With reports of Google’s tentative plans to acquire the large video game streaming site Twitch.tv for more than $1 billion trickling out over the past few days, consumers of both YouTube’s and Twitch’s services have been weighing in on what they believe such a massive takeover might mean for the future of streaming video games.
So what are Google’s likely motivations for this buyout—which could expose it to massive secondary liability claims as nearly all of the streaming gaming content on Twitch is copyrighted material? And how will the proposed merger reshape online game streaming?
After learning of this potential merger, critics took to Twitter in droves using the hashtag #RIPTwitch to express their discontent. In particular, many such critics argued that YouTube’s content ID system, when applied to Twitch’s gaming content (similarly to how it’s currently being applied to YouTube users’ “Let’s Play” gaming content), would likely prove to be a blunt tool that could ultimately neuter Twitch’s core service.
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