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Pandora's Box of Live Streaming and Paid Events


All the buzz happening with Meerkat and Meerkasting, Periscope, Twitter, LiveStream, streaming in general, and YouTube Live Events in streams has opened Pandora's box on copyright, trademark, privacy and just bad manners in general.

Visiting with a friend on this topic, Krishna De in Dublin, we reminisced about the time when we used to set up IP based webcams to stream live from our homes and businesses back in the day and

other older tools. She and I met through Hangouts On Air groups on Google+ and YouTube. Yes, you can stream LIVE events on Twitter and Facebook, YouTube and Google+ all the the same time, record and share up to 8 hours of continuous broadcasting. This is not new. But, as these tools become increasingly simpler, as demonstrated by the launch of Periscope and the recent launch of Meerkat, the spontaneity and lack of thought are coupled with "how cool - look where I am right now!"streamed events.

Where YouTube has its systems in place to actually squash a broadcast violating copyrights with background music, embedded videos from sources other than from the broadcaster, these other systems don't have those checks in place. With Meerkat, Livestream and Periscope, you can broadcast live from an event you and many others have paid to attend - if you don't get caught. 

You may think, "Well, the speaker and I are friends, they want me to do this..." Does the speaker have permission from the event organizers? These are the people and companies who put together this entire event, ticket systems, sponsorship packages, countless hours of staff time in planning and executing the experience? Probably not. If they say it's OK, you still want to get that permission from them in writing.

From an event planner's perspective, this can undermine their ability to monetize the after event packages, sponsorship, paid viewings and more. If it is a concert, it may undermine sales of music because people can access your poor quality for free. You may justify this by thinking, "But if they are satisfied with poor quality output, they never would have attended or purchased anyway." That may be true, but it's not your RIGHT or decision to make for those putting on the event. Think about the sporting events that check for video cameras and other recording devices as you come through the turnstiles. They ask us to check them in or turn them off before the game begins.  How do you control everyone with phones and apps? You don't. You can only request and hope they have some integrity.

Getting away with it.

Really? Is that what drives you to want to stream content you don't own the rights to stream? Grow up and stop being a weasel. Capturing speakers or performers from a paid event to one-up the competition and undermine their marketing is stealing. Cheat venue owners and planners out of their money by SHARING their event online - even in a private group - stealing again - just like ripping DVDs from rentals, recording and reposting videos you didn't create.

How about you as the attendee?

Think about this - you signed up for an event. You may have even read the fine print stating from the EVENT organizer that by attending you are giving permission for your image to be captured and used by those involved in the event including sponsors, speakers, and organizers. But, what about others who are there recording you without this permission? It may be a competitor. It may be someone wanting to repurpose and profit from the content they created and take it out of context. Suppose this, you attend a harmless marketing event or even something themed like Comicon. Someone records the crowd, including you and a few close ups, and then uses that same B roll to promote an "adults only" type of upcoming event that would bring into question your reputation, integrity and possibly your ability to represent the company you enjoy working for.

Privacy is gone.

If you want to live stream or record at an event, what should you do to ensure the integrity of your event?

  1. Check with the speaker or performer or their representative first.
  2. Then, check with the event organizers/hosts.
  3. Get permission in WRITING ahead of time.
  4. If you create a post that will help to build business for you, make sure that is also OK.
  5. If there is background music, the EVENT or performer may have secured the rights to use it, but you as another party do not have those rights - copyright violation. Choose what you record CAREFULLY.
  6. In the post, give credit and links to those who were appearing - that's common courtesy.
  7. Share the link with them. If you are too ashamed, you probably shouldn't have done it in the first place.
  8. If it is a private event, video conference, etc. Do NOT record it without written permission by all appearing and be forthright with how you are using the content. They may give you permission to record for your own replay, but not to use the session to promote your own business.

TEST: Shout it from the mountain top!

If it doesn't pass this test, chances are you should not be streaming or recording, including photographing. If you have to sneak and hide it from those around you or the speaker, you are stealing.

2015-yt-iconLearn more about Periscope and a bit of a comparison with Meerkat by Krishna De >

Is this how it will be from now on and we just have to accept it?

I'm not sure what the continued backlash of these handy tools will be. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this rant.

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