Somewhat to our surprise, the arbitrator in Owen’s case ruled that Patreon does have the contractual right it claims to kick anyone off its platform at any time without any reason, regardless of whether the user being kicked off has violated any rules or community guidelines or not. That right to terminate any user at any time at will was the reason he gave for granting Patreon’s request for summary disposition.
The arbitrator also appeared to make the mistake of confusing “terminating the contract” with “deleting the creator page”, but given his very broad grant of permissions to Patreon, I can’t see how that matters. So, this means that Owen’s arbitration is pretty much over.
What does it mean for the metacase and for the hundreds of other ongoing and pending arbitrations? Nothing at all. Arbitrations are arbitrary and they set absolutely no precedent from one proceeding to the next. In fact, even Owen’s arbitrator pointed out in his ruling that Patreon’s attempt to cite other arbitrator’s rulings in his arbitration were not valid and could not be taken into account.
This is not the first tactical loss, and it probably won’t be the last, but neither the tactical wins nor the losses will make any difference as things proceed toward the inevitable end.