Pokimane gets 48-hour DMCA Twitch ban for streaming The Last Airbender

Pokimane's Avatar: The Last Airbender watch-along stream resulted in a 48-hour ban.


Thanks to DMCA, Twitch streamers are not allowed to re-stream copyrighted content to their viewers on the platform. However, it’s no secret that creators have methods of skirting around these rules and enjoying popular TV shows and movies with thousands of audience members. Pokimane is one of the most notable people on Twitch and was hit with a 48-hour ban for streaming Avatar: The Last Airbender to viewers.

It was on Saturday, January 8 that Imane “Pokimane” Anys went live to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time with an audience of around 25,000 viewers. She was roughly 10 episodes into the show when her stream abruptly ended as a result of a DMCA strike. Pokimane was subsequently banned from Twitch for streaming the show, which is copyrighted by Viacom. The length of her ban was originally unknown, but Pokimane later clarified on Twitter that it was confirmed to be a 48-hour suspension.

DMCA and copyright claims when it comes to Twitch are like a minefield. It’s widely understood that streaming movies and TV shows is a huge no-no, but several of the platform’s biggest names do what they can to tip-toe around these restrictions to watch and react to such content anyway. This includes using unassuming stream titles, removing the stream category, and even mirroring the picture to avoid bots auto-detecting the content.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is just the latest TV show to become a popular trend among Twitch streamers. Over the last several months, Master Chef watch-alongs were present on some of Twitch’s biggest channels, a trend that even caught the attention of Gordon Ramsay.

As of today, Pokimane’s Twitch ban has ended and she’s hosting a 12-hour stream on her channel, in which she will discuss what went down this past weekend. For more on the constantly-evolving ecosystem of Twitch, stick with us here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 10, 2022 11:02 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Pokimane gets 48-hour DMCA Twitch ban for streaming The Last Airbender

    • reply
      January 10, 2022 11:11 AM

      This article is 48 hours too late. lol.

      • reply
        January 10, 2022 3:18 PM

        Because there wasn't a Masem post to poach the story from!

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      January 10, 2022 3:28 PM

      Is she pausing it every 5 minutes to long form commentary or something?

      Is she doing a live parody of the work?

      The only reason this doesn't happen for game streaming is most of the time streaming a game benefits the developer and publisher. But could still be harmful depending on the game, and every game publisher has the right to block most let's play videos too.

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        January 10, 2022 3:33 PM

        For some reason it's a thing a lot of big name streams are doing, they are just straight up streaming the episodes afaik. There has been a lot of talk on twitter that I've seen over the last few days and the fact that Twitch isn't doing much about it other than temp bans is a bad look.

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          January 10, 2022 3:44 PM

          Are they hoping to draw a thicker line between what is allowable and what isn't? A lot of people were declaring victory when H3 won their case. But their video is a far cry from what Pokimane is (probably) doing. I obviously don't watch her stream. I didn't even know about her until that dude who builds useless robots on youtube joined her house.

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          January 10, 2022 3:52 PM

          For legal reasons, Twitch only takes down streams after a DMCA complaint. 3 complaints within a certain time (a year?) and you catch a permaban. Of course this entirely depends on how popular a streamer you are and how much money you're making them. It's kinda sketch but this is how it works right now on Twitch. Youtube implemented an automated system after a huge lawsuit so they could avoid it in the future, so if this keeps happening on Twitch they could face one too. Some people speculating that they might even go after individual streamers with lawsuits

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            January 10, 2022 4:12 PM

            Yeah, I've also heard people saying this is a way to be able to take a few days off and not lose out on viewers / money because hey I was banned and then come back after the 48h and rack up huge views because of the publicity of it all.

            That said I don't think youtubes automated strategy is any better and I'd really like to see both platforms work with the music industry especially in order to allow people to stream music w.o DMCA worries especially if a game has licensed music in it that they might get the ding for.

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        January 10, 2022 3:50 PM

        She's adding her looks and facial expressions to create transformative work

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          January 10, 2022 3:54 PM

          I personally do not think that’s transformative.

          The legal practices of MST3k supports my position, who buy a license for the movies or use license free content.

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