By: Scott Hervey
Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat are two new “live streaming” apps which allow users to live stream videos from their phones. These applications could potentially change the way live sporting or music events are broadcast or change the way news footage is gathered. They can also be used by a viewer to re-broadcast copyrighted content. HBO was recently on the receiving end of that lesson when it found out that dozens of viewers were live streaming the season premiere of Game of Thrones.
HBO said that Periscope was responsive to its take down notices, but also added “We feel developers should have tools which proactively prevent mass copyright infringement from occurring on their apps and not be solely reliant upon notification.” This sounds very similar to the argument Viacom initially made in its protracted copyright infringement litigation against YouTube. However, in 2010 U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton rejected this argument when he found that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”) insulated YouTube/Google from Viacom’s infringement claims and granted YouTube’s motion for summary judgment.
Under the DMCA, a “Service Provider” may be entitled to immunity from claims of copyright infringement in four areas: 1) transitory communications; 2) system caching; 3) storage of information on systems or networks at direction of users; and 4) information location tools. While each area would appear to have some application to Periscope and Meerkat’s business, the information storage category is of primary focus.
Continue Reading Live Streaming Apps Raise New/Old Copyright Concerns