German Twitch Streamers In Trouble With New Broadcasting Regulations?

There are two choices for Twitch streamers in Germany: get a broadcasting license, or face consequences from the law.

Gamers in Germany will face difficulties while livestreaming on Twitch, as the authorities have set strict broadcasting regulations for this kind of activity.

Game streaming with Twitch has recently been recognized by German broadcast authority (Landesmedienanstalt) as a form of "radio services". This renders many game streamers required to own a broadcasting license -- the price ranges between €1,000 and €10,000, depending on audience size and other factors.

Moreover, streamers that acquired the license must follow the broadcasting guidelines and regulations that apply to traditional television services. This includes a 10pm curfew of violent content, and materials considered to be harmful to young persons, along with potential censorship when the streaming content must be approved by a commissioner of youth protection (Jugendschutzbeauftragten). Streamers that do not comply with the regulations will be considered as a pirate station, which is a criminal offense in German law.

After the announcement of the new ruling, the gaming community in Germany showed their dissatisfaction as they believe those regulations are outdated and not suitable for streaming activities. However, German authorities implied that they may update the guidelines in the future due to its potential misunderstandings.

At the moment, the broadcasting regulations for Twitch streaming are being implemented, as some notable German streamers such as PietSmith are told to obtain the license before 30th April 2017.

Published Apr. 12th 2017

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