet company, 36,000 breaches of these rights occurred on Twitch between August and November.
Twitch is a live video streaming service, best known for its use by video gamers.
According to a Rambler lawsuit filed at the Moscow City Court, unlicensed streams of Premier League games were available to view on the platform.
The Moscow court is due to hear the case on December 20.
In a statement to local media, Twitch lawyer Julianna Tabastaeva said that Twitch "only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations".
Twitch took "all necessary measures to eliminate the violations, despite not receiving any official notification from Rambler,” Tabastaeva said.
In a statement to Reuters, Mikhail Gershkovich, head of Rambler Group’s sports projects, said that the company was looking to reach a settlement with Twitch.
“The service has given us tools to combat pirate broadcasts and we are now only talking about compensation for damages between August and November,” Gershkovich stated.
The Premier League itself has been active in tackling unlicensed broadcasts of its copyright protected content.
Over the summer, the league obtained so-called ‘super blocking injunctions’ in Ireland and the UK, allowing it to refer unlicensed streams to internet service providers (ISP) in real time.