The Epic Games v Apple the trial began on Monday, and if you wanted to join in and listen to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney talk about the “metaverse,” your options were limited. In theory, there is public access to the trial, like most court proceedings, but as the courthouse is still closed for lockdown, the only access was through the court teleconference line briefly crossed by screaming teenagers.
But for anyone looking for more user-friendly options, there is good news. A surprising, small community of streamers has decided to re-broadcast the trial on streaming platforms – places built for the people who play Fortnite instead of the antitrust policy in court. Before yesterday’s proceedings, I found a handful of YouTube channels and streamers rebroadcasting the hearing online, including Geoff Keighley (Ryan Seacrest of gaming) on the Game Awards YouTube channel. Keighley’s YouTube stream drew around 1,000 viewers during Monday’s events, with an active side chat filled with Fortnite fans and enemies ignore the day’s witnesses.
Technically, you are not supposed to do this. The court website explicitly tells users that “any recording, copying, or retransmission of a remote hearing is absolutely prohibited.” Electronic recording equipment are often prohibited of public sessions for the same reason.
But because you’re breaking court rules, not copyright, streaming the lawsuit is much less likely to lead to an account strike than a live stream via sports or television. And while conventional media outlets can have their press credentials stripped for defying the ban, most streamers are far enough outside of that system that they don’t care.
A separate Fortnite pennant, golden (112,000 subscribers), also attended the hearing and commented for followers interested in the day’s events. To avoid ticking off the court, he muted the audio of the trial and provided a link to Keighley’s stream for viewers who wanted to follow themselves. He also mentioned his Discord server in the video’s biography and had three audio rooms dedicated to re-streaming Keighley’s audio. The Discord’s general chat was a mix of armchair anti-trust lawyers and others complaining about Sweeney’s poor microphone setup.
“Bruh this audio,” wrote one person, responding to Sweeney’s murmur.
It’s hard to say how many streamers will be active for today’s work, but if you’re hoping to join in, searching YouTube and Twitch for rebroadcasts can bring up more options than you think.