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HBO says Periscope could be a tool for 'mass copyright infringement'

HBO says Periscope could be a tool for 'mass copyright infringement'

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HBO isn't happy with everyone who used Periscope to rebroadcast Game of Thrones, but it's even less happy with Periscope for not having the tools to stop them. According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has sent takedown notices to Periscope for recordings that include Sunday night's premiere of Game of Thrones. It's also taken a dig at Periscope for what it implies is a hands-off attitude toward piracy. "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 says in a statement.

There are so many better ways to watch (and pirate) Game of Thrones

As HBO points out, Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, currently only deals with copyright issues when they're brought to the company's attention. Copyright infringement is against Periscope's terms of service — for obvious reasons — and it tells Mashable that violating users will be "suspended or shut down." Copyright issues reportedly result in a permanent account closure.

Stopping pirate streams of TV shows certainly doesn't seem like an easy feat for Periscope. The app is all about letting users broadcast whatever's around them, and while that's usually going to be legal, it may be difficult to detect when they happen to be pointing their camera at someone else's copyrighted recording. But even if Periscope isn't doing much to stop piracy, it at least isn't doing much to make it flourish, either: with all of the ways to watch Game of Thrones right now, would you really want to watch it second-hand over Periscope's tiny, low-res video streams?

Update 7:39PM ET: An earlier version of this article described Periscope’s attitude toward piracy as "laissez faire." Periscope subsequently outlined its policies for us in greater detail, noting that it has a set process for taking down content, warning, and suspending accounts. We've struck this wording from the article.