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Court dismisses Rambler’s lawsuit against Twitch after pre-trial dispute resolution

The judge announced the decision "to terminate the administrative proceedings"

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. The Moscow city court has stopped proceedings on the claim of the Rambler Group against Twitch streaming service for distributing pirated broadcasts of English Premier League matches. TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom, the companies were able to resolve the dispute under the pre-action protocol.

Thus, the judge announced the decision "to terminate the administrative proceedings".

Rambler earlier confirmed that agreement with Twitch streaming service to resolve dispute over illegal broadcasting of English Premier League games does not imply monetary compensation. "The parties to the dispute have agreed to negotiate an out-of-court settlement over Rambler’s claims. The negotiations were conducted on behalf of the Rambler Group’s management, third-party lawyer, formerly leading the case for the Group, was suspended. Following the negotiations, Rambler Group and the video streaming service Twitch signed an agreement to resolve the dispute," the company said.

"The agreement does not imply any financial compensation, Rambler Group withdraws the claim. The terms of the agreement satisfy both parties," the company’s press service added. In addition, according to Rambler, Twitch provided the company with the tools necessary to combat pirate broadcasts.

"We hope that together with Twitch we will be able to offer users new forms of broadcasting the matches of the English Premier League in the future. User streaming is becoming more popular, and we are developing solutions with which Okko Sport will be able to integrate into this content model. I would also like to encourage users to report violations - integrity of the platform and its content legality depend on their participation," head of sports projects at Rambler Group Mikhail Gershkovich said.

At the same time, the Moscow City Court reported that there was no motion to withdraw the claim. "This petition has not been submitted to the Moscow City Court. The next court hearing in the civil case is scheduled for December 20 at 10:15 Moscow time," a court representative said.

Russia’s media and telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor told TASS on Tuesday that Russian sports channel Match TV and Twitch removed illegal content the rights to which were defended by Rambler Group, the services will not be banned.

On Monday, Russia’s Kommersant daily reported that Rambler Internet Holding had filed a lawsuit against the Twitch service over pirated broadcasts of the English Premier League games, demanding that Twitch be banned and pay 180 bln rubles ($2.9 mln) in damages, said Yulianna Tabastayeva, who is representing the streaming service in court. The Moscow City Court temporarily introduced the interim protective measures in the lawsuit concerning the safeguarding of the exclusive rights for audiovisual works.

Rambler Group also accused Match TV of illegally distributing content - video from the English Premier League matches on Match TV between August and November 2019.

In 2019, the Rambler Group bought the exclusive rights to air the English Premier League matches in Russia through the Okko online cinema service. However, the company detected a large number of illicit, bootleg broadcasts on the Twitch website and filed a lawsuit against the Twitch Interactive company, requesting that the pirated broadcasts be prohibited.

According to Kommersant, in late November the plaintiff changed its claims, which currently stand at 180 bln rubles. The figure comes from multiplying the potential number of views of the English Premier League games on (36,000) by the maximum compensation amount of five mln rubles ($79,700). However, the Rambler Group pointed out that it was up to the court to determine the final compensation.