After Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight, Twitter Building “Robust Tools” To Combat Periscope Piracy
Company says it received 66 takedown requests, removed 30 with remaining streams gone by time they were acted on.
After Twitter’s live streaming service Periscope gained attention this weekend as a easy way for people to watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight without paying for it, Twitter says it is working to build tools to better combat such piracy. The company also said it removed 30 streams of the fight, based on rights-holder complaints.
When the fight aired on Saturday night, it was easy to locate people rebroadcasting it on Periscope as well as rival service Meerkat. The quality often wasn’t great, but thousands watched this way, as one example below shows:
Our previous story covers this in more detail: Meerkat & Periscope Let People Pirate The Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight: Twitter’s CEO Doesn’t Care. It also covers how Twitter CEO Dick Costolo seemed unconcerned over the piracy, declaring Periscope to be the “winner” of the fight:
And the winner is… @periscopeco
— dick costolo (@dickc) May 3, 2015
Despite Costolo’s tweet, when Twitter was asked if these streams were a violation of Periscope’s terms, the company said yes and that rebroadcast of television content is generally forbidden. A spokesperson emailed:
Our content policy expressly prohibits featuring content protected by copyright in a broadcast.
The spokesperson said that during the fight, Periscope received 66 takedown requests (DMCA requests, made under provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Of these, it acted on 30 streams that were still going:
Members of the Periscope team, which operates independently of Twitter were on staff Saturday night to disable any such streams that were reported by rights holders. In total we received 66 DMCA requests, we were able to act against 30, within minutes. The remaining streams had already ended or were no longer available.
Asked about Costolo’s tweet, whether the company had any further comment or clarification on that, there was no answer. But Twitter did say that it seeks to improve its anti-piracy tools:
We respect the intellectual property rights of rights holders. We are working to ensure there are robust tools are in place so we can react expeditiously.
The challenge is pretty tough. There were easily hundreds if not thousands of streams of the fight going this weekend, all easily found off the Periscope (and Meerkat) home screens:
If Twitter is depending on rights-holders to file complaints to stop all these, the next time a big event like this happens, it’s going to be a constant barrage of complaints filed, plus much time wasted when many of those streams end before they even get acted upon.