Twitch Banned Aussie For Streaming Pokemon 'Early'

Image: Kotaku

Australian streamer Mark McKenzie, aka Werster, copped a temporary ban from Twitch.tv yesterday while streaming Pokemon Ultra Sun. Twitch prohibits the streaming of unauthorised pre-release content.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were not released in America at the time of the ban. The games were released in Australia. Time zones are hard.

Werster is a prolific Twitch streamer with an impressive resume of Pokemon speedrunning achievements. To celebrate the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon yesterday, Werster decided to stream Ultra Sun.

One slight hiccough, Twitch doesn't allow people to broadcast games before they're released.

Just because the games were released on November 17 doesn't mean that the games were released worldwide at the same time.

The east coast of Australia is 16 hours ahead of the east coast of America and 10 hours ahead of Germany, where Werster is currently visiting.

Erring on the side of caution, Werster asked Twitter for advice.

The general consensus was that it was okay for him to go live with an Australia copy of Pokemon. So Werster bought a copy of Ultra Sun through the Nintendo eShop and started streaming.

It turns out that consensus was wrong.

Shortly into the stream, Werster's account was banned from Twitch after Nintendo of America filed a DMCA take-down notice against his channel.

Viewers of the stream were given the error message: "Sorry. Unless you've got a time machine, that content is unavailable."

The use and misuse of DMCA take-downs has drawn controversy in the past. In this case, it seems like a simple misunderstanding of time zones.

The only recourse users have against these notices is to file a counter-claim and hope. There are no other protections in place for users who stream games purchased legally prior to their release in America, where Twitch and many of the copyright holders are based.

Werster was able to file a counter-claim and his account was restored shortly after midnight on the east coast of America. Coincidentally, right after Pokemon Ultra Sun had been officially released in that region.


Comments

    "Erring on the side of caution, Werster asked Twitter for advice."

    Spotted the problem

      Was thinking the same thing.
      Not even an "@Twitch" in the comment.

        Having dealt with twitch support. He would not have got a reply from them for several days.

    This doesn't make much sense considering Japan where Nintendo is based is in a very similar timezone to Australia's east coast.

    Apparently the USA is the only country in the world though and the only timezone that exists is the USA timezone so if a game isn't released there it's not released anywhere.

      Basically, They also have the "World series of baseball" Even though they're the only nation playing, It's hardly worldy.

      It's Nintendo of America which filed the DMCA notice against a streaming service located in the US. If they even thought about people outside of North America, they probably consider our market too small to care about.

      As for Japan, there is a language barrier there: maybe they'd leave Japanese language streams alone on the basis that fewer US viewers would be interested in them.

    I dont think anyone actually sent a DCMA or takedown on this guy. More than likely Nintendo of America had bots trawling the web looking for streams which would then result in automatic notices beint sent to youtube/ Twitch. Foxtel and other cable companies have the same type of bots for sporting events.

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