Free twitch video paneling sites are coming under scrutiny over their copyright laws.
Free-to-play Twitch panels are coming to Australia, according to some, after it emerged that some of the sites’ panels have been paid for through subscription fees.
The Australian Government has been contacted for comment.
Free twitch videos, or ‘streams’, are often a huge source of revenue for these sites, and have attracted a significant number of complaints.
Some sites have been caught using copyrighted material without permission, and many have been accused of ripping off their copyright holders.
‘Free twitch’ videos are a new trend, and often run for months without any content being made available.
However, the practice has been widely criticised by copyright holders, with some claiming the videos could be stolen and that copyright infringement is occurring.
Some have criticised Twitch for using its power to ‘take control’ of the channels and then monetise it.
This could amount to a breach of copyright law, according the Australian Government’s Intellectual Property Minister, Fiona Nash.
‘It is the copyright holder’s prerogative to decide whether it is appropriate for a service to use a service’s copyright in a way that infringes the rights of the copyright owner, for example, by providing an online service that infringe the copyright of a service,’ she said.
‘If a service is providing a service, it is the responsibility of the service to make the service available for all users.’
In Australia, the only way a person can be held liable for copyright infringement in relation to a service that is provided by Twitch is if a person acted in bad faith and infringed on copyright by creating, distributing, or providing the service, and Twitch has a duty to make available to its users the relevant content for which the service is liable.’
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has been asked for comment on the matter, and has been given a deadline of Tuesday to respond.
Twitch and YouTube Australia declined to comment.
This story has been updated to clarify that it was the Australian Federal Government that informed the YouTube site about the use of Twitch panels.