Livestreaming is rapidly becoming a powerful force in blogging. Not only is it a fast way to add interactive media to a site, but it’s also a powerful way to record static media, including videos and podcasts, for later.
However, with this new technology comes a new set of legal challenges, one of the biggest being copyright. Not only do rightsholders face the new challenge of content, including audio, TV shows and sporting events being streamed out live, but the companies behind these new technologies face an uncertain legal future, where laws designed for traditional hosts may or may not apply.
This conflict has lead Justin.TV to partner with content matching service Vobile to filter out infringing material, both in their archives and eventually in their live streams. It also has lead to Ustream being sued by a boxing promoter for allegedly allowing over 2,000 viewers to watch a Pay-Per-View fight for free.
In many ways this legal climate is similar to the one YouTube faced during its early days (and continues to face with its billion-dollar lawsuit vs. Viacom) but it can have serious implications for users of livestreaming services. Many of the protections afforded users under the law of most hosts don’t easily apply to livestreaming services and that could create problems down the road. [Read more…]