Two weeks ago, we wrote about the new Game of Thrones episodes leaking onlineand the controversy surrounding it. Several users of Twitter’s Periscope service uploaded the episodes, which Twitter quickly removed.
However, questions surrounding the case and others like it have yet to be answered. Are websites or people uploading the stolen content to websites liable for damages? Are they committing copyright infringement?
Living in a digital age could present complications for the entertainment business as more people record movies, sports games and other content that might be copyrighted. For example, last year AMC Theaters reportedly called for federal law enforcement on a moviegoer for wearing Google Glass during a movie showing. It was thought at the time that the man might have been recording the movie using Google’s new product.
Are Websites or the People Who Use Them Committing Copyright Infringement?
What if the man using Google Glass in the movie theater was recording, and then went home and uploaded the content onto a streaming service like Periscope? In many cases, streaming services such as Periscope and YouTube immediately take down copyrighted content, but there are examples of the opposite happening.
In January of 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice seized website Megaupload, in part for hosting copyrighted material such as television shows and movies. That same month, New Zealand authorities arrested the owner of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, at the request of U.S. authorities. In February of 2015, a programmer who had worked for Megaupload pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and now faces a year and one day in federal prison.
Depending on the situation, people uploading copyrighted content and the websites hosting them may both be breaking the law. As mobile technology continues to proliferate, laws might change to adapt to the ease of recording and streaming copyrighted content.
Companies can lose millions of dollars when copyrighted content is stolen and uploaded to websites. Hiring an experienced copyright attorney can help businesses defend themselves against copyright infringement and piracy.
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