back to article Cops pull plugs on TV-links, claim 'facilitation of infringement'

Last week's arrest of a 26-year-old Cheltenham man, and the related closure of the TV-links website, has prompted a flurry of speculation that the very foundations of the internet (linking to stuff) might be under threat. Although this might be a worry too far, legal eagles at Pinsent Masons say that it could be an important …

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  1. Morten Ranulf Clausen
    Coat

    "All our information..

    ...are belong to FACT". Sorry, couldn't resist.

    On a side note, it's a bit appalling how Free Speech seemingly doesn't matter any more. I mean, I this bar where, if you really try, you can find all kinds of interesting stuff that fell off the back of a truck. But I should presumably just shut my gob or I could face jailtime. Neat. Problem solved. Or maybe not...

  2. David Morris
    Alert

    Oh dear

    God 'elp anyone who links to YouTube then

  3. bobbles31
    Dead Vulture

    chilling

    "All our information is being coordinated by FACT" - so basically FACT get to tell trading standards what to do and they act without doing any investigation of their own.

    Hopefully, this will get the due process it deserves and ends up in a courtroom with a judge who asks "whats a website?"

  4. Anigel

    waaa boohoo throw dummy out of pram

    Bah waaa we cant catch the people posting the illegal content so we will go after people who post a link to it and sue them for every penny they have got as well.

    After all there are so many more people linking to illegal content than there are posting it.

    They will be taking out arrest warrants on google, yahoo, MSN and ask next as they link to millions times more illegal content than this person ever did.

  5. yeah, right.
    Unhappy

    net neutrality toasted?

    In other news, your local ISP is about to announce a "Safe Links" package. For only UKP 500 per month, they will check the copyright on every link you post (and erase the link for you). For an extra UKP 1000 per month, they'll check the copyright claims on every link you download and block it if any one of 666,666 organizations has posted a claim, any claim, to the material in that link.

    I never thought I'd see the day when even I would even for a second think that perhaps, just perhaps, we're seeing the beginning of the end for the "internet". Seems that the last 10 years of frenzied copyright law lobbying and changes by big-name "content owners" (not creators, owners) is finally paying off for them. They're starting to reclaim the place they lost when the London Company of Stationers failed to stop the Statute of Anne in 1710.

    Would the last person left on the internet please turn out the lights?

  6. Andrew Kelly

    What about Google?

    A Google search will bring up websites that link to copyrighted material.

    Will the British bobbies be sent to Google HQ to arrest their top bods for something that they're not really sure of?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Before everyone jumps up and down

    maybe he was also hosting some of the links and pointing to his own sites.

    However, if indead he only linking then that's just stoopid

  8. Tawakalna
    Dead Vulture

    b*gger!

    fascists. tv-links is/was great, I was watching Children of the Stones and The Tomorrow People.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    hmmm

    Gloucestershire police could not confirm exactly what the 26-year-old was arrested on suspiscion of.

    Isn't that in itself a breach of the law?

    Someone post a link to his legal fund...

  10. Jon Axtell
    Happy

    RIAA == FACT

    So is FACT going down the same road as RIAA and end up being the laughing stock of the world!?

  11. Dr. Ellen

    Laws

    It is the sincere desire of all governments to pass enough laws that we are all criminals. Thus, whenever they think any individual needs a bit of suppressing, all they have to do is apply the appropriate law and the appropriate penalty. Problem solved: the annoying person is either in jail, or too poor to cause trouble.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "All our information is being coordinated by FACT"

    ... And FACT is the UK’s leading trade organisation established to protect and represent the interests of the film and broadcasting industry against copyright and trademark infringements.

    Does it mean that GNU people (or their buddies) can be made in charge of EU against Microsoft? Now that'd be cool.

  13. Scott
    Stop

    FACT statment: Apologies to all, but the internet is closed due to copyright infringements.

    www.google.com

    www.youtube.com

    Well, that's me in the clink :|

    "Sites like TV Links contribute to and profit from copyright infringement."

    Did TV Links actually make money from hosting links?

    Bizarre - next we'll be told that it's illegal to own a modem or router - better still, a telephone line as that could potentially carry copyright material.

    No, one better - Electricity... let's ban that to ensure that digital media cannot be copyright-infringed :P

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Oxymoron

    I can't take seriously an organisation whose name is an oxymoron. We have copyright laws precisely *because* the offence *isn't* theft, otherwise copyright laws wouldn't be necessary.

    When they change their name to Federation Against Copyright Infringement then I will listen to them.

  15. Bez

    Real forward thinking

    This is mind-boggling.

    What we have (sorry, had) is a place where people can post links to sites which host copyrighted material. A seemingly popular site, at that. Can you see where we're going with this, kids?

    Now, I may only have a brain the size of a melon, but I'd have thought that a site like that would have been a valuable thing to anyone looking to shut down copyright violators because, effectively, it's just a bulletin board for dobbing in the pirates.

    So either Fact or plod have essentially taken the decision to just shoot the stool pigeon. Nice one, Ironside. You da man.

    Is it just me? Wouldn't you leave it open and just let the public happily post up links to actual culprits, then pick them off as they come in?

    It is, it's just me, isn't it. Oh well.

  16. Jim
    Unhappy

    Get a life UK p0olice

    Bloody Filth..

    Get round to aressting some real criminals you sad bunch of fachist pigs..

    TV LINKS was a great site...

  17. Bill Fresher

    Link warning

    How about a website that posts links to copyright material for the purpose of telling people what links they shouldn't, under any circumstances, have on their own web pages?

  18. Pin

    I was wondering where it had gone.

    Perhaps it got in trouble because it would display the clip (tv, film, etc) inside a frame which was hosted by tv-links. Not sure if there was a banner ad or anything displayed in the frame though (ABP for the win).

    Still I'll miss it even though many of the links seemed to be dead.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Oxymoron

    How about Federation Against Copyright Infringement and Licence Evasion?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Better shut youselves down

    I'm quite sure the Reg has linked in the past to some material that someone, somewhere will claim is infringing copyright... so you better own up and shut yourself down immediately... to protect the children of course

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corrupt and lazy

    Nowadays the police are not just corrupt they are lazy ,and blame that laziness on loads of alleged paperwork. Fact of the matter is that they cannot be arsed to try and shut down Google, You Tube or the like, instead TV Links will be just as good and an easy target.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG DUDES

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzopAG_mc7Y&mode=related&search=

    A illegal youtube link, el reg is going down!!!

  23. zxcvbnm

    Title

    So when the guardian linked to it and alluc and so on was it facilitating piracy?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/features/story/0,,2018909,00.html

    it certainly encouraged it.

    And how about me linking to them linking to it not to mention the register hosting this depravity?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Cached ?

    Does this mean that The Wayback Machine is also in trouble ? Or anybody that linked to the links ?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    I've heard ...

    ... that it's apparently quite easy to buy cannabis in many of the pubs and clubs in Brixton.

    So, does that make me guilty of "facilitating" a drug deal? If somebody's getting beaten up in a dark alley way, and I point and shout "Look, over there" does that make me guilty of assault?

    What a bunch of crap. It'll be a sad day for law, justice, free speech and democracy all in one if this "talking about something is the same as doing it" attitude is allowed to prevail. FACT and the RIAA can bang on about intellectual property rights all they like but until they stop trying to deprive me of my physical property rights over my own computing equipment they're no better than a bunch of muggers in a dark alley and I will continue to steal (back) as much as I possibly can from them at every opportunity.

  26. J
    Coat

    Title

    "We don't have a simple offence of facilitating infringement in the UK"

    Er...so why was the guy arrested then? Ah, the beauties of a third world country...

    "People are quite willingly trying to circumvent the law."

    Duh... I wonder how many people would obey the speed limit (and other traffic laws) if they knew for sure there were no cops, speed cameras, etc. around...

  27. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Pirate

    Re: Oxymoron

    > When they change their name to Federation Against Copyright Infringement then I will listen to them.

    or "Federation Unaccepting Copyright Theft" has a better-pronounced acronym ;-)

  28. Paul

    obeying speed laws

    "I wonder how many people would obey the speed limit "

    in Arizona, for a while speed limits became unenforceable by the police... the accident rate dropped, people didn't drive like loonies.

  29. Karl

    When we are younger

    we are told to share, but when we grow up the corperation control the law and we get raggled from behind while the CEO holds onto our ears.......

  30. Justin Stone

    Uh...

    "Gloucestershire police could not confirm exactly what the 26-year-old was arrested on suspiscion of, saying that the case had most likely now been handed over to trading standards officers.

    Gloucestershire Trading Standards confirmed that it was involved in the investigation, but declined to elaborate on what the owner of the site had been arrested for, beyond saying it was "offences under the Copyright Act"."

    Does 'Mr. TV-Links' actually know what he's been arrested for himself? Or are they keeping him in the dark as well?

  31. Nicholas Chapel

    Re: Oxymoron

    Or how about Federation of Entertainment Copyright Enforcement Stooges?

  32. Kevin
    Stop

    Riddle me this

    If Microsoft steals some code from the Ly-nux kernel, the whole world goes up it arms about infringements on the GNU and open-source code etc...

    But if the cops shut down a site that links to material that is illegally made available, then we dump on the 'man' and the 'system' for violating our god-given freedom to pirate video content?

    As far as i'm concerned, they are both stealing... so why is one 'right' and the other is 'wrong'?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    This is a load of rubbish

    TV links was a great idea, due to the job i do, i'm not able to always be around to watch my favourite shows every week, also i can't afford to have Sky or Virgin. So TV-links was brilliant as I could watch my favourite shows and catch up with anything I have missed! Surely this website is a tribute to any show that is featured on there, as it shows that there is a demand for them. The producers should be amazed that their show would be available to ANYBODY in the world!

    Its funny how Gun crime in the UK is at an all-time high, with young children being shot and killed, and the police decided they want to arrest someone who just wants to be able help people find their fave shows...only providing links and not even streaming them himself!

    So I would like to say Well Done and Congrats to the Police and Trading Standards for destroying something so beautiful...I hope you rot in hell

    Big Stu

  34. Mark Brown
    Thumb Down

    oh bugger..

    ...They get me through uni. Oh well back to alluc

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    FACT in the riASSofa

    There is a certain English language site hosted in Russia – a sort of a “TV Underground” one might say, were there are highly illegal links to highly illegal content, not paedophilia, mind you, or anything like that – much more illegal, links to the 1963 doctor Who!

    And since it is hosted in Russia, a country well known for its record on caring about highly illegal *linking*, I think that it will be a safe bet that it will stay up for a while.

    P.S. I think that I will host a site, that I know is at least in some way is bound to attract attention from the authorities. Hmm, let’s see, were should I host such a site? – I know! I will do it in such a way, that my secret identity will be known, in a country that tries to emulate the “FAC*T common sense” of the America, nothing will ever happen to me, for sure!

    Come on people, do not bend over and be FACT in the riASSofa

  36. Ookami Eien
    Black Helicopters

    That's half the net?

    So lets see, linking or displaying copyrighted content...

    Well lets start simple, you tube, my space, facebook, every search engine on earth, ever, now then characters names and logos are copyrighted along with there appearance (also the word drow) so any website with mentioning of the word drow, character names, images of characters, logos, or any websites that link to websites with above mentioned information...Well done we just lost most of the internet all that's left is maddox, OH NOOOOOO!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    evil laugh

    No this isn't right they stupidly fucked up if it stands they are still wrong.The reason they don't shut down Google is that Google can buy your little Island and kick you off of it (made the Queen an offer).

  38. unitron

    Steal This Comment (apologies to A. Hoffman)

    "When they change their name to Federation Against Copyright Infringement then I will listen to them."

    How about Federation Against Stolen Copyright Infringement, So There, Suckers!

    Or, to save space, the abbreviation:

    F.A.S.C.I.S.T.S.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Dr.Elllen

    Very well put. You are are spot on! I was compelled to say so....sad as it all is.

  40. Jeremy
    Flame

    Hey! I was watching that!

    Bugger. They had [links to] all the old One Foot in the Grave episodes on there and this grumpy git was watching them.

  41. IDK

    Law infringement?

    "We don't have a simple offence of facilitating infringement in the UK"

    "People are quite willingly trying to circumvent the law."

    So... people are willingly trying to circumvent something for which there is no simple offence? Or, to put it another way, they're trying not to break laws that don't exist? Sounds like doublespeak to me...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tor

    if content 'links pages' are being closed , then one is tempted to fire up the obfuscated/encrypted kTorrent (or similar) with an "the onion ring" enabled system?

    not sure what throughput one gets nowadays, but with torrents' , overnight downloads of tomorrows entertainment seems the rule.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can it be?

    How can it be an offence to give directions, for that is what a link is. It is not the material itself.

    If you decide to drive in the M1 at 150mph (these were the days) and you get caught and find yourself in court. Am I guilty of an offence because I gave you directions to the M1?

  44. Adam
    Flame

    bar stewards

    i reckon he should get a mirror of the site up on the piratebay's new domain "IFPI.com"

  45. Steve
    Thumb Down

    @evil laugh

    Don't be an idiot.

    Google market capitalisation stands at around $190 billion.

    GDP of the UK for 2006 was $1.93 trillion

    It will be interesting to watch this story develop and see what the charges actually are.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WTF?

    How in the name of baelzebub can they arrest and charge someone for a crime that doesn't exist? Or are they just making it up as they go along these days? Or am I just being extraordinarily obtuse here?

  47. Dan B
    Stop

    why is the site down then?

    If the police can't say what he's been arrested for AND it has not yet went to court to be proven that indeed anything illegal has taken place...

    the ISP bending over I suppose...

  48. Cameron Colley

    Who makes the laws in this country?

    Am i missing something here, or are Gloucester Police working for Trading Standards, who are working for FACT? So, the Police now report to corporation-owned propaganda machines other than the government now? Can I expect a visit from the police if I get into a dispute with a a mechanic over a repair on my car because he happens to be a member of a trade association?

    What the hell is going on here? Why are we paying for police to be used as thugs to bully people on behalf of a trade syndicate?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I'm sorry, but I'm with the pigs.

    Consider the drugs world:

    A) A white-van-man who takes a crate of cocaine up the M9 is a criminal.

    B) A National Express coach driver who takes a passenger carrying a suitcase of cocaine up the M9 is not.

    The difference?

    The van driver made the trip to get the cocaine to his contacts. The coach driver was performing a legal, legitimate service and someone else abused that service, presumably without his knowledge.

    TV-Links was part of the supply-chain of infringing content. Unlike Google, it's main purpose was to supply links to infringing content.

    ***********

    @Morten:

    "On a side note, it's a bit appalling how Free Speech seemingly doesn't matter any more. I mean, I this bar where, if you really try, you can find all kinds of interesting stuff that fell off the back of a truck. But I should presumably just shut my gob or I could face jailtime. Neat. Problem solved. Or maybe not..."

    That's always been illegal in the UK. It's called being "an accessory to crime". If you know where someone fences goods, you're supposed to tell the police, not drum up business!

    The question here is whether copyright law enables prosecution as an accessory. If it doesn't, the man shouldn't be in custody, but if it doesn't, it needs changed.

  50. Jeff Deacon

    Even if

    * Even if the chap is found to be innocent,

    * even if, in the cold light of day, charges are not brought,

    let us not forget that this man has now had his fingerprints taken and his DNA sampled, and placed on the national databases where criminal records are kept,

    and that he will now be a suspect in every crime committed in the UK until he is 100,

    even if he has inconveniently died before then!

  51. Simon Ward
    Flame

    Re: RIAA==FACT

    "So is FACT going down the same road as RIAA and end up being the laughing stock of the world!?"

    No. It's already there and has been for a long time - however, there laughing-stockness has yet to extend beyond these shores. For now.

    FACT are, and always have been, a bunch of self-righteous muppets, just like FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) were before them. Of course, the veil of fog surrounding this whole affair doesn't help. In terms of banality, this probably trumps the closure of the IMSLP and I fervently hope that this whole thing is going to blow up in the faces of the self-proclaimed copyright police.

    Not holding my breath though.

  52. S Seagal

    Double standards...

    Funny how when the crime is identity theft, people are up in arms decrying the police for not taking cyber crime seriously enough and not devoting enough people to the job, and yet when the police do come down on someone who is doing something illegal online (or at least immoral - just because you enjoy it doesn't make it right!) everyone accuses them of wasting their time and shouts that they should be out catching kiddie-fiddlers and gun toting drug dealers instead.....

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    cant you guess why !!

    Every broadcaster and his dog in the UK now has a video on demand service,

    they are all after 'marketizing' their old 'content' or what they have bought the rights to.

    BBC is also at it - they have a huge back catalogue of programmes, and need all the money they can get. The reason so much effort is going into Iplayer is because it will probably be used to access this content as part of a paid for 'premium subscription service'

    Hang onto your wallets folks.

  54. tim chubb

    movie section was a dumb idea

    I mean talk about waving a redflag at a bull

    reckon they will go after them like it was a torrent site, and unfortunatly for them they cant say streaming != downloading, cus you can find the .flv or what ever other format you streamed in the broswers cache...

    that said i dont see how they can be held responsible for using the embed links provided by the content hosters??? admittedly the use of the links was questionable but i fail to see how taking advantage of links provided by content hosts can be illeagal, surely its the content hosters job to not provide copyrighted material over there service

    maybe they would have gotten away with it if they had just linked staight to the results pages, rather than the videos....

  55. Space
    Pirate

    Grrr >.<

    @Stu Reeves

    "maybe he was also hosting some of the links and pointing to his own sites.

    However, if indead he only linking then that's just stoopid"

    -He never hosted any videos on his own site. All the videos were uploaded or found by users onto other sites and linked to. The videos -were- usually played in a TV-L player, but AFAIR there was always a link to the host site.

    @Scott

    ""Sites like TV Links contribute to and profit from copyright infringement."

    Did TV Links actually make money from hosting links?"

    -According to the owner, it was a non-profit site. There were donations, but these all went straight back into the site.

  56. Mark

    Double standards not in evidence

    Seagal, there is no double standard. The offense of "ID theft" isn't taking your identity (else the companies would be in breach when asking your name, etc) but using that ID information to take some real thing. Also, your personal information doesn't go in to the public domain. Whereas for copyrighted public information, such as TV shows, the ephemeral itself is being used in itself and it is supposed to go to the public domain after infinity less one day.

    So they are two completely different problems. There is no double standard. If there is, then being against murder and being for corporal punishment is a double standard.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tvunderground.org.ru

    If I post a link to tvunderground.org.ru is the owner of this site responsible for it?

  58. tardigrade
    Flame

    Re: I'm sorry, but I'm with the pigs.

    Yes lets consider the drugs world. Because that's a brilliant comparison isn't it.

    You are comparing the distribution of illegal toxic substances that have the capacity to ruin peoples lives and indeed kill people to the rather less lethal act of linking to sites that may infringe upon copyright depending on what country you live in and what the content is.

    Now I'm not a lawyer but there is possibly a fundamental difference between the two in terms of facilitating and regardless of the severity of the crime the comparison doesn't stand anyway.

    FACT / RIAA are a fascist junta who do more harm than the people they pursue ever will. Now balance the justice between the two and tell me where liberty lies. Go on.

  59. Philip

    If he's prosecuted or not isn't the point

    FACT are not complete idiots. This tactic used in the US, is as much about frightening and intimidating people than successful procecutions.

    Lots of headlines and pictures of some everyday person in handcuffs, is what they are after. The procecutions are useful but secondary.

    Also, so what if Google etc bring up copyright material or not. These are all selective prosecutions. They are not going to go after Google, so the issue doesn't arise.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    I'm a goddamned thief, ok?

    I'm getting a little tired of the "piracy is free speech" brigade. Yes, the RIAA are infectious human waste, and so are FACT. Yes, fines levied against pirates are excessively excessive. Yes, DRM is a waste of time and drives piracy more than it solves. And yes, there isn't much in the way of legal alternatives for digital distribution; the industry for the most part missed the boat, not to mention the point.

    BUT: Stealing is stealing. I am a thief. I steal music, I steal TV shows, I steal books and I steal movies. I don't do it because I believe that content should be free. I don't do it to support independent artists and boycott the RIAA, 'cos I don't buy indie CDs either. I do it *because I don't want to pay for stuff*. I'd shoplift if I could get away with it.

    Actually shoplifting physical media might cost the industry slightly more (lost packaging, distribution costs), but the reason I pirate instead of shoplift is that it is soooo much easier, and statistically speaking, almost risk free.

    I'm prepared to believe that some of the pro-piracy people out there do have high moral reasons for doing it, but I think really we ought to own up*. The whole righteous indignation shtick is getting tiresome. We pirate because we like free stuff. Everyone likes free stuff. And as long as there is free stuff, people will continue to want it. Back when Napster started, I figured "this won't last long, better fill my boots while I can." And when Napster got busted, I sighed and resigned myself to going back to paying for things. But lo and behold, the free stuff just keeps on coming. I've been waiting for the party to end for years, but it is becoming apparent that it isn't going to. So I'll just keep on stealing, ta very much. </hubris>

    *And of course, when I say "own up", I'm speaking figuratively. This post is anonymous, 'cos I'm not a total fool.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Anonymous coward "I'm sorry, but I'm with the pigs"

    > That's always been illegal in the UK. It's called being "an accessory to crime".

    Actually, no, it hasn't! You've been watching too many old US films on TV Links!

    Firstly, Scottish law (both criminal and civil) is completely different from their equivalents in England & Wales, and ditto Northern Ireland, so even though some UK statutes (since 1707, anyway!) introduce UK-wide offences, that isn't one of them.

    Maybe you are thinking of Section 8 of the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 (for indictable offences), or Section 44 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, which make it an offence to "aid, abet, counsel or procure" the commission of an offence?

    Although maybe you were influenced by the Extradition Act 1989, which - because it has to take juducial notice of crimes committed elsewhere in the world - does indeed make reference to "being an accessory before or after the fact". It's also in some of the commencement Orders (statutory instruments) relating to offences on board aircraft and offences involving nuclear materials, for the same reasons... :-)

    Coat please!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Anti-Piracy Ad

    FACT's new Anti-Piracy Ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTbX1aMajow

    Woops - can I now be imprisoned for linking to copyrighted material?

  63. Tykefan
    Happy

    Oh Well.....

    i'll just have to go and download what i was watching off limewire/minninova/spytorrent/etc

    and i thought they didnt want me to do that!

  64. Cameron Colley

    Re: I'm a goddamned thief, ok?

    Good for you, I'm not.

    If a CD is not "owned" by a major label, I'll buy it -- I like my music loss-free, and my artists with integrity. Similarly, I'll buy region-free DVDs (I need to because I like the odd film not released in our region and my player would lock out if I changed region too often).

    Similarly with TV content, if I did download a show it would be one that's not on in this country -- effectively "time-shifting" in reverse, the shows will be broadcast on channels I have access to anyhow. My TV is broken now, and I'm missing a favourite show, so I downloaded a copy -- if I had a TV I could have legally recorded it, and it's possible still on a watch-again facility now.

    Some of us do things that FACT and the RIAA don't want us to do for convenience, not theft. I've not doubt there are people who are into theft out there -- but please don't tar us all with the same brush.

  65. LaSan

    Best Replacement for tv links

    bummer men..!! :( i'm really pissed off... he wasn't doing anything illegal..! anyway, there will always be other sites. for example: http://www.sidereel.com is a great one... in my opinion, the best replacement... there is also stage6 or daily motion, for a change..

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @Cameron Colley Re: I'm a goddamned thief, ok?

    You have something that you should have paid for... you are a thief... wrap it up in all the glittering packaging you want, but you're stealing something that someone, somewhere, expected you to pay money for....

    Props to the anonymous cowards for being able to (somewhat) own up to the truth... download anything that you are supposed to pay for is stealing.

  67. Mark

    Anonymous Coward

    Nope, not a thief. The music is still where it was, the copyrights are still owned by the artist (oh, hang on, maybe the label is the copyright thief!). So no theft.

    If someone expects me to pay money and that's fine, what about what I expect? I expect once I've BOUGHT a CD, I OWN the CD. Or the DVD or the software, etc.

    I expect that the public domain will be enriched by the material currently in copyright being allowed back to the public, but when the copyright laws are extended, that's "theft" from the entire world.

    You aren't a thief, you just want to say you are so you can lambast the people you think are theives.

    Coward.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    WHY, Would Someone tell me WHY?

    Well, what can i Say, Everyone who left a comment on the TV-Links report has said it all. What is it that the UK Government doesn't want to control about us "the community".

    Is it a crime to have a site to turn to when you missed your 2 hours show and want to re watch it again? Is it a crime for a man who gets nothing for posting different links of were we can watch copy right shows to watch at a free time?

    You know what I call what the FACT are doing? "hypocrite", Selfishness, and lack of other jobs to do. This is insane, can't we use the internet, watch copy right movies, shows, music, cartoon or any entertainment material without being sued for every single penny we have?

    Well FACT you had better get this straight, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING, YOU HAVE SEEN NOTHING YET.

  69. 666SILVERBACK666
    Unhappy

    GrrrAhh! holes Grrrblagh!...angry, so angry...............................pst off

    Tv Links has been my friend, my life. It has kept me off the streets. It was a massive resource and I got to see all the crap that never gets shown here for another year or so. I could see what I wanted to see when I wanted to see it. With any luck the guy will be up and running again in a few weeks. In the meantime I will enjoy the other hundred or so free sites. No crime has been done here as he was just a host to a bunch of links. The only crime is that F.A.C.T are unable to get off there fat Arses to do anything constructive like catching the Chineese selling mass produced crap quality DVD'S at my local retrail park.

    Oh how I want to go and smear Dog Doo Doo on the door handles to FACTS head office this Sunday night. That will be a nice welcome for them on Monday Morning..................................Tee Hee..........Think I may

  70. Fred McCoy
    Flame

    The wrong idea

    I was a fan of the tv-links website, and I enjoyed watching the rerun shows that were posted there. In my opinion, these "Media Industry" people have the wrong idea. Instead of shutting down the site(s), they should collect money from the "sponsors" of the site, or a tv-movie-music studio should sponsor it themselves, inserting commercials when appropriate, just like a television network.

    Take for example, the classic tv show M*A*S*H, provided by 20th Century Fox, shown on CBS back in the 70's, for free. All you needed was rabbit ears and electricity for your tv set. Today, anyone with cable television can see it several times a day on several networks, all for the cost of a monthly cable tv fee. But, for some reason, you are not allowed to watch it from a website, even though you pay a monthly internet fee. The reason is because FOX doesn't allow it, because FOX isn't being paid for it when you watch it online. So, the solution is, to have a sponsor pay for it, with commercials and website sponsors who pay the royalties, fees, etc, to FOX; just like television networks do, and collect a small percentage from broadband internet providers that allow access to that media server. Perhaps even better, is to have Fox themselves host the show on their media server, and sponsor the show themselves, with FOX movie trailers, links to events, shows, etc, as if it were a new tv-network. After all, what is the difference between a tv network and an internet data server? They do much the same thing: provide information and entertainment. In fact, this could the perfect time to go ahead, and have all the tv networks (or cable networks) provide access to the classic shows online, (WITH SPONSORS) so people can enjoy high quality classic tv shows WHEN THEY WANT TO. I do not mind watching commercials on the tv, why would I mind them on the computer screen? (as long as they dont hijack my browser and try to sell me levitra, or block 9/10ths of my screen with flashing noisemakers while I am trying to watch the show). TV Shows are segmented to include commercials anyhow, so PUT commercials IN THERE. If it's a Sitcom, like "Married with Children" then have Fox sponsor it with fox shows, movies, events, etc. Or, if it's a drama, like ER, then have NBC sponsor it, etc. My point is, it takes so MUCH to stop it, but so little to help it. They've done all the hard work: collecting the shows and server space and bandwidth. All you have to do is tell the proprietor that you must sponsor it for it to be legal, then you can feature your shows and events on HIS server with HIS bandwidth, and if he dont like it, buy the site, improve the content, and administer it yourselves. I do not see any reason why the big tv networks dont go ahead and start providing access to their shows over a broadband connection, with appropriate commercials as sponsors.

    The movies are a different subject though. If a movie can be seen on tv, then it should be viewable on the internet with commercials between segments. but in the case of the cam-corder piratings, those are wrong and the people responsible for their creation and distribution should be busted. But they are usually from China so there isn't anything that can be done. For example, I was browsing the movies and I noticed Transformers. I know the dvd was not yet out, so I knew it was likely a pirated copy, and I did not watch it.

    I DID however, watch Andromeda because I was never able to catch it when it was on (it was syndicated so I could never find it on at a decent hour). But, thanks to tv-links, I was able to catch it, from the first show, thru the first season, and I have become a fan of it. Now, if the show had been sponsored, that would have been fine. But it was not, so somehow it was considered illegal, even though, it's an old rerun show, that was only "legal" for me to watch at 2 am on some UHF channel from another town.

    My point is, that the internet is a new "tv channel" and someone is going to get in on it and make a lot of money, and please MANY people with high-speed connections. The PC will become the new Tivo. PC's are getting faster and more flexible, it is only a matter of time. Stop thinking Old fashioned and make ready the NEW tv-channel, on your start menu.

    You hear all this talk about the recording artists trying to crack down on people for having illegal copies. But isn't is true that if you buy the media, (song, tv-show, movie) you have access to it? How long do you have access to it? Until you sell it? What if you lost it? What if I have seen it already? Am I not allowed to remember seeing it without paying a fee? I am a big Aerosmith fan. I have bought several albums: many of which have the same songs on them. If I want to hear "walk this way", even though I have it on the "Aerosmith classics LIVE" cd, as well as "big ones", do I have to pay to put it on my computer, or to play the MP3? What if there is a compilation album, with say 2/3 of the songs are from albums I already own, does that mean I already own 2/3rds of that album? Shouldnt I be able to pay 1/3rd of the compilation album's cost to buy the songs I DO NOT own? Do I have to buy stuff I already have to get stuff I do not have? What if I go to a concert and hear the other 1/3rd of the songs on the aforementioned album, do I now get the ablbum free, because I own 2/3rds of the media already, and I have a concert ticket that granted me access to the other missing 1/3rd?

    Now, what if I had went to a theater and saw Transformers? Once I bought the ticket, do I not have rights to view the intellectual property? Am I supposed to forget it once I leave? Sure, if I want to see it again, I have to buy another ticket, but that is to pay the movie theater for the service. (the seat, the screen, the speakers). I already have access to the intellectual property, because it was given to me when it was shown. I'm not allowed to duplicate it to make money, but I am allowed to remember it and mention it to my friends. Now, once I got home, since I had already SEEN the movie, do I not have the ability to see it online? What if I could prove I saw the movie already. Do I get to watch it online? Do I get a copy of the dvd for free, since I've already seen it? Or, do I get the dvd at a discount, just to cover the cost of producing the dvd disc, since I have already been granted access to the intellectual property when I bought a ticket? What if i bought the dvd? Could I THEN watch it online? Could I download it and watch it on someone elses computer, since I own the dvd? If not, whats the difference if I took MY dvd over to his house and let him watch it? I am curious how this works. If I am not trying to sell it or make money off its distribution, shouldn't I have unlimited access to it, once I buy the media?

    It is a sad SAD world when you have unlimited access to sodomy, rape, incest, beastiality, pedophilia and murder, but you arent allowed to watch "I love lucy" without getting arrested... BUT, that's the bean counter for you. He doesn't care about you or your happiness, just your money, and he will spend every waking moment trying to nickle and dime you to death.

    Windows 98 was the beginning of turning your computer into a media platform. That was 10 years ago. Why hasn't the entertainment industry caught up with Windows 98? WE NOW HAVE the hardware, and the bandwidth, it can happen. TV has to go digital in the USA in 2009 or 2010, so WHY NOT go ahead, and make it stream thru a PC? Why not have a tv-links? IMO, tv-links was before its time, and had to rely on poor quality choices. But, I am sure that there is a tv or cable network out there that is going to make this happen, and mark my words, it is coming. TV-links shouldn't be punished: it should be SUPPORTED AND IMPROVED AND MADE LEGAL WITH SPONSORED CONTENT.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    It's not about stealing, it's about freedom of information

    Copyright laws allow people to make money, fair enough. Often people invest large amounts of money to make tv programs, movies, etc. and they deserve to get their money back and make profit. However, how long should they be allowed make profit for? Normally, if anybody makes something, they sell it at a price where they cover the cost of their materials, wages, etc. and make a little profit for the trouble. Deal done, money in the bank, everybody happy. More than fair!

    However, media companies today are making rediciulous amounts of money especially because digital distribution reduces costs and increases potential market. Companies like Apple with iTunes are willing to make a little profit to keep the price reasonable for everyone to afford and make a little profit for the effort. This is a good business policy. Media companies on the other hand, want to make more money and to keep on bringing it in for as long as possible, often at the expense of up-and-coming artists and hard working ordinary people like you and me. This is greed, and is a system that allows them to have all the money, and everyone else have very little. Currently, people like Mr. TV-Links will be taken down for dubious or immoral behaviour to protect this monopoly. Companies like Google and YouTube who are a member of the big wallet club will get a warning to play along and not step on each others fat toes.

    So I think the question is which is the most immoral, providing the general public with a service that gives them access to material which they have not paid for (should anyone who watches the material be banged up too?), or wanting to take all our money and not worry about whether we have any left over to enjoy life in any way whatsoever? You tell me!

  72. fezz
    Pirate

    u suck

    guess ill just go and download mp3s and movies on some site that lets u do it for free and with no problem (fact u idiot)

  73. Cyfier

    they won't have room in the prisons for everyone!!!

    I was going to add one of those pictures to my comment, but thats not my image, so i'm perhaps not allowed, oh wait, this isn't my font eithe..................

    i got £20 that says the directors and CEO's of FACT was bullied in school and now there fat ass's feel a need compensate that so they look for my bull excuse to come down hard on people who do something good! same comments to the sheepish looking cops that made that bust!!

    wait, that could be slander!! haha get some!!

    if i was the guy who owned tv-links right now, i'd be laughing my socks off mocking police while saying..

    "what ya mean you nicking me!!? i found all this illegal stuff on the net for you and put it all in one place to make it easier for you idiots!! i did your job....i want a pay rise!!!"

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