'Game of Thrones' Becomes a Test Case for Periscope Streaming

Courtesy of HBO
'Game of Thrones'

When the fifth season of the HBO drama premiered on April 12, some fans live-broadcasted the episode using Twitter's new app, Periscope.

Game of Thrones fans didn't necessarily need an HBO subscription to view the fifth season premiere on Sunday night. The episode was being broadcast by some users of Twitter's new live-streaming app, Periscope.  

According to Mashable, Periscope will suspend or shut down the accounts of anyone who violates the app's terms of service. Those TOS make it clear that the app, which allows anyone with a Twitter account to begin live-streaming from their phone with the click of a button, does not support copyright infringement. "We respect the intellectual property rights of others and expect Periscope users to do the same," the TOS read. "We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us."

The TOS also give Periscope, which has a team dedicated to content review, the right to remove any illegal content and, in some circumstances, to shut down a person's account. 

Game of Thrones is a big target for piracy. There was a spike in illegal downloading of the first four seasons of the sweeping fantasy drama ahead of its April 12 premiere. Several episodes of the fifth season also made their way onto file-sharing sites over the weekend and were downloaded more than 100,000 times in their first three hours they were available online.