Anti-Piracy Battle Unfolds in Real Time on Periscope

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vanquished his last opponent on Sept. 12, but as fans used live-streaming apps such as Periscope to broadcast the fight, they were also throwing punches at anti-piracy rules in real time.

The battle extends beyond the boxing ring, with viewers whipping out their cellphones to film music concerts, football games or cable TV shows. They're sharing experiences -- often with high ticket prices -- for free worldwide and sending copyright holders, tech firms and anti-piracy companies on a mad scramble to get the broadcasts taken down midstream. In a race against time, copyright holders are navigating complex legal and technological waters fast.

"The value of real-time sports content diminishes rapidly after that event has ended so it's important that we can track these infringing sites and take them down within minutes. It's a real-time cat-and-mouse whack-a-mole," said Ben Bennett, senior vice president of business development at Irdeto, a digital security firm with anti-piracy operations in San Jose.

Twitter, which owns Periscope, said in a statement the company is committed to making the live video-streaming app "an enjoyable place for everyone" and quickly responds to takedown notices sent to the company. Periscope broadcasts are up for minutes or at most 24 hours before expiring.

While live video streaming has been around for more than a decade, mobile apps such as Periscope -- which has more than 10 million users -- and Meerkat rocketed to popularity this year, making it easier to broadcast copyrighted content, Bennett said. Social media giant Facebook recently jumped into live streaming too, launching the feature first for public figures, journalists and celebrities.

The challenges of real-time copyright enforcement came back in the spotlight over the Sept. 12 weekend, when Periscope responded to more than 140 takedown notices, most about the fight between Mayweather and Andre Berto -- a pay-per-view...

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