HBO’s not happy about Periscope users livestreaming Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 5
Game of Thrones Season 5

HBO is pressuring Twitter-owned Periscope to take action against users who’re livestreaming shows such as the new season of Game of Thrones, it emerged this week. Periscope, an iOS app that launched just three weeks ago, lets users stream video via their smartphone’s camera, with pretty much anyone hooked up to the Internet able to watch.

So concerned is HBO about what it sees as blatant copyright infringement that the cable company has started sending takedown notices to Periscope.

“In general, we feel developers should have tools which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring on their apps and not be solely reliant upon notifications,” HBO said in a statement that suggested it was less than happy with Periscope’s current method of dealing with piracy on its platform.

Periscope says in its terms of service that it’ll “respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement” and reserves the right “to remove content alleged to be infringing without prior notice and at our sole discretion,” adding that it’ll also terminate a user’s account “if the user is determined to be a repeat infringer.”

However, the very nature of Periscope means the startup has its work cut out to prevent copyright infringement, which is likely to become an increasing problem as the app continues to build its user base.

Periscope users have the option to leave their streams up on the service for 24 hours, which should give the startup a better chance of tracking down infringers. It could also employ technology similar to that being used by YouTube, which in many cases can spot copyrighted content pretty much right after it’s been uploaded to the site.

While HBO will likely be more concerned about high-quality copies of its shows hitting torrent sites than wobbly streams in portrait mode on Periscope, the network evidently wants the startup to take action early on rather than wait till it becomes a bigger issue further down the road.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]