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Court rules illegal bot makers must pay $1.3 million to Twitch

Court rules illegal bot makers must pay $1.3 million to Twitch

January 24, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

A California judge has ordered illegal bot makers Michael and Katherine Anjomi to permanently shut down their operations and pay Twitch a total of $1,371,139.

As reported by Kotaku, court documents filed on January 22nd order $55,000 of the sum be paid for damages, while the remaining $1,316,139 is the profits the duo made off their business selling Twitch viewbots.

This ruling comes as good news for streamers who work fairly toward being accepted into Twitch's Partnership program, as viewbots artificially inflate the apparent view count, follower count, and chat activity on a Twitch channel

In its case against the Anjomis, Twitch argued that the software undercut an important requirement for being accepted into Twitch's Partner program, which gives streamers access to additional means of making money along with gaining better visibility on the platform and opportunities to work with brands.

Viewbots are a software used by streamers to look like they have more viewers, followers, and participants in chat than they actually do. The bots became such a problem that Twitch issued a statement in 2016 over their intent to take legal action against the seven most active sellers of viewbots-- the Anjomis being two of them.

"We are taking the next step toward protecting Twitch viewers and broadcasters from the damaging effects of this kind of malicious activity by taking public legal action against seven of the most active sellers of viewbot services," wrote VP of marketing at Twitch Matthew DiPietro back in 2016. 

The judge ruled in Twitch’s favor on the grounds of trademark infringement, unfair competition, breach of contract, and violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. 

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