Periscope live-streams that re-broadcast TV footage from the Rio Olympic Games 2016 are being hit with takedown strikes as the International Olympic Comittee (IOC) moves to protect its intellectual property rights and cease the sharing 'pirated' content.
The takedown requests have been filed for breaches of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and can be viewed at the Lumen database, with a stark increase in complaints from the IOC since the start of the Rio 2016 Games.
Despite the video quality limitations inherent to the Twitter-owned app, some users have chosen to stream broadcasts of the major events such as the Men's 100m Finals. In the past, the IOC has defended its intellectual property against piracy by targeting torrent website like The Pirate Bay.
TorrentFreak reports that the recent swathe of takedown requests against Periscope are the result of "a dedicated team of investigators" hired by the IOC.
As well as TV re-broadcasts, a statement in the IOC's digital media guidelines suggests that Olympic Games attendees are forbidden from streaming events live. "Broadcasting images via live-streaming applications (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat) is prohibited inside Olympic venues," the guidelines state.
Despite the plethora of takedowns, a quick search on social media reveals that Periscope streams that show TV footage of Rio 2016 are still out there in the wild, although the viewer counts rarely break into triple digits.
In the UK, the BBC has been streaming the 2016 Olympics via the BBC iPlayer on desktop and the iOS and Android apps. Although, while British sporting fans can currently watch the BBC's coverage on iPlayer without paying for a TV licence thanks to a legal loophole, from 1 September, viewers will have to pay the £145.50 annual licence fee to watch any live and/or on-demand programmes.