Judge Hands Down Twitch vs. Phantoml0rd Lawsuit Ruling
In 2019, Phantoml0rd filed a lawsuit against Twitch, and a few years later, we have a final ruling. The judge points out the various holes in James “Phantoml0rd” Varga in an official statement, where he ultimately sided with Twitch. In the original lawsuit, Phantoml0rd sought $35 million in damages from Twitch, which is a tremendous number. A month later, we learned that Phantoml0rd would perhaps be able to win up to $50,000 in his case, should he be successful. A bit later still, Phantoml0rd claimed Twitch was silencing him about the lawsuit. The streamer claimed he won the lawsuit “on all counts.”
In April, Twitch had to pay Phantoml0rd $20,720.34 in damages, but Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow made a statement on September 1 about the suit. What did the judge’s ruling and statement say about the Phantoml0rd vs. Twitch lawsuit?
Judge Sides With Twitch on Ban, Vargas Was Not Truthful
The reason for the $20,000 settlement that Twitch paid out was there was a provision in Phantoml0rd’s contract that was not adhered to. Should Vargas be banned, he was supposed to receive 30-days notice, which is a strange proviso. But if it’s there, it has to be followed. One of the other problems is that Phantoml0rd claimed he was being singled out and treated unfairly – citing Sodapoppin and his various rule-breaking moments. Judge Karnow pointed out that, “This was one of Varga’s core themes at trial. Twitch noted Varga’s extraordinarily high number of violations and Varga retorted with Sodapoppin’s 34 violations.”
Twitch replied that they take each streamer’s disciplinary actions on a case-by-case basis, so they don’t compare their actions against another. Judge Karnow also highlighted some of Phantoml0rd’s violations: passion out drunk on stream, simulating sexual intercourse, and suggestive/racist content. Perhaps most damning of all, though, was Phantoml0rd claiming under oath that he didn’t know about the TOS – Twitch’s “30-minute rule.” “He was also accused of violating Twitch’s “30-minute rule,” which barred non-gaming content for more than 30 minutes at a time. Gambling, e.g., skins, was considered non-gaming [Ap 9 at 89; Ap. 15 at 13], although Vargas says did not understand the rule and it is not clear what role that violation played in Twitch’s decision to terminate him.”
According to the judge, Phantoml0rd was not being honest here. A video was shown where Phantoml0rd was looking at the Twitch TOS and Rules of Conduct from back in 2016. So it’s clear he knew the rules and was choosing to ignore them. In the judge’s ruling on the Phantoml0rd v. Twitch lawsuit, there were other issues with Varga’s credibility.
In this Twitch Phantoml0rd lawsuit ruling, the judge stood by Twitch’s decision to ban him. The viewers were no longer exposed to his negative behavior. Sure, he’s banned on Twitch, but the judge stated that viewers were not deprived of his content since it can be consumed on YouTube.
Judge Karnow also expected that Twitch would no longer be so “ham-fisted” in their responses in the future, as it likely cost them a very hefty sum of money. In summation, the “Unfair Competition Law” judgment was for Twitch and against Varga (Phantoml0rd).
Phantoml0rd won in that he received a settlement, but he wasn’t treated completely unfairly by Twitch, it seems.