What’s The Verdict: Is the Recent Periscope Piracy Debate based on Principal or Circumstances?

What’s The Verdict: Is the Recent Periscope Piracy Debate based on Principal or Circumstances?

Yes, it is the principal.  Illegally streaming is in fact illegal, but the recent uproar over the app has a lot to do with circumstances; we’ve waited five years for the two best fighters to go up against each other.  After Periscope [and Meerkat] took over as the viewing platform for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight this past Saturday, there has been much discussion over copyright and piracy issues. People used the live-streaming app to illegally watch the Pay Per View fight and providers did not take this lightly.  Early this morning Periscope CEO, Kayvon Beykpour came to the defense of his app on “CBS This Morning” making it clear he does NOT support piracy. Well, I would hope so. The app has been the center of debate since it launched just about a month ago for its ability to broadcast live from anywhere.  Beykpour wouldn’t reveal the exact number of people who used Periscope during the biggest fight of the century, but other sources say one stream had 10,000 viewers. All pirated content was taken down as quickly as possible once Periscope became aware of what was going on.

Beykpour, not surprisingly, reiterated that Periscope was not designed to allow people to stream copyrighted material and that they don’t support it by pointing out that their content policy prohibits it.  He says, “I think we built a tool that allows people to share what they’re seeing with the world and sometimes people will use that for things we have no intention of supporting,” followed by, “I don’t think it’s something inherently we’ve done wrong in any way.”  Periscope CEO doesn’t think people should be pointing the finger at him, instead point the finger at those who streamed the content.

Now, let’s compare this to YouTube. In the same way, YouTube was built as a tool that allowed people to create content, to share and connect via the web. Where there is copyrighted material, it is removed as soon as possible, i.e. unofficial release of a song.  Periscope will be enforcing this same policy and resolution. I think it’s important to remember there is no way to ever prohibit copyrighted material UNTIL it actually happens. I mean, there’s no way to screen absolutely every piece of content prior to posting.  It’s almost as if Periscope is just getting a really hard time because of circumstances…it was connected to the biggest fight of the century.  Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way, shape, or form supporting piracy or illegally streaming a live event, rather I am highlighting that Periscope being under fire has much to do with the circumstances. If the illegal streaming had been of the Drake concert or Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m thinking there wouldn’t have been as much of an uproar! What do you think? Was it Principal? Was it Circumstances?  Or both?  Watch the video of “CBS This Morning” here.  

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