Pokimane Temporarily Banned On Twitch After Streaming Avatar: The Last Airbender

Pokimane Temporarily Banned On Twitch After Streaming Avatar: The Last Airbender
Screenshot: Pokimane / Twitch

Pokimane, one of Twitch’s biggest and most popular streamers with over 8.5 million followers, was banned from the platform last night while streaming herself watching the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. The ban is temporary, according to Pokimane, but is a sign that Twitch’s growing “TV Meta” is probably going to cause further problems for big and small streamers.

On January 7 at around 8 p.m. EST, Pokimane was streaming to an audience of about 25,000 while watching the Nickelodeon TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time. Midway through the stream, it’s reported that Pokimane received a live DMCA ban, abruptly ending the broadcast. Shortly after that, the StreamerBans bot on Twitter shared the news: Pokimane was banned from Twitch.

Pokimane took to Twitter a few minutes after the ban and tweeted that “The Fire Nation attacked” a direct reference to the Avatar show and to the recent ban. A few hours later the popular streamer confirmed that the ban was only temporary and after 48 hours she would be able to stream again on Twitch.

While it might seem odd to stream yourself watching a TV show, this has become a popular trend on Twitch. This “TV Meta” sees streamers watching TV shows and cartoons with their viewers in virtual watch parties.

Checking Twitch now, as I’m writing this sentence, I can see at least a half dozen streamers in the “Just Chatting” category watching old animated shows and wrestling events. Of course, almost all of this content is owned by large companies who usually aren’t too keen on random people watching their copyrighted material for free. So it’s not shocking that even a big streamer like Pokiemane would encounter some legal pushback, in the form of a DMCA ban, for streaming TV shows.

It’s too early to tell if this very public and big ban for streaming a TV show will have any effect on the ongoing TV Meta over on Twitch.

It seems likely that big streamers might think twice about streaming some old Invader Zim episodes if it could lead to a DMCA strike against their channel. And for smaller streamers, who don’t have the money or clout to fight Twitch, it could lead to permanent bans, making the proposition of Twitch watch parties and the TV meta even riskier.



      • She literally streamed an entire episode of an anime to thousands of people. She committed copyright infringement

        She is an idiot.

        • Yeah, an idiot.

          Not a “An entitled selfish princess that is a blight on content creation.” like some incels would like to believe.

          • Irony at its finest when a Pokimane fan uses the term incel as an insult. FYI Married, two kids, nice try though.
            There is nothing in my comment suggesting her being anything she hasn’t demonstrably proven herself to be at some point or just in this particular instance.

    • Yeah!! She takes away attention from the entitled and selfish contents creators that I like too!!

      God, it just triggers me so damn much!!

    • Wow, and where we have a perfect example of online misgony. At least she puts her face out there and tries to do something to entertain the world. Comments like this serve zero purpose than to give the author some form of pathetic power.

      • Where is her entertainment value in this situation? What did she add that made this her own work? All she has done here is steal someone else’s property while creating a real possibility of making things far harder for others who do the right thing.

  • Dear idiot streamers.

    You are not entitled to stream entire movies or TV shows without explicit permission from the companies that make them. Streaming them to your audience on twitch and making money off that is not ” fair use “.

    Stop being entitled brats.

      • Without how limp wrist twitch is with punishments on the popular streamers id tend to agree lol.

        any other less popular streamer would have gotten a permanent ban.

      • Nah, you want to call in a sickie just don’t stream that day. The “I cant miss a single day” mindset has been proven false time and time again. Summit for example takes time off any time he needs and has no issues with losing subs or followers.
        This is a step towards an automated moderation system like the mess YouTube has being put in place. This sort of behaviour is the type of thing that brings about Adpocolypse style outcomes.

        • Dude, it’s a numbers games spanning various platforms, engagement based sponsorship deals, data based models and the illusion of being above the meta.

          Summit plays the game like everyone else and the only difference is if you buy in to it or not.
          (Honestly, it’s like watching people argue over who’s themed rock band image is more legit)

  • Amerikkkans discover consequences for their actions.

    Do online streaming services not have that rebroadcast warning that DVD’s and Blu-Ray discs have, at the start of each movie/episode, or is that just buried in the ToS?

    “And for smaller streamers, who don’t have the money or clout to fight Twitch, it could lead to permanent bans, making the proposition of Twitch watch parties and the TV meta even riskier.”

    It was always tenuous, any ‘smaller streamer’ considering doing so probably has a couple screws loose.

  • Its Twitch that suspended her, and will probably be betted off with subs and donor after. There is no long term damage here unless the copyright holder sues her for the breach.

    • There is gonna be long term damage to them lol. Much like when music companies discovered twitch and went on a DMCA spree because streamers are idiots, Now TV companies are gonna do the same.

  • Is this really any different from streaming playthroughs or even just streaming cutscenes from games though? Ultimately streamers are broadcasting other people’s work to benefit themselves, without really adding to it or transforming it.

    To be fair, I am not that familiar with the back-end of streaming business – what are the current rules with game streaming? I know there are obviously sponsored/endorsed arrangements, but do streamers otherwise have to get explicit permission to stream a particular game or is it just an unspoken agreement that that streaming a game benefits the game maker as much as the streamer, and therefore everyone just remains quiet on the issue?

    To be clear: I do see the value in streaming skill-based “spectator” style stuff. In my mind it is similar to watching sports – seeing someone be good at something can be thrilling.

    • Game companies allow streaming of their products.

      Tv and movie companies dont.

      At any point game companies could rescind that permission and would have the legal right to do so.

      Game companies allow it because it benefits them, people will often buy a game their favourite streamer plays.

      Whereas with a tv show or a movie there is no reason to buy it after having watched it on a stream.

      There is literally a feature in twitch that allows you to group watch content on Amazon prime video but these popular streamers won’t use it because it will limit their viewer amounts meaning less revenue to them.

  • So after this what happens next…

    “Disguised Toast” on Twitch just got himself sudpended mid-streaming the anime Death Note… and maybe got a full 1 month ban for it.

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