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Authorities cracking down on Facebook users streaming movies through Live

Real time takedowns have already occurred

Facebook Live is trying to compete with Periscope and Meerkat as the number one destination for people who want to livestream their activities, but the website has already begun to see the new feature being used to stream movies, albums and TV shows.

Last week, a student in Illinois was caught livestreaming a new romantic comedy at a local theater thanks to regulations put in place by the theater, a remote team in India and Facebook itself. According to TorrentFreak, an antipiracy team had been set up in India to monitor for any mention of the movie in conjunction with livestreams. This particular student broadcasting the film on Facebook Live immediately caught their attention and they managed to get in touch with the Illinois cinema, confiscating the phone.

Facebook has known this was going to be an issue since the launch of Live and introduced a new security method called Rights Manager on April 12. Rights Manager is essentially a form of video matching technology, so if a studio has a big movie coming out and they want to ensure that no one is stealing it, they can upload parts of the film — or the entire film itself — into the Rights Manager. If someone decides to livestream copyrighted content, the video matching tool will notice it and send a notification to the owner of the film, as well as a DMCA takedown notice to the streamer.

It's a tricky spot for Facebook to be in as more companies decide to team up with the social media platform to be utilize the new streaming service. For example, Blizzard recently announced that it would be allowing players to stream their Overwatch matches using Facebook Live, as an alternative to popular game streaming services like Twitch. Blizzard did not specify if there were aspects of Overwatch and other games that couldn't be streamed, but it's something each company needs to look into before Facebook issues takedown requests.

Like Twitch, Meerkat and Periscope, this is something Facebook has looked into and is working towards preventing, ensuring the content creators are only streaming what they have the rights to.