Periscope. Copyright Infringement. Twitter.

Have you heard about the app, Periscope?

This is a video streaming app owned by Twitter.  It is an iOS and Android app, which allows users to live-stream videos to either their friends/followers or out to the public in general. The app allows users to tap an icon on their mobile device and send “hearts” which show appreciation of the broadcast they are viewing. Social media giant, Twitter, purchased the Periscope app from the start-up company that created it for $100 million in March of 2015.
However, Periscope’s launch into the video-streaming arena has not been without controversy, particularly when it comes to copyright law. The app has come under attack by the entertainment industry and from HBO in particular. Shortly after its launch, Periscope users were caught live-streaming the HBO hit “Game of Thrones” out to their friends who weren’t paying for the HBO service. Users of the app pointed their smartphone at the TV and the broadcast went out to friends, and even strangers.

Periscope. Copyright Infringement. Twitter.

Periscope was also accused of promoting copyright infringement and pirating in regards to the recent Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao boxing match. The pay-per-view fight, which aired on HBO, cost up to $100 went out over Periscope.
Analysts in the tech industry anticipated these issues when the app was first released. Twitter, the parent company says it issues strict user guidelines for the app forbidding the streaming of copyrighted material, saying that users who violate the terms of agreement risk termination of their account. But to HBO and other broadcasters, this isn’t quite enough. HBO has issued take down notices to the company in regards to their copyrighted material.
Periscope is just the latest clash between Social Media technology and copyright protection. Since its inception, YouTube has had issues with users posting copyrighted content without permission. YouTube allows people to issue copyright takedown notices, and if users persist in violating copyrights, their channels can be terminated.
The phenomenon that is Social Media and the tech tools used to access it is here to stay, and thus, so are the inevitable arguments over Fair Use vs Copyright Infringement.
Join the conversation on my Twitter Law feed, my Facebook Law Fan Page, my Google+ page, or one of my LinkedIn discussions.

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