Botting is a major problem, whether it is farming in a game or in the video community. Twitch is taking the latter seriously enough that it is planning legal action against some of the largest bot providers.
On the official Twitch blog, Senior VP of marketing Matthew DiPietro said the company filed a complaint today in Northern California District Court against seven of the largest bot providers. "We are taking the next step toward protecting Twitch viewers and broadcasters from the damaging effects of this kind of malicious activity."
For the uninitiated, bots can be used by a streamer who wants to give the impression he has a lot of viewers that could eventually lead to possible partnerships. Bots can also be used to harass broadcasters in order to attempt to deny them partnership, or get their channel suspended. DiPietro said that Twitch has identified the most prominent sellers of these services and hopes to shut them down.
The defendants and the alleged offending sites according to the compaint are:
- Erik Bouchouev: www.twitch-viewerbot.com, www.twitch-buddy.com, www.twitchviewerbot.net, www.streambot.com, and www.blackdesertbot.com.
- Justin Johnston: www.twitchstarter.com and www.twitchstarter.tv.
- Michael and Katherine Anjomi: www.streamboosters.com, www.shoptwitch.com (which redirects to www.streamboosters.com), www.twitchshop.com, www.twitchstreams.org, and www.upitpromo.com.
- Pooria Sharaffodin: www.babatools.com, www.stream-viewers.com, and www.sharaffodin.de.
- Marco Pelagatti: www.twitchswiss.com.
- Alex Renfrow: www.streamhomies.com, and www.famehomies.com (which links to www.streamhomies.com).
The complaint alleges trademark infringement of the Twitch name in domain names and on the defendant's websites, unfair competition in that designs and promises could be misconstriued as being affiliated or backed by Twitch, cybersquatting against a couple of defendant who have tried to register Twitch-rlelated domain names (i.e twitch-buddy.com), fraud and abuse causing Twitch to spend extra money and resources to track down the offending troublemakers, and at least four other claims for relief. The company is requesting a jury trial to get these botters to shut down, turn over their sources code and pay damages and attorney's fees.
"Ultimately though, the best way to stop viewbot sellers from profiting off of empty promises is to not buy their services," DiPietro said. "Using viewbots hurts anyone using them on their own channel or found to be using them against other channels, as well as the Twitch community at large."
John Keefer posted a new article, Twitch files legal action against botting services and owners