In the wake of Twitch’s draconian crackdown on alleged DMCA violators, which led to the deletion of countless hours of videos without the legally mandated challenge process being observed, the creative director for Stadia Games and Entertainment Montreal, Alex Hutchinson, has poured fuel on the fire with comments on Twitter. The backlash those comments have created are bad enough that Google had to publicly distance themselves from him.
“Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it,” Hutchinson wrote. “The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.”
The response was, predictably, brutal. As of this writing, there are over 17,000 responses to the tweet, and most are pointing out (fairly politely, all things considered) that Hutchinson’s position is absurd given his position and the current dynamic between streamers, game studios and publishers. It’s bad enough Google themselves released a statement, mentioned on 9to5Google, which read, “The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.”
Food For Thought
The first part of Hutchinson’s statement is not technically wrong. The boilerplate language in EULAs usually contains clauses which publishers could exercise to prevent their games from being watched. It would be an overly elaborate method of corporate suicide, but the mechanisms are in place. While the situation with Twitch may ultimately force a rethink on ASCAP fees and DMCA mechanisms, this particular incident may force a similar reconsideration of EULAs.