Olivia R. March 7, 2019
Forward Gaming has recanted their decision to not participate in any WePlay! tournaments after the organization issued a public apology.
Forward Gaming had previously announced that they needed WePlay! to publish a formal apology to the public after WePlay issued a DMCA claim against Dota 2 caster Roman Vladimirovich “CaspeRRR” Lepokhin and other RuHub casters streaming the IEM Katowice Major on their personal channels.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was enacted in 1998 with the intention to create updated copyright laws surrounding the regulation of digital material. It has remained a controversial law, with many streamers and YouTube channels fighting the DMCA’s anti-piracy measures and broad definitions.
WePlay! stated that they had filed the initial DMCA claim not because CaspeRRR and others were streaming the Counter-Strike: Global offensive major, but because they felt it was done to “intentionally harm” its channel.
CaspeRRR had streamed the tournament in Ukrainian, despite RuHub having the rights to stream the same event in Russian. In response, RuHub casters decided to start streaming WePlay!’s content and promoting it on their own social media channels, which breaks Valve's rules.
Many in the CS:GO and Dota 2 community argued that the claim was false, since WePlay! doesn’t own the content in the game itself, and noted that only Valve could make such claims.
In a public apology, WePlay! said that the community’s negative reaction to the DMCA claim caused them to see the situation differently. WePlay! concluded that it would not prohibit independent streamers from sharing their tournament content, and would not use DMCA as a tool against them. They then withdrew the DMCA claim against CaspeRRR.