Periscope: Live Streaming & Piracy

Live streaming apps like Periscope have gained overnight popularity, in large part due to competitor Meerkat’s success at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW). Although they aren’t the first apps in the market to offer live streaming, the ease with which they can be used has made them instant hits with users.

Live streaming gives the power of content creation and sharing to just about anyone, from anywhere – and that’s what keeps bringing Periscope to the news for all the wrong reasons.

The latest hiccup in Periscope’s journey comes à la HBO, which issued a take-down notice after Periscope users live streamed the 5th season premier of one of HBO’s highest-grossing shows, Game of Thrones.









Periscope is designed to help people share everyday activities – could it pose a larger threat to the entertainment industry?

The ease with which live streaming creates on-the-ground reporters and broadcasters could pose a problem for brands and organizations with sole rights to certain kinds of content – especially for the entertainment and news industry.  While Periscope discourages copyright infringement and commits to taking action when notified, it doesn’t have a system in place to monitor and prevent the creation of such content.













And that’s what content owners are unhappy about. An HBO spokeswoman commented:

“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.”

Most live streaming apps also have a particular feature which makes it difficult for brands to track cases of copyright infringement – content on these apps self-deletes immediately, or, in the case of Periscope, within 24 hours.

Where’s the line?

How might streaming apps tackle the challenge of reviewing thousands of hours of footage in near-real-time? Should the responsibility lie with them, or the end user? Is it even practical to envision a solution? Should companies like HBO assume such behavior is the ‘new norm’?


This post is a part of our People’s Insights Monthly Brief for May, Tech Innovation – Friend or Foe?


  Tech Innovation – Friend or Foe? | People’s Insights May 2015 by MSLGROUP

Melanie Joe

Melanie Joe

Melanie is Consultant - Research and Insights at MSLGROUP, based in Mumbai. She tracks inspiring initiatives in the digital space for People's Insights.

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