Copyright infringement in events broadcasts

Last Sunday, UStream’s automatic copyright infringement monitor shut down the live broadcast of the Hugo Awards at Worldcon.

As Neil Gailman’s award for his script of Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s wife” was being announced, the screens on stage showed clips of the nominated episodes. The monitor system detected the copyrighted material and decided —automatically— to shut down the stream.

Some days later, UStream’s CEO Brad Hunstable made a public apology. Among other things, he explained that broadcasters can be white listed:

Users of our paid, ad-free Pro Broadcasting service and those free broadcasters who notify Ustream in advance they have copyrights permissions (…) are automatically white listed to avoid situations like this and receive hands-on client support.

Automatic infringement monitors are becoming widespread. While I find them annoying, the Hugo Awards’s organizers should have notified UStream that they had permissions to broadcast the event and the copyrighted clips.

copyright drm hugo-awards ustream

Join my free newsletter and receive updates directly to your inbox.