Periscope is only five months old, but it's already drawn the attention of HBO and other cable operators for piracy. According to Twitter's latest transparency report, Periscope has received 1,391 copyright takedown requests since it launched in late March.
Copyright infringement has increasingly been a problem for websites like Facebook, which depends on third parties to report copyright infringement, just like Periscope does. But the app has an additional problem to deal with — content can be pirated live, making it more difficult to police infringement. Twitter seems to be making an effort to combat the problem; Periscope's average rate of copyright compliance, at 71 percent, is higher than both Vine’s (68 percent) and Twitter’s (67 percent). There's no guarantee that Periscope is catching live streams in the act, though — in many cases, they're likely being pulled after the fact.
For a younger generation that has countless ways to watch video programming, streaming apps like Periscope are a way — a legally questionable way, but a way nonetheless — to access traditional cable TV without the burden of a subscription. Periscope may not be the enjoyable way to watch, say, an entire season of Game of Thrones, but it's easy, free, and doesn't make you wait for a torrent to download.
For now, a compliance rate of 71 percent isn’t bad; but as Periscope keeps growing, it’s likely that its copyright problem will too.