German regulator says Twitch and YouTube streams are considered broadcasts, must apply for broadcasting license

By Sherif Saed, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 14:52 GMT

If you’re a Twitch streamer or a YouTuber in Germany, things may be about to change in how the law views your type of work.

German broadcast authority the Landesmedienanstalt has ruled that YouTubers and Twitch streamers will need to acquire a broadcasting license, as they are considered broadcasts by the law.

That’s what YouTuber PietSmiet was told, as he explains in the video above [German]. PietSmiet has to apply for a license by April 30 if he wants to continue uploading videos.

A broadcast license costs anywhere between €1,000 and €10,000, depending on the size of the audience and other factors. As one Reddit post explains, officials are aware these rules are outdated, and although technically encompassing all broadcasts, these rules were meant for TV and radio.

However, until new rules are in place, the regulator has to apply the letter of the law. Though the amount of money may pose an issue for smaller channels, this ruling could have much bigger implications.

TV stations that have a license in Germany must also abide by other guidelines with regards to content. For instance, adult content, which likely includes swearing or violence, cannot be aired before 10pm. This could prove very difficult to enforce, not to mention the devastating effects it would have on gaming channels.

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