March 7th: Savannah Business Attorney Charles Bowen to Speak about "The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” at the SMART Luncheon

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Business and entertainment attorney Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group will speak on Tuesday, March 7 at the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council SMART Lunch Series.

Bowen will present the second installment of the two-part series “The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” during the monthly luncheon at the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway.

Bowen’s presentation comes as the rise in popularity of livestreaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat, along with new features in mainstream apps such as Facebook, has inspired many smartphone users to get into the livestreaming game, broadcasting any event live using their device. While these apps ban users from posting content that violates others’ copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity rights in their standard Terms of Service, their warnings are often ignored.

Bowen will address these issues and the challenge of privacy concerns from a legal perspective, particularly when it comes to commercial use.

“Some users have tried to claim that the Digital Millennial Copyright Act’s ‘safe harbor’ provisions should shield them from liability, but that law only protects the livestreaming service itself, not the actual broadcaster,” Bowen said. “That law, which YouTube constantly relies upon to protect itself, states that streaming services are protected if they respond promptly to rights owners’ takedown requests and don’t have ‘constructive’ knowledge of infringement. But this will not protect you from an infringement claim if you knowingly broadcast illegal material.”

Bowen also will review basic livestreaming rules and how ignoring them could land some users in legal hot water.

“Livestreaming is likely here to stay, as it seems to be a perfect fit for today’s smartphone-carrying, internet-connected world,” said Bowen. “The best advice I can give is simply to be smart and use common sense. Do not broadcast copyrighted material that you do not own, do not be creepy and invade people’s privacy and procure releases if you are using your broadcast for business purposes.

“If you follow these simple rules, you will very likely protect yourself from any potentially expensive legal claims.”

The luncheon will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. and the program at 12 p.m. The cost is $12 for Chamber members. For more information or to RSVP, contact Stephanie Painter at or 912-644-6458.