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Mass copyright infringement could derail live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat

By Shawn Knight
Apr 15, 2015
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  1. mass periscope meerkat twitter game of thrones copyright infringement pay-per-view video streaming live video streaming

    Periscope, Meerkat and the eventual abundance of copycats have officially made live video streaming a thing. Unlike other video chat services that offer a one-to-one experience, this new breed of apps allows a single person to stream live content to an unlimited number of viewers.

    Some are already saying these apps could significantly alter or contribute to things like citizen journalism and even professional news reporting but there’s another concern emerging that threatens to derail the movement altogether: mass copyright infringement.

    Last Sunday’s season premiere of Game of Thrones served as a prime example. Despite the fact that there are now multiple legal ways to watch HBO, there were apparently plenty of people that used Periscope to stream the premiere and even more who were willing to watch it. That’s not entirely surprising when you consider Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV show during the last three years, but I digress.

    mass periscope meerkat twitter game of thrones copyright infringement pay-per-view video streaming live video streaming

    There are far better ways to pirate HBO’s hit show but you have to remember, we live in a world of instant gratification. For some, the best way to get their fix was through Periscope’s low-resolution live stream.

    As The Hollywood Reporter notes, HBO wasn’t exactly pleased with the incident and has sent takedown notices to the Twitter-owned company. In a statement on the matter, HBO said they feel developers should have tools in place which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring instead of solely relying on notices after the fact.

    In its terms of service, Periscope explicitly prohibits copyright infringement. Yet as HBO contends, the service relies solely on users to report incidents of infringement. Accounts that violate the TOS can be suspended or shut down at Periscope's digression.

    While Game of Thrones is just one example, it highlights the potential for mass copyright infringement moving forward. It’s only a matter of time before people start streaming movies from their local theater, live concerts, pay-per-view events or even Broadway shows over these apps. How developers plan to combat such behavior will be critical.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2015
  2. I think at this point it would probably be easier to rewrite copyright laws than to force everyone with a mobile phone to adhere to the ancient texts that are currently in place.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,195   +592

    I would have to agree.

    from the article

    "HBO said they feel developers should have tools in place which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring instead of solely relying on notices after the fact."

    The problem with this, as we are finding out with youtube, is that it blocks any sort of creativity. Copy rights are so tightly restricted right now on youtube that unless you know it's public domain or you made it, you can't use it. Even if you aren't making money off it. Even then I've seen works in public domain be claimed and video taken down.

    This leads me to my point. No website should be in charge of curating another person's copyright, it too onerous of a task to place on websites. The system youtube has in place is an example of an automatic system that trades upkeep cost for quality. While it isn't as hard to maintain, computers can only be so good a judge of copyright.

    Honestly, if I were the creator of game of thrones and people in a different region are watching my show through a low quality service, I'd support that. It speaks volumes that people are willing to watch the show despite the video quality, nevermind the fact that these people are probably not even able to subscribe to HBO (yay regional restrictions!). At the very least, one more fan could translate into more talk and more sales, whether or not they themselves buy anything.
     
  4. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 135   +67

    I just hope no one live streams the Pacquiao Mayweather fight, and if they do, I sure hope they don't post a notice here on how to find it......just sayin....
     
    Evernessince likes this.

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