Twitter says it disabled dozens of illegal Mayweather-Pacquiao streams

Twitter says it disabled dozens of illegal streams of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Two days after appearing to revel in its streaming app’s usage during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Twitter said Monday it respected intellectual property rights and disabled dozens of illegal streams of Saturday’s marquee boxing match.

“Members of the Periscope team were on staff Saturday night working to disable streams that featured copyright-protected material,” a spokesperson said. “We received 66 reports from rights holders. We were able to act against 30 broadcasts within minutes in response to the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] requests. The remaining streams had already ended or were no longer available.”

Boxing fans appeared to be turning to streaming apps such as Twitter’s Periscope and rival Meerkat (now available through Facebook) to avoid the $100 pay-per-view fee, a clear violation of copyright laws. The apps allowed people to stream video of the fight off TV sets in real time.

Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo tweeted after the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao that Periscope was the winner, riling content providers such as the fight’s co-promoter, Top Rank Inc.

Todd DuBoef of Top Rank said the company will pursue legal action against video-sharing companies and individuals it determines were illegally streaming the fight.

“We’ll have to pursue any people who are allowing people to distribute something that is behind a proprietary wall,” DuBoef said. “We’ll have to challenge those technology companies that are facilitating it and we’re going to have to take a legal position against them.”

The Twitter spokesperson acknowledged Monday that the illegal streams were “a clear violation of our content policy.”

Twitter could not confirm whether Periscope usage increased during the fight.

“We respect the intellectual property rights of rights holders and are working to ensure there are robust tools in place so we can react expeditiously,” the spokesperson said.

Follow @dhpierson on Twitter for tech news.

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