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"Periscope" Periscope
Type Video Streaming
Launch Date 26 March 2015
Status Active
Product Line Mobile Application
Platform iOS, tvOS, Android

eriscope is a phone application that allows your device to stream a live video feed for viewers. It is available to download on both iOS and Android application stores and was created and developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. [1] Twitter acquired Periscope in March of 2015 for an undisclosed amount that has been rumored to be between $75 and $100 million [2]. Joe Bernstein is the central founder and he thought of the application idea while he was traveling. He wanted to share his experiences with people in real time and that is when Periscope was born [3]. Periscope was officially started in February of 2014 under their previous name, Bounty [4]. Later in 2014, they received funding from several investors including Stanford - Startx, Scott Belsky and Google Ventures and several others [5]. Periscope was officially launched on March 26, 2015, and four months later it had 10 million users signed up [6].

Using Periscope


A user who is live streaming from their phone has the option to stream a private feed or open it up to anyone with public viewing. Users have the option to disables comments on the feed and users can also block other users whenever they wish. While streaming a video, a heart will appear at the bottom of the screen, meaning that another user watching the stream responded to the live stream with the icon. The user who is streaming the video can receive up to 500 hearts per session and can see on their screen when users choose to give their stream a heart or a comment. To allow for this live stream video viewing to come to television Periscope developed an AppleTV app that is currently available for download.[7].

A demonstration of what Periscope broadcasts look like to users


Several other social media sites have implemented live video streaming options. These competitors include Facebook Live[8], Instagram Live[9], Twitch (which is primarily used to live stream video games)[10], YouTube live[11], and others. Live streaming video has become more popular in recent years across all platforms,[12] and has even contributed to political moments such as the live streaming of the death of Philando Castile by his girlfriend when he was fatally shot by a police officer in Minnesota after a traffic stop.[13]

Legal Issues

Periscope has come under fire for copyright-related issues. Individuals have been live streaming events, shows, concerts, movies, sporting events and that is where it has been accused of video piracy. The specific event that made light of this issue was a May 2, 2015 HBO boxing match between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. the underdog, Manny Pacquiao. Instead of purchasing the $90 pay per view access people turned to Periscope to watch attendees of the fight stream it live for free. (Yahoo) Similar issues have arose several times, which has caused some discussion about the policies and legality of the app. [14]. Live streaming what is seen in a public space, such as a park or sidewalk is legal. Public music venues where concerts are hosted or ballparks are considered public places, but the boundaries blur when it comes to restrictions placed by the artist or the league on who has the right to broadcast and profit off of the event [15].

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight

After generating more than 4.4 million Pay-Per-View buys, the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight was boxing's highest selling fight in history. This was not the only fight that was going on that night, though, as Periscope fought to keep illegal streams off of their site. Periscope confirmed that they had to take down more than 30 illegal streams of the fight. Though Periscope may act in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, they cannot always ensure that all of their users will. They note in their terms of service that they do not support copyright infringement, but they rely on their own users to report these instances. HBO and Showtime were able to file lawsuits against traditional piracy websites that were set up solely for that purpose but were not able to take legal action against Periscope.[16]

Ethical Implications

Since Periscope has been on the market as an application, some users and companies have raised ethical concerns. Users of Periscope can stream whatever they wish, but sometimes what they wish to stream is not always legal. In the terms and conditions set forth by Periscope, users are responsible for the content that they choose to post [17]. A problem also arises when people who capture others in their live stream do not have the permission of that person. When attending sporting events staff can do their best to stop people from streaming from their phones, but at the end of the day, it is too difficult to tell if someone is taking a video, picture or live streaming so it is up to the user's morals. [18].

Game of Thrones

Periscope once again came into the spotlight during the Game of Thrones Season 5 Premier. There were multiple reports of Periscope users streaming the exclusively HBO show. HBO responded by sending takedown notices to Periscope. After the issue came up, an HBO spokeswoman said "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." in regards to their terms of service, and way of dealing with copyright infringement.[19]

See Also


  1. Periscope: Anglesey man behind video streaming app
  2. Twitter quietly bought a video startup that hasn't launched yet, Periscope
  3. Periscope: Anglesey man behind video streaming app
  4. Periscope Live Discussion
  5. Periscope Overview
  6. Periscope By The Numbers
  7. Periscope App Now On Apple TV
  8. Facebook Live
  9. How Do I Start a Live Video on Instagram?
  10. Twitch
  11. YouTube live
  12. The latest social media trend: live streaming [1]
  13. Facebook Live Streaming Police Shooting
  14. Periscope delivers blow to pay-per-view in Mayweather v Pacquiao fight
  15. Live Streaming Video: Is it Legal?
  16. Mayweather Pacquiao Streaming Issues
  17. Twitter Terms of Service
  18. Anti-piracy battle unfolds in real time on Periscope, live-streaming apps
  19. Periscope Game of Thrones