Twitch Streamers Pokimane and ZeRo Fight Against Content Theft

Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios is a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate streamer who pulls in thousands of fans to watch him play on Twitch. Like most successful live streamers, he's had to deal with compilation channels downloading his past streams and uploading them to other sites like YouTube. Channels like Gloomshot are taking the best highlights, clips and fails directly from Zero's channel and uploading them without his channel. Like many other content creators, ZeRo has had enough.

"It's recently come to my attention that people keep taking chunks of my stream and putting them on YouTube to make money themselves or grow their own channels," Zero said in a Twitter post on Wednesday. "My stance on this is that it's wrong." Uploading commentary to a match that just happened to be against ZeRo is "cool and great to see" according to the streamer. But "cutting a portion of my stream and calling it a day in terms of editing…. is a very messed up thing to do."

ZeRo has asked those that want to use his content to email him first or face the wrath of a YouTube channel strike. Strikes are serious business on the platform; getting three in total will terminate your channel.

Streamers have to take content theft very seriously. There are hundreds of channels across YouTube's massive internet-o-sphere that make thousands of dollars in ad revenue by compiling different clips of streamers. To the streamers, who rely on the freshness of their content to make a living, it's frustrating. All your hard work and dedication is making other people money, while you just have to watch the system be abused. Some online argue that compilations fall under "fair use" because it "transforms" the initial content into something new entirely.

Imane "Pokimane" Anys is one of the most popular female streamers on Twitch, playing League of Legends in front of thousands of fans a night. Her content is a constant target for reposters who create videos like "Pokimane hottest compilation" and "POKIMANE HOT AND SEXY COMPILATION." These YouTube videos attempt to capitalize on the teenage boys who are bound to click on these keywords as they pop up in their recommended tab, causing them to get more views and garner an even wider audience.

In September, YouTuber BowBlax uploaded a video on his Drama Archive channel with a clip from Pokimane's Twitter account. Pokimane placed a copyright strike on his channel herself, with her multi-channel network Omnia Media confirming this claim. She's made it clear in the past her stance on people ripping her content, telling her stream " if you edit videos and actually put effort into it and make it more entertaining for the viewer" it's allowed. When a fan said that he put in time to edit these compilation videos, Pokimane retorts "I'm sorry it takes you awhile to steal other people's content."

Pokimane told drama-monger and YouTuber Kavos in a Twitter DM in December after the controversy started to grow that she strikes content that is " inappropriate or misleading" but did remove the strike on the Drama Archive channel. In a later tweet, BowBlax said that the pair "sorted it out" in the Twitter DMS and that he "genuinely believe(s) that she won't be false striking people anymore."

What exactly constitutes a false strike on YouTube is still a very thorny conversation. YouTube does believe that the original creator does have the right to strike clips of their content in other videos, but at what point is it transformative? Is throwing a bunch of clips of streamers burping considered new content or is just a reupload under another name? These compilation videos can be seen as advertisements for the streamer that fall under fair use or as money-blogging sinkholes that offer no real commentary on content.

Twitch Streamers Pokimane and ZeRo Fight Against Content Theft | Tech & Science