The Pirates Of Periscope Bring Publicity To ‘Game of Thrones’

Periscope, the Twitter-owned mobile video streaming app, is getting loads of good old-fashioned free publicity today via doddering news reports that some users of the app shared with their Twitter followers the first episode of HBO’s sex-and-swords series Game of Thrones.

In a statement, Periscope told Deadline: “Periscope operates in compliance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Periscope will respond to valid takedown requests.”

HBO, meanwhile, is getting loads of publicity telling reporters it’s “aware of Periscope and have sent take down notices,” but mostly for its “we are not amused” response to Periscope’s policy:  “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.”

Game of Thrones, meanwhile is getting loads of publicity — in addition to all the usual new-season hyperventilating – via same news reports, which refer to the show as being among the most pirated programs in the universe. The Periscope news follows a report in advance of Sunday’s Season 5 unveiling that the season’s first four episodes were leaked online, according to all-things-piracy website TorrentFreak.  Piracy reports are the TV series equivalent of throwing raw meet to piranha, and may explain why, despite all the pirates/Periscopers, GoT on Sunday enjoyed its biggest on-air HBO launch in its history — 8 million viewers for Sunday’s Season 5 first-episode unveiling.

So far as we can tell, the only sad story here is those piranha, aka Periscopers, who simply wanted to share their girlish enthusiasm for GoT with their loyal Twitter followers. For them, a Yahoo news editorial assistant has glad tidings:  “As for the penniless and friendless that are forced to watch Games of Thrones, Silicon Valley, and/or John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight via a crumby cellphone camera stream, the good news is that we haven’t seen a report of Periscope actually banning any accounts just yet; we are only at the warning stage. But give it some time: This weekend is just the first well-publicized act of piracy we’ve seen in the the app’s two-and-a-half week life, and there’s a lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ left to go this season.”


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