Ustream sued by boxing star

The live streaming site Ustream has been sued by Black Ring Inc, the company owned by boxer Roy Jones Jr. Black Ring claims that Ustream allowed about 2,377 person to view a boxing event free of charge. The event was available in live as pay per view event. Furthermore, Black Ring complains that Ustream did not collaborate to collect information about claimed infringement.

According to Techcruch, Ustream believes that it makes the right effort to comply to copyright rules.

Detecting in real time, live rebroadcast of live events is a tough work. To be efficient, it requires several elements:

  • 1- A way to monitor most of the live streaming sites and also P2P streaming torrents
  • 2 – A way to detect the infringing content
  • 3 – A way to notify in real time a take down notice to the site
  • 4 – A procedure at the streaming site to quickly check the legitimacy of the take down notice
  • 5 – Take down the stream

Element 2 is a tough issue. Watermarking may be a solution if the watermark is unique for the event. But you cannot expect to pass the detector on all currently streaming events. You have to make a first selection.

Element 4 is also tough. As an operator you’d rather be sure not to take down legitimate streams.

But the worst is that what prevents the pirate to start a new stream once the first one has been took down and notify the viewers of the new “coordinates”. For instance, Indian pirates play that cat and mouse game during broadcast of cricket games. Pirates have several Set Top Boxes ready. They use a first one to illegally rebroadcast. Once the broadcaster identified the box, displaying the ID of every box and blacklisting the infringing one, the pirates switch to a new set top box. It is a nice business.

Thus, stopping in real time, rebroadcast of live events may be a tough challenge.

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