I represent a lot of streamers/influencers or the agencies and the more YouTube/Twitch or other platforms gain in importance compared to linear TV and radio etc., the more exciting legal questions arise.
Today, however, I also noticed a new issue that has been brought to my attention a time or two in the past, but honestly never led to legal action.
It’s about female streamers/YouTubers who are repeatedly exposed to sometimes very nasty comments, requests and discussions. In recent days, Jasmin Sibel, better known as “Gnu,” has reignited the issue. She has been on YouTube and Twitch since 2015, is one of the biggest German-speaking gaming influencers and has already spoken out several times on the topic of sexism in the gaming industry, and is now once again openly criticizing user behavior in a video.
Enough has already been written about the content of the video, but I would like to write a few words about the legal options.
Violated personal rights?
It would be possible that personal rights as a streamer are violated through comments on the Internet or on social media platforms, through messages, e-mails or similar. Then you should urgently check whether the streamer against the author is not, for example, injunctive relief under § 1004 para. 1 S.
2 BGB analog, § 823 para. 1 BGB are entitled to. Violated norms may well be § 22 KUG, Art. 1 para. 1, 2 par. 1 GG, §§ 185 ff. StGB or Art. 8 ECHR in question.
However, I have also had cases in the past that went as far as threatening and could therefore definitely require police intervention. Female streamers in particular, who show themselves more freely on Twitch or YouTube, are repeatedly confronted with requests for dates or similar and sometimes receive explicit offers. It is therefore all too understandable that they are afraid of publishing private addresses in an imprint, for example. Here, however, one can only advise those affected to exhaust the legal remedies and, in addition to temporary injunctions, to have them check, for example, whether claims based on legal norms for the prevention of stalking or so-called applications for protection against violence are possible. In the past, there have also been so-called endangerment approaches by the police in such cases. And if you feel threatened, everyone also has the right to file a criminal complaint. You don’t have to be afraid of that at all. But there should be concrete clues, contents and also info/names, so that the whole thing is not just a waste of time.
Ignoring is not a good idea
However, we often hear from female streamers that they are afraid of legal action and, of course, the costs for a lawyer. But this is certainly a mistake, because not only is the danger from fans sometimes real, but sexualized language in particular can be an enormous psychological burden for the streamer. The Internet is not a lawless space and a consistent approach can not only help you, but of course also “wake up” your own community. Reputable platforms (but also porn sites) usually do not accept unauthorized content or infringement and respond very quickly to DMCA requests. In this case, you are usually only left with the money for your own lawyer. But it should be worth it to you.
I am open to a brief consultation at any time and we can work together to determine if a course of action makes sense.