It didn’t take long for the Internet to use Periscope, the new Twitter-owned mobile video streaming app, for some skeezy and illegal activity.
On Sunday, there were reports that Periscopers were sending out live personal broadcasts of the season premiere of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ by pointing their iPhones at the television or computer screen and pressing record. This, in turn, prompted threats of account closures from Periscope.
A Twitter spokesperson told Mashable that Periscope prohibits the streaming of copyrighted materials, and pointed to the app’s terms of service which give the right to “terminate a user’s account if the user is determined to be a repeat infringer.”
As GoT remains the most illegally downloaded television show around, low-quality Periscope streams of peoples’ TV screens were used Sunday night as a way for those impatient pirates to catch the show live as it broadcast at 9 PM ET. HD torrents of popular shows are generally captured and placed online for illegal procurement a short time after new episodes air.
We can only assume those going to extremes to watch GoT via illicit means have no friends of family with an HBO Go account. After all, the TV channel’s CEO has said it’s totally OK to borrow others’ account logins and watch with the rest of the cable-paying community.
As for the penniless and friendless that are forced to watch Games of Thrones, Silicon Valley, and/or John Oliver’s Las Week Tonight via a crumby cellphone camera stream, the good news is that we haven’t seen a report of Periscope actually banning any accounts just yet; we are only at the warning stage. But give it some time: This weekend is just the first well-publicized act of piracy we’ve seen in the the app’s two-and-a-half week life, and there’s a lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ left to go this season.
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