Rights-holders to the May 3rd boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have forced recordings of the bout to be removed from the video streaming app Periscope.
But US TV networks HBO and Showtime would have unquestionably been too late to prevent some users from watching the action live.
The firms had charged the public a record $89.95 to watch the fight in standard definition and an additional $10 in HD. They both declined to comment on the misuse of the Twitter-owned app.
More than one million people have joined Periscope since it launched on March 26th. Users sometimes use it to “pirate” copyright-protected footage by filming their TV screens with their smartphone cameras.
Unlike other live streaming services – such as YouTube – Periscope does not provide tools to let content owners force the removal of copyright-infringing content in near-real time. Instead, it requires that they file individual takedown requests, which take longer to process.
Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, was criticised by some users of his social network after he tweeted: “And the winner is… @periscopeco” on the night of the fight.
HBO has previously expressed its displeasure following reports of Periscope being used to rebroadcast the opening episode of the latest series of Game of Thrones.