The IOC Is On The Prowl To Take Down “Periscope Pirates”

Image courtesy of JimmyBionic

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is infamous at this point for being very, very tight-fisted with any and all things Olympic. And it makes sense, to a point: they literally have one job (Olympics) and companies sign contracts worth billions of dollars for exclusive rights to air and share the Games. Even using gifs of Olympic events is banned, a harsh rule in our visual and image-based era. So you can imagine how well the IOC takes to having anyone live-streaming the events on the sly. (Spoiler: not well at all.)

Because this is 2016, live-streaming options are easily available to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, i.e. billions of people. And as TorrentFreak reports, the IOC is going after them all (or, at least, as many as they can find).

The IOC uses some of those billions of dollars they get from broadcasters to pay for a team of investigators that spends its time tracking down and reporting unauthorized streams online. A big target these days is Twitter’s Periscope, which easily allows anyone to live-stream anything they’re pointing their phone camera at.

As TorrentFreak points out (and you probably could have guessed), a huge number of these streams are actively terrible. Shaky, dark, or otherwise not worth your time, they attract perhaps a few dozen viewers at most. Still, they garner takedown requests from the IOC — roughly a thousand so far, with the number rising.

The stats for Periscope takedown notices are publicly available, which makes them easy for TorrentFreak to tally, but odds are incredibly low that it’s the only site receiving them. Where Facebook Live videos pop up, Facebook must certainly be asked to take them down. The same for Ustream, YouTube, and any other platform you can think of.

It’s not just sharing TV footage that’ll get you busted, either; anyone actually at the events is likewise forbidden to turn a live-streaming phone on the sport they’re watching. Which the IOC can certainly try to do… but with phones proliferating, they’re going to need a team as large as the number of international athletes to stand any chance of winning that metaphorical whack-a-mole.

International Olympic Committee Cracks Down on Periscope Pirates [TorrentFreak]

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