The application Periscope is starting to pick up heat for the good and the bad. For those unaware, Periscope is an application that allows consumers to stream live video to viewers straight from their smartphones. While the application is becoming more popular and mainstreamed, it was recently revealed that Google almost beat the competition with a very similar application almost a decade ago. However, the company was unable to pursue the venture due to a lack of resources that permitted from further development.
Periscope along with applications like Meerkat is becoming a popular application solution for live video streams. Although, recent trends have started to show that these applications are being used in spreading copyright material. Hit premium shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones and the more recently the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight have been streamed through the application to anyone who wishes the view the content via the application. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google had originally thought of developing a similar app that would stream to an individual’s YouTube channel. While the thought and desire were there, Google, unfortunately, had to back off and put their resources into other areas. At the time, Google was dealing with a legal lawsuit with Viacom after certain user’s uploaded copyright based content on YouTube without the written consent of Viacom. The legal battle started in 2007 where Viacom was seeking $1 billion in damages and after years of legal battles, the two companies settled in 2014.
Another big reason why resources were not put into the development of this particular application venture was due to another YouTube development project. Google was in the middle of developing their Content ID systems which is an automatic system that takes down videos deemed to have copyrighted material. Instead of dropping the project or causing any delays into rolling out their system, Google decided to opt out on pursuing a live streaming application. This might be a good idea right now as these applications starting to sprout up are causing a bit of controversy. Because of applications like Periscope are able to stream content in real-time, it’s becoming tough to crack down on users streaming illegal content to viewers. Perhaps we will see Google release a more secure answer to a live streaming application in the future.