In case you have not yet heard, there is a rumor, yet to be confirmed, that Youtube is at least working out a deal to purchase Twitch. So far, and the news is still quite fresh, the reaction to this seems mixed.
On one hand, this purchase has the potential to add a lot of cool resources to Twitch and accelerate its continued optimization and technological advances with Google behind it. Also, cool programs like Youtube partners could become a real thing for Twitch users and other beneficial things that Google has done with Youtube.
However, on the other hand, this purchase has a real chance at having an indirectly negative effect on Twitch’s function. First and foremost, Twitch is a platform created for the streaming of games. If you look at the site right now, it caters directly to the streaming of games online. Take into account that the new generation of consoles have embraced and fostered the ability to stream from the console, and through Twitch particularly with the Playstation 4, and you cannot deny the massive importance that streaming games has had on the industry, which Twitch has taken the lead on.
Here’s where the worry comes in. Twitch is essentially setting itself up as the premiere streaming service, in the gaming world, to a point that it can definitely become what monopolizes the entire streaming market with Google’s backing. In that sense, Twitch could then become the Youtube of streaming services, where other sites for videos do exist, but nobody doubts Youtube is number one.
In the past few years particularly, Youtube has run into many problems with channels that discuss things like music, movies, tv shows, and games getting copyright claims against them, which usually in the end are found to be false. You can find out a great description of how copyright works on Youtube here.
Many Youtube personalities have found the current process extremely damaging and difficult to deal with, as it is fairly easy to put in a claim against a video (which if flagged, the channel will lose its revenue from that video until the claim is rescinded) but time consuming to remove it. The burden of proof lands on the Youtube channel to prove they are not violating copyright – not against the accuser.
The worry with Twitch is whether or not that system will make its way transfer from Youtube. That is especially worrisome considering nearly 100% of all Twitch content is the streaming of copyrighted material (that does not mean they violate the copyright, however). The system is burdensome and has a lot of problems, which you can only guess would get worse if the added volume of Twitch streams is added to it.
It is unclear that this deal will even become a reality, so this is just speculation on top of speculation, but if this deal is real, the potential issues like this one should be discussed sooner rather than later.