“Game of Thrones” fans have found a new way to pirate HBO’s hit show: live streaming through Twitter’s Periscope app. The Australian site Mumbrella reported that several Periscope users were broadcasting the “Game of Thrones” Season 5 premiere, and HBO issued take-down notices. Periscope, which has an entire team dedicated to reviewing material, issued a statement saying it explicitly prohibits piracy and it can remove content and shut down user accounts.
HBO criticized Periscope for its system of taking down content. “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,” HBO said in a statement. Periscope currently relies on users to report incidents of copyright infringement.
Periscope responded by saying that piracy is not condoned on the app. “We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us,” Twitter wrote on its Terms of Service site. The Periscope team will review the content only after a user reports it and the copyright-holder files a take-down notice.
HBO might have bigger piracy problems than Periscope though, reports Bloomberg. The streams on periscopes were low-quality video from a camera pointed at a television set. Neither Periscope, nor its livestreaming competitor Meerkat, post more than 60,000 live-streams a day. Comparatively, the new episodes of “Game of Thrones” have been downloaded more than 1 million times.
“Game of Thrones” was the most pirated show of 2014, and the first weekend suggests the show may be on track for that honor once again this year. A few episodes of the fifth season were leaked and downloaded 100,000 times in the first three hours they were posted online, according to The Hollywood Reporter.